‘Be afraid and do it anyway‘ – it’s been on my Facebook page for a while. Not in any sense was I afraid of humans, animals, accidents, or anything else really. The only thing that frightened me big time was: reaching Vladivostok. Countless people asked me the ‘what if … ?’ questions: what if you get in trouble, get lost, get an accident, get robbed, raped, killed three times in a row and whatever else that’s highly unlikely to happen in my perception.
But I too had one ‘what if …?’ : what if I indeed reach Vladivostok … then what?
It’s been in my mind since years and years! Anyone who knows me a little, has heard me saying ‘I want to go to Vladivostok’.
What if I’ve been there and done that? Then what?
But I did it – despite my fear. Now there’s life before, and life after Vladivostok: there’s a great change coming up!
Coast to coast … to coast
Riding my motorbike from Vlissingen in Holland, to Vladivostok in Russia – from coast to coast – that was the idea. And nothing more than that: just an idea. In fact I just wanted to travel and live on my motorbike for as long as it’d feel right. Where and how and when were questions I refused to answer; I was traveling free and independent – from others and from a plan. ‘Whenever I come across a place where I want to stay, I’ll stay’ was my answer when people asked me how long I intended to continue.
That place – a little piece of paradise – indeed crossed my path, rather unexpected.
To cut a long story short: although Vladivostok has never been a final destination, it turned out to be a turning point. My journey will continue for approximately another 15.000 kilometers: coast to coast … to coast indeed. The Asturian coast in Northern Spain is where I’m headed next. A beautiful half hour’ drive from the Cantabrian Sea (Gulf of Biscay) up in mountains, there’s a secluded off-grid mountain cabin waiting for me (and Harry) to come home.
Almost exactly on the day that I’m turning my compass in Vladivostok – heading west instead of east from now on – I’d become the lucky owner of this pure and peaceful place in the middle of a protected nature area Sierra de Penamayor. It offers me a home base but doesn’t take away my freedom. I can live my life as I’ve always pictured it: living off my own land as much as possible, following the rhythm of nature; appreciating and taking care of the precious surroundings. This place doesn’t put me on a mortgage chain which allows me to come and go as I like – and so do others who wish to escape the hectic and pressure of nowadays’ society.
A great big THANKS to my brother Abbe for his logistic support getting it all organised!
So yes: I found Vladivostok. The city sign – with my sticker on it – may be here, but ‘my’ Vladivostok is where few of us expected it to be!