Traveling by Bicycle Gives Direct Contact with People

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

An article by Stip & F

After eight years of professional life in the banking sector in Paris, we decided to travel by bike to discover Europe via Morocco. This means of locomotion has become obvious to us. Economical and practical, it allowed us to travel 17000 km during a year. Meeting peope is all the more facilitated as we are in direct contact with them.


(click on image to see the video)

The same questions come up frequently in all languages: Where are you from? Why are you doing this? Where do you sleep ? Their questions allow to get in touch, to express who we are, without necessarily going through the words, but especially by smiling, and what we hope to make clear: our simplicity.

We went in search of ourselves, especially through meeting people, sharing their stories and experiences. The memory of these exchanges will remain with us forever: a Belgian family who drew our first tears at the time of departure in Spain; the Moroccan couple in the Atlas Mountains who shared everything; the kindness and the big heart of an Italian family in Cremona; the welcome and generosity of a Serbian entrepreneur; a memorable breakfast with two retirees in the middle of Finland …

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(Click here for the original version in French.)

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We also discovered a new kind of fast and intense relationship. People did not hesitate to tell us their life stories. This drove us to compassion and humility in the face of their heartbreaking stories. We listened attentively, comforted and left, maybe sometimes a little too fast … Hoping that peace has returned to their life.

These spontaneous exchanges are a great way to learn about yourself. It was rare that we had any reason to be frightened, and when that happened, it was most often based on limits to our understanding, deeply rooted in ourselves through our education and the messages conveyed by society. This experience has shown us that kindness and generosity are everywhere; you just need to open your eyes. It seems that too often, we do not believe what we see, but we see what we believe. Sometimes in the cafes, a customer pays the bill, the boss offers us a meal, a person offers us a room … Arriving with a positive intention can make a big difference.

Inevitably, some events wore on our nerves, like the rain near Foggia in Italy, which in the end was punctuated by a beautiful evening around a fire. We learned that we must welcome everything, accept it as it is, even that which we might consider negative.

Intuition became our best ally over the days in all situations. It’s about giving more space to our feelings as the best indicator. Being in close contact with the elements, we are immersed in the environment, open to capturing more information. Our senses sharpen, we know instinctively if we must extend a meeting, shorten or change course. Sometimes, we felt that an invitation was too insistent, and we refused it, at the risk of offending someone. We prefer to be in agreement with ourselves rather than compromise.

The difficulties we encountered, whether related to climate, relationships with others, or our own doubts … turn out to be ways for us to grow. Once the discomfort has passed, the field of possibilities gets bigger. This has been a journey to remember who we are, to go beyond the facades built around our ego.

We continue our journey, having become more aware and grateful for all the intentions of life. Above all, we must simply remember: the human being is benevolent by nature.

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