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A Vagabond’s Perception

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I still don’t know many things, but what I know is what I want and I know what I need, so I can recognize the differences between my wants and my needs. I know which things matter most in Life and that the “things” are not truly “things”, that’s why I don’t focus on a big house or a new car but on peace in my soul and Love in my heart instead. I know, that life begins where your comfort zone ends, that’s why I’m not afraid to leave mine. I know, that the only unchangeable thing in Life is change itself, that’s why I don’t fight with what Is, and I take new experiences as a chance to learn and personally grow. I know that every story has to finish at one point, that’s why I keep my eyes open and don’t wait for the end, but live now.

Recently I packed my backpack and with my last savings started hitchhiking, again… And people are wondering why I live how I live, but they still don’t get that, I’m wondering too about, why they live the way they live. ? I’m 25 years old and I don’t have a higher education, I don’t have a “proper” job, I’m not interested in a career, I don’t have a house and I don’t even want to have one. Sounds like a lost soul to you…? Let me ask, who chooses your priorities? Who is the one who says what is important, what is not and how you should live? It’s only you! but, this culture makes most of people believe, that there is only one way to live with certain values to honor. Study, study, study and then get a job, and work, work and work to have enough money to feel safe and buy things which makes you feel happy. And then, when you’ll be old enough to get sick, then you can have little bit of time for yourself before you will pay for your grave. Don’t mistake me please, I Love people and I don’t have the right to judge anyone (except myself), it’s everybody’s choice how he or she wants to spend their own Life. I’m just pointing to a fact, that a free nomadic lifestyle has it’s logic and reasons.

Study? I finished my high school when I was 20 and I’m so happy that I was already awakened enough to understand, that there are many more possibilities than to continue in it. I cannot image that only now, or next year I would finish my studying. And what would I do after? Probably, I would be afraid of the “real” world and not really know what I want from Life because, I would not have other experience except school. There are just so many students who really don’t know what to do after they finish university. So, they just follow this system by getting a job and then, enjoying two to three weeks of holidays a year. No, I say fuck you to this society which says that that is enough! I’m not living the life only to work! I wanna explore, feel and evolve. I don’t need any institution to teach me. The world is my classroom, experiences my practice and other people are my teachers. What does everyone want in life anyway? Is it your career ? Is it that car? What are your dreams? What’s the meaning of your life at all? Whatever your answers are, the true meaning behind all the answers is simply, to be happy and in love. Does this school system teach this? No, you have to live, and I mean truly LIVE your LIFE to find it, find yourself, find the true values. Several years long stereotype at university gives you a paper, that’s all.

During this time, I was working as a driver in Norway, in Sweden, I changed stupid warehouse jobs around the Netherlands, England, Slovakia… I hitchhiked around UK, Germany, France, Spain, Denmark, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Norway,… I was working in Belgium at construction sites, I was working in Denmark and Spain with horses and I was also taking care of a huge truffle plantation… I was working as a volunteer, I was working for good money and I was working also for shitty money. I was working physically and I was also working with a computer… and, I was living in small rooms, in big apartments, in hostels, at a farm, in community, in a van… I slept in squats, on benches, under bridges. I ate expensive food, I ate from a container and I was also begging for money to buy a soup! I saw many roads, I saw deep forests, I was above the rainbows, I saw high mountains and dry desert… And you know what? I was happy, I was sad, I was zealous, I was lonely, I was depressed and I was also in Love. I’m living my life fully and I know why I do it…, when I look back in time, I cannot believe myself how much I have grown in just a few years. I know my values, I know my dreams, my wants and needs and I have already found the peace in my mind and Love in my heart. And that is something that most of people never find their whole life because they never truly lived or simply, they were looking in the wrong direction. I understand, that to understand life you have to experience it and don’t hide yourself in a small bubble.

This world is simply too wonderful to not explore it and life is just too short to live in fear to act, when we feel like we should.

The feeling of safety and certainty began ultimate guidance for our society.

But it is just as I said, it is only a feeling. You got your job, your home, partner, friends or whatever that creates your comfort zone and makes you feel safe. And you are certain. But certain about what? That you got the job forever? That you own the heart of your partner? That you got everything under control? People forgot about one simple principle of this reality, that the change is essential and nothing is forever, not even your Life. You can lose your job, your rent, your partner can meet someone else, your friend can move, you can get sick or have accident and not be able to live the way you lived anymore… These situations are simply happening and we don’t have full control over our life. The life is just how it is, it has its ups and downs and wandering souls understand what it means to accept it, learn from it and flow with it. My comfort zone is really wide now and my bubble already exploded. Because I know that, the feeling of certainty and safety is simply fake illusion. I don’t wanna feel certain anyway. What a boring life it would be…!? On the one hand, people want to feel save and certain especially about their future, but when it comes, then, there is a fear about losing it. So what is the point? To live in fear? How many people do you know, who are not happy in their relationship, with their job, income, home…? Who say, I would do it but,… but “Big But”. If this, if that, I would do this or that.

The fear to leave your own comfort zone, that is the only problem.

Living in a stereotype for a long period doesn’t bring challenges anymore and it makes life boring. And you can hear it all around you. When life gets too predictable and you literally know what you will do in the next 5 months or even years, a human’s mind starts look for some problems. And it’s very creative in this. I have realized, how much people talk and how little they feel. Because, when everyday is the same, there is the tendency to stop realizing the beauty of little things and the days just pass and pass. Life is change but it’s not about changing your car, your home, job or partners. Change comes first from inside of us and I believe especially in our young age. But, we are learning and growing our whole life anyway, and what you believe today, after some experience you might not believe tomorrow. That’s why living in some stereotype for a long period, is simply not natural. Because as we grow inside, we should also act outside and be ready for change if we feel it.

The more you travel, the longer you live.

When you live the same way for a long period, you remember only one day because everyday is almost the same. The more you are open for change, the more experiences and memories you get in a shorter period of time. I remember, when I was on one long road trip with a friend, it happened a few times, that we ended up laughing because we could not remember where we parked our van just the previous day. ? Time is a subjective feeling and traveling teaches you to live in presence. I believe, that the more you focus on time the faster you get older in spirit and in your body as well. A few years ago, when I was in Spain and one friend asked me how old I am, I could not answer immediately. I said some number and the discussion between her and another friend continued. But I was still thinking about my age because I wasn’t sure if I said it right. So I looked at the calendar on my phone, and I realized that while i thought it was 2013, it was 2014 already. And the best thing is, that it was July. I had simply lost the mental feeling of time. I don’t focus on special days of the year, Christmas, new year, or any kind of holidays. I don’t care about celebrating even my own birthday. Why? Because every day can be the last. Every day there is the Sun in the sky, every day I breathe and my heart beats. I don’t feel any reason to make some day more special than another.

“But what do you wanna do in your future?”

Yes, I get this question often. I don’t ask myself this anymore. Yes, I have my ideals, dreams and intentions which I focus on. And of course, there are practical situations in life which I have to think about, get over and just do. Like earning money for example. But what do I spend my money for? For freedom to not work and travel – I save and I make long holidays. Because I know, that experience makes me richer than the new material thing. I have learned how very few things we truly need in Life. Don’t mix up your wants with your needs! We need food, clothes and a home to stay warm. That’s it. Everything else is just luxury. The question, “do I need this” always comes in first place. The answer is usually no. Luckily, I don’t have to ask myself this very often because I simply know, that I don’t need much stuff in my life and I don’t even want it. The less stuff I own, the more free I am. The biggest thing I own, is an old VW bus and I have learned that it is big enough to live in in comfort for two people. So why should I want more? I like to keep my life simple.

Don’t build a prison full of unnecessary stuff around you. I have met one girl – a young, healthy, free and pretty girl. When I told her some of my stories, she told me, “I would love to go and travel as well but, I love my books. I have a lot of books in my apartment and I would feel sorry to leave them…”.

I asked her, “so do you own the books or the books owns you?”

So, material fortune is not very high on my “dream list” because, I simply know, that happiness or love is not there. So what do I want, when I cannot explain it by describing it’s shape? It’s exactly what material things cannot give you – to be happy and in love. Nothing else matters more than this. Or does it ? Do you want to be rich? Why? I promise you that you can have millions, a big yacht in Saint Tropez, a mansion in Monaco and still feel sad and in fear! Having certain things around you doesn’t guarantee you will feel happy and in love. What’s the point then? I’m going the opposite direction. From inside out because,

I know, that nobody and nothing in the whole universe can make me feel in love and happy, I have to find what it is and what it means inside of me and by myself.

Facing your fears is the key and the true life outside of your comfort zone is the practice.

People forget to look inside themselves. We are so trapped in the outside world not really knowing our own mentality and spirit. We believe so much, that when we “know” what we want (in most of cases it’s thinking what we want) and we are able to describe it in details like, „I want to have this job and to live in apartment in that city. I wanna have one dog and two kids with my partner and so on…“,and when we have it, then we’re going to be happy forever. But sometimes, the feeling of happiness simply doesn’t come, or comes for just a for certain period of time. I believe that we should work on our feelings first. When someone asks me what I want from my life and the future, I cannot explain it in details of the possible surrounding or situations. Yes, I know what I enjoy and what not, I know which surroundings I prefer more than others, I know which social situations and which kind of relationships I enjoy more and so on…That’s it. But I don’t know, where life will bring me next time and for how long. What I know for sure is, the feelings which I want to be experiencing and the life is taking shape on it’s way as I follow it. I don’t press my own intuition and I listen to myself. I don’t fight with life.

Making strict plans in your head and living in some stereotype for years even if it doesn’t suit your spirit anymore, that is fighting with life! Yes, life brings challenges and sometimes it is good to hold on, when you know why you do what you do and that it’s worth to wait for the price even if the presence might not feel totally enjoyable. But that’s part of it, and it is only up to my perspective, what I take from another lesson and up to my awareness and ability to listen to my own subjective experience, how I’m going to act. For example, one of my biggest challenges in life was getting and converting my van. I bought the van from my last savings. It took me so much energy, time and money to build it. The van was standing half a year in a garden, until I finally got the money to start working on it. It wasn’t an easy journey, I traveled to the west to earn better money, but then I lost a few jobs, then I got something else and I was working very hard but, I didn’t get paid my wage at the end… But I kept going because I knew what I was working for and in the end, I got my dream van which makes me more independent. If I get a chance to think about my life one minute before I will die, one of my ideas would be like…,

“Have I lived my life or a life based on the expectations of my surroundings and society? “ Traveling is best for finding an answer to this question. Because, anywhere you go, you are always a new person and most of the time, you are nobody to everybody else. This can literally kill your ego. And that is a good lesson to simply understand, that it doesn’t matter very much what other people think. But don’t take it in a wrong or arrogant way of an “I don’t care” attitude. It’s more about, realizing, that nobody is responsible for your own life except yourself, so it doesn’t really matter what other people say. Listen with respect, be polite and keep your mind open to get advice if you need it, but it’s your choice at the end.

You are the only one who you spend your whole life with. Your dreams, desires, memories from past, your thoughts, fears, emotions, your believes, your love, your hate and your own mind-fucks…This is all, always with you and it doesn’t matter what you do, where you are and with who you are.

“Go with the Flow“

Attachments, expectations, fight, and prejudices are forbidden.

Freedom, desires, acceptance and an open heart is required.

The whole life is a reflection of your attention.

Flow and Life will teach and show – that is the vagabond’s perception.

Traveling, which means trying new things and interacting with different people in different places is one of the fastest and most intensive way for self-development – shaping your personality and realizing what’s important in life – finding your values. It’s because it’s REAL ! – No dogmas are needed to live.

Subjective or objective – it’s all connected and the more you interact with the world, the more you learn about it but also about yourself. From the beginning of my after-school life, traveling meant for me only something like lifestyle, it was simply curiosity which guided me and I never thought that it would teach me so much, that it would give me such strong feedback and that my values would go in this direction. Now, it’s still about curiosity, freedom, joy and fun, but I also see the great benefit of personal growth. I am absolutely sure, that if I got stuck at the first job which I got in the first town I lived, and stayed connected with the same group of people I was meeting, I would never be able to see life the way I see it today. Many older people told me that, “…if I were young I would do the same as you”. But they were young and they didn’t do it. Because of their fear? Or their material fortune and attachments ? I don’t know why, everybody has their own life with their own story to tell, but what I know for sure is, that you cannot return time!

Live your life as you like, but don’t end up regretting it in future – that you didn’t do what you felt like when you were young and free with all possibilities in front of you. (but be also aware that it’s never too late)

I’m just another you with my own need for peace and Love. Floating with life and experiencing it practically is my way. It’s not about running away from something and it’s not about rushing for something either. It’s about enjoying the journey of life with all included.

I wish everyone on this planet to find their own way to happiness. Because, happy individuals mean happier families, happier families mean happier society and happier society means peace.

If you don’t like your current life situation for whatever reason, you have three options: stay unhappy, change your perspective and find the positive side or you can change it. Kick your ego, face your fear, leave your comfort zone and live.

Keep your eyes and heart open, and you will get to know what magic truly means when you flow.


Oto Kern (European Union)

Oto has grown up in Slovakia but he is considering himself as being world citizen. He is post-materialist seeing benefits of keeping life simple as well being aware of lower impact on our nature by implementing such a values into daily life. He lives and travel in a van.

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