I recently stopped off in a small town in the Garden Route called George. Although buzzing with activity I noticed a guy sitting at the traffic light. Clearly homeless and dressed in rags, I found it strange that he wasn’t begging. No hand held out, no hassling passers-by. He simply looked content with staring around. Obviously I was too intrigued and had to stop for a lunchtime chat… I grabbed two delicious quiches from ‘The Bench’ and headed over.
His name was ‘Jochanan’ – which is Hebrew for John. He was from Cape Town originally but, at the time, have been on the harbor-less and road for more than 3 years. He seemed content and very happy. A deeply religious man, he believed and trusted in his form of a greater power and that he will be provided for (And he had some incredible stories to back it up!)
I in-turn believed every word he struggled to get out as he had not spoken for some time.
He slowly told me amazing stories in the space of two hours of his extensive travels. From getting a lift over a flooding river in Transkei (East Coast) with an army helicopter to being chased by baboons in close to the town of Outdshoorn.
But what I will remember first and foremost (besides his heartfelt gratitude), was the worry-less, free feeling I got from him. He expressed no worry or hatred for his circumstances. Only gratitude.
He only had his orange bicycle (a gift), his ragged clothes, an old wireless radio, a plastic tube with the most mind blowing 3rd-person-perspective sketches of himself and his adventures and… the ultimate freedom.
He admitted the price he had to pay. Lost life, wife, children, friends etc. But he had no regrets. He had a calling to which he listened. And off he went!
Freedom. What a beautiful yet daunting mistress indeed.
Now YOU don’t need to lose your life for freedom (maybe just quit your job if it’s anything but incredible!), you simply need to hit the road Jack!!
Get up, pack your bags OR NOT, buy the ticket and take ride!
And hopefully we’ll see you soon on some of the most freedom inducing road trips you CAN’T imagine.