How it all began!


Published on: Dec 24, 2015

For the first time for 8 years I will not be abroad during New Year (dont worry I am about to leave soon) so I thought about a Christmas special this year. I started this blog in 2011 when I drove to India but how did I get there?

Actually it all started when I was a child. Two different channels to choose from on the TV and all I was interested in were documentaries about wild animals at faraway places. Not much time in front of the screen and a lot out in the nature… Later in school I was bored very easy – I just couldn’t manage to stay in a room all day and listen to stupid stuff when outside the sun was shining. I am glad not to be too stupid so I somehow managed my way through most of the time. Soon my best friend below the desk became my Atlas. I figured out how to read it soon and on rainy days I visited places at the maps in my mind. English I spent in the colonies and while math I calculated how long it would take me to walk there. While everybody else in class was learning biology I was dreaming about rowing down Ghambia river watching hippos and bee eaters. Needless to say I loved geography! (Biology either but I had usually read the book for the year before Christmas and was bored then…)

Needless to say I dropped out of school at the age of fifteen. I tried other schools and different apprenticeships but nothing really attracted me. (Tough I learned a shitload of really important things). At this time I met a guy living in a farm in Carinthia with his family who had travelled india. I was very impressed – mostly by his clear eyes. At this time it was not so much of a problem to make some money and I was still living at home! That has been my first decision to travel to india.

Even though it was not so much of a problem to make money then it took time so my first journey was to become a short one. I just wanted two weeks of and grabbed a last minute ticket which had been pretty cheap then. Teneriffa it said and La Gomera I decided. And what a perfect first trip it was! I had a room for the first three days and then slept on the beach feeding a dog who would warn me when police was looking for people who sleep on the beach each evening. Later I moved to a little bay a stonecast away from valley Gran Rey but only to be reached when the tide was low. There were caves and a crazy old guy – I loved it!

When I came back I soon met Dagmar – my first girlfriend. I really love her but unfortunately she is not into travelling at all. She broke up with me 10 years later, I really needed some time off again, and I remembered about India. Fortunately I had finished university by that time and time was rather an issue than money. It must have been November 2007, when I met another girl who asked me if I want to come to India with her in two weeks. Why not, I replied and two weeks later we met at the check in counter at Vienna airport. Vienna to Mumbai via London is quite a detour but the flight from London to Mumbai was overbooked anyway – at least the economy section of it! We traveled first class!

So I was in India for the first time of my life, well Goa actually – but a nice arrival zone to India at least. By that time in my life I had given up hope for humanity. I had accepted that we are are all cursed to run after a carrot we would never get and most important to always feel unhappy! In Austria, where I come from I see too many people obviously having all you can get (for money) still being totally unhappy AND still continuing what they are doing!

In India I suddenly met a billion of people who have nothing but…. nothing but a smile in their face! I immediately fell in love with this country! Having five weeks only I wanted to leave Goa and explore the country, see it in all its beauty and stunningness (word correct doesn’t know India obviously)!
Within 5 weeks and by public transport I went the route: Anjuna – Hampi – Hyderabad- Vijayawada – Puri – Bandhavgarh – Agra – Pushkar – Rishikesh – Delhi (!!) (to see it on a map click here)

More than 4500km by train and some of them by bus. Given the average speed of an indian train at 30km/h at that time (not joking) I spent one of the five weeks on trains!

Of course I had not seen enough, I had made amazing experiences and for the first time in my life it felt real. I was depending on myself responsible for myself – nobody to blame for nothing! (The girl I had come with stood in Goa most of the time)

At my second visit to India one year later I met Lina from Sweden. I was in love like never before, and she too. We spent an incredible year together and I still have feelings for her like for the first flower I see in spring.

Our relationship ended one year later in India again. I extended my stay and went straight away to a yoga ashram in Pushkar where I stood the months to come. I bought “Om Tat Sat”, my third love – a 1982 model 350cc Royal Enfield Bullet! Soon it was redesigned and on the road and it was to become and amazing trip – my first overland trip on my own wheels by the way. I simply loved it. You will find it documented on my youtube channel looking up the videos titled “Gods own country on gods own bike”. The map of this trip you can find here and here (not possible to put too many places in one routing)

When I flew home after that extended stay the sky was clear, I had a window seat and I am pretty sure there is still a cast of my face on that window. I wanted to see all of this close up – on the road! One of the last times I talked with Lina I told her about the idea going to India by car. “Impossible” she said to me – the Capricorn.

This Blog I started for my mother to let her know I am fine. Let’s all send her best wishes, she is at the hospital at the moment recovering from a knee surgery.

I know there are loads of mistakes in the blog, sometimes even sentences without an end. Please be aware that I am writing this while travelling, mostly in the evening after a wonderful exhausting day. Sometimes I fall asleep while writing but, and I am sorry for this, I never read it a second time. Simply because there are better things to do at that moment. I know its shit and I am sometimes ashamed of myself when I read what I wrote years after. So please keep this in mind and show mercy.

By now travelling has given me a seemingly infinite lot of joy, amazing friends and stunning experiences, beautiful relations, incredible Visions – moments of pure happiness and bliss…
Now go and get a ticket! (I got mine and I’d love to meet you on the road!)

Lebanon VII Back at home

November 21. 2015

Our last day in Lebanon I want to spend shanty. After we have breakfast I shoot firearms for the first time in my life. Unfortunately I am not even able to hurt a tin on the field. Either I can’t hear nothing for nearly half an hour after – a terrible experience all together – but still funny enough! Later we visit friends and I go to the barber. I need a new passport so I want to look harmless on the picture I will have to take on Monday. I figured out many people here cant read our letters so all they can verify in my passport are visa from Pakistan, Iran and so on….

We do the rather dangerous road to Beirut (along the Syrian border) in the middle of the night as I want to spend as much time as possible with Ali. Our farewell comes out pretty emotional for me then so at the end I just jump in the car and we go. Not without promising to come back soon! I really started to love Lebanon! It’s a country for experienced travelers – you should know what to expect and at least speak a few words in French. If you are though enough you will experience incredible hospitality in the Muslim parts and loads of great people too in the Christian ones. Even though many people told me there is no difference I felt like Lebanon is divided in the Muslim and the Christian part – at least in rural areas.

Even though Lebanon is incredibly tiny I have the feeling I have only seen a small part of the country. Even though I was there only a little more than a week I made friends for a life time.

The way to Beirut was no Problem at night. Again we were searched pretty though at a military checkpoint which made us a little nervous after yesterdays experience. But at the end all went fine. Toms plane was earlier than mine so after dropping him at the airport I got a coffee on the road towards Beirut. By chance I met a friend of Ali there and again I was invited – what a great farewell from Lebanon!

I am back in Austria now – but not for long! I will start my next journey well before christmas Inshallah!

Ali and I in the living room drinking tea