This journey began exactly on the 23rd August at 13 20. It was then that a little grey-eyed little girl came into this world, whose name had long been that of Mother Earth: Gaja. I remember that first night in the hospital when I realised that a few hours earlier the most important journey of my life had begun. That it was then that I stepped foot on the side of the road with my little girl for the first time, and raised my thumb for us to hitchhike together. And that I don’t know who will stop to take us with them. That I don’t know where we will sleep tonight, where we will arrive or what adventures we will experience together. The one thing that I knew was that the two of us have set off on the road ahead-the road of life.
Sometimes people ask us; ‘Where are you going? What is the aim of your journey?’
We don’t have one particular aim. The road is our aim. Every day and every moment is our aim. Where we end up, that is where we are. We travel without haste, stopping for longer in places that we like. We stay in places for a bit of time, we make friends with people, and they become a part of our lives for a moment, forever remaining part of our memories.
This journey also has a vertical dimension. This is a journey within myself, confronting my fears, my limits and experiencing happiness, which sometimes bursts like a geyser. This is a journey full of countless tests of patience, of courage and of common sense. It’s a journey where I am constantly learning how to ask for help, learning how to accept people’s generosity and learning how to give. It’s also about learning how to improvise, and learning how to be grateful for everything; for the goodness in others, for the bright blue sky, even for the odd elastic band that we find, which ends up being of some kind of use for us. It’s a constant lesson of acceptance of everything that comes our way as well as sometimes quite difficult lessons of trust. It’s learning how to trust myself, my child, other people and the world around us. It’s a discovery of the fact that life is right here, and right now.
This journey is my journey to my daughter Gaja. I’m learning how to be a mother on the road. I’m here for my daughter every minute of the day, giving her space to explore the world on her own at the same time. I am building our relationship from the very basics, trying to teach her how to love in every single dimension love takes the form of. At the same time I am mending my own heart and soul, hoping that when life sends trials and challenges her way, she won’t fall down as hard as I did, because she’ll have one other source of strength-her mom; me. That’s why this journey is also for her. For her, because I am certain that in order to give your child peace, happiness and love as a mother, you need to have that same happiness, love and peace within yourself. So this journey is also very much a journey within myself. Both the time and the distance we’ve travelled as well as the 20kg of my backpack carried have now made it easier to wake up in the mornings, to breathe easier and to laugh with my child with true, genuine happiness. It’s made it easier for me to look at the world around me with wonder, discovering new horizons ahead.
This blog originally began as Facebook posts written for my close friends, but I would very much like for it to be a source of support for everyone who may be going through a dark period in their lives, who may be experiencing emotional pain or loneliness. Particularly, I’m aiming this blog at single parents, who for whatever reason are accompanying their children alone on this road that is life. I can only hope that my bits of writing help you in some way on the everyday journey towards the light.
Because we too, are somos solo dos.
My name is Asia, I am a trained physiotherapist and out of passion I am also a traveller, a writer, a photographer, a skier (and skiing instructor) as well as a lymphatic obstruction therapist. Before I set off on my travels, I worked as a lecturer at the Academy of Physical Education in Krakow, the Malopolska Higher Vocational School as well as the Cracow School of Massage for the Blind in Krakow. I also worked with Fachklinik für Lymphologie in St. Blasien, Germany, where under the careful tutelage of experts I developed my knowledge and experience of techniques reducing lymphatic obstruction. I also authored and taught vocational training courses aimed at massage therapists and physiotherapists. Further, I provided rehabilitation for patients suffering from primary and secondary lymphatic obstruction (to those reading that may be in need, I am able to help!).
I’ve always dreamed of wandering around the world, but for a very long time I never had the courage. I went on my first trips after finishing university, initially travelling as couple with my then boyfriend, and later by myself. I explored countries in Europe, as well as Morocco, Georgia, Turkey, Armenia, Ukraine, Russia, Peru, always travelling on a budget, mainly hitch-hiking, with a tent and always close to locals.
These travelling experiences allowed me to gain the courage to realise the second biggest dream of my life. On May 6th 2014, I set off to South America with my then 21 month old daughter on a journey into the world that is still ongoing today.
We travel slowly with the Little One, sometimes stopping to work locally, discovering breath-taking places that are usually not very touristy. When we fall in love with a place – we stay for a little bit longer, we make friends with people and become part of the local community life. After a while we set off again, often with a heavy heart as we usually have a feeling that we will never again see some of the wonderful, kind hearted people we have met. We travel on a budget of 6 USD per day per person, and as a result we travel using the cheapest available modes of transportation. We hitch-hike and use Couchsurfing, experiencing fantastic adventures and a wide range of emotions, which make it so very worth it to be constantly venturing past our comfort zones.
We would be very thrilled if you decide to follow us on our travels!
Translated by Natalia Dębowski
Natalia – thank you!
Vanilla Island [14.12.2015] – Single mom travel
Miles away [14.09.2016] – Mary Zakheim: From behind the Iron Curtain to th top of Choquequirao – How one woman made her travel dreams come true
Los Angeles Talk Radio [26.06.2017] – Ilona Europa: Accent On
(scroll down the page and look for a podcast from 26.06.2017 r.)