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Everytime I set off somewhere new and unexplored, I still feel like a young vagabond. Like a boring history professor that by the flick of a wrist turns into a bad ass adventurer with a signature hat and an epic theme song. Though when I go, it might be a little different. No actual hats or theme songs, no whips, explosions, pantie dropping catch phrases, hot ditzy chicks, ancient treasures with magical abilities, and cool little asian sidekicks with unforgettable catch phrases (In case you’re lost). Im just the white guy that’s careful about eating spicy food and drinking water straight from the tap.

I have to make it clear that am still learning. A lot. Traveling freely as an adult is actually much cooler compared to a ‘still in their teens’ something kid with three-week-dreadlocks and a didgeridoo fascination.

There’s a few things for example.

1) The fear. The fear of the unknown. The fear of the unexplored. The fear of a lack of understanding. And maybe the most, the uncertainty of trusting a complete stranger. Instead of giving into it, embrace it. It has taken me to some great places, and introduced me to some even greater people.

2) Emotional Connections. Make them. Always. Be nice to people. Smile. Even if they are different, seem weird, or look at you funny. You wouldn’t be able to do #3 without it.

3) Connecting with locals will reduce your fears of the unknown, the unexplored, and the lack of understanding. It carries knowledge about your surrounding, the people, the customs, the culture, and the way of life. All of a sudden things fascinate you, rather than scare you.

4) Do something random and uncharacteristic. Don’t always play things so safe. Go somewhere you didn’t plan on. Talk to someone a stranger, just because. Take a break somewhere unexpected.

5) Use common sense. Buying drugs from some random stranger in a back alley in Capetown might sound like a cool story to tell the guys at home. But make sure you make it home. Follow your gut, be adventures, but don’t be dumb.

6) Laugh at yourself. You’ll look a like an idiot from time to time. You’ll mess up attempting to speak the language, tasting the food, or participating in local traditions. That’s ok. Just go with it. You’ll always come out on top, with smiling people surrounding you.

7) It doesnt have to be a ‘non-stop-never-ending-backpacking-extravaganza-trip’. Take a break, be a dumb and lazy tourist for a bit. It makes you appreciate the smaller things when they happen.

8) Emotional Connections. It is so important it needs to be repeated. I made some of my best friends while traveling. I created life long friendships by making these connections.
But most of all: It taught me that people are the same. Not matter culture, nationality, background, gender, language, religion, smell, color… We all go through life with our doubts, passions, thoughts, obstacles, loves, successes… you name it. One of the most profound moments of my life was over a cup of tea with Faical in Morocco. The courtyard tea break lasted for about 4 hours and we chatted about life as if we were brothers grew up under the same roof. On the opposite side of the world.

9) Love and appreciate your family. Everyone isn’t blessed to have one. Make sure you get to know who they are, make sure they get to know who you are. There’s nothing more important, 1)-8) would be pointless to me without it.

The pictures below entail a thousand stories. At least. Random cab rides in red metal death traps, pretending to understand French and getting away with it, sharing a pot of Tajine with your new friends at 2am… Smells. Sights. Fear. Happiness. Appreciation. Friendships.

To the wonderful people I met in Morocco: I miss you, and I hope to see you soon again.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
© Robin Kadfalk.
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