« Traveling without learning from the unknown is not traveling, it is moving »
As you may know I came back to France Mars 7 2015 after almost a two and a half years round trip.
During this journey:
- 76 local people hosted me to hear my stories and life experiences
- 83 people took me hitch-hiking
- 12 different jobs
- 350,000 views on Google+
- 4170 photos organized by albums with a short article to put them in the right context (the greatest ones are tagged on the FlickR Map and Yahoo Weather)
- 40 video on YouTube
- 80 GPS tracks you can download and then look at them in 3D on Google Earth
- 125 articles French/English on my Blog
- Five Sponsors
- 3 awards at the contest “Tell your Outdoor Experience” 2013-2014
- 382 pages on a Word document tracking every details and every person I shared this journey with
For all of you it was a real surprise, not to say a devastating choc, when I announced I was returning to France. A few people were already saying, “that’s the end of a dream” about the solo traveler and his small 12kg backpack. Let me tell you what are the reasons of this strategic choice that will lead my future for the next years.
“Movement is the ultimate life principle” Leonardo da Vinci
After 25 months abroad, I flew back to France December 19th 2014. At this moment, I realized what I had left behind me. During these two weeks in France my relatives and friends were happy and curious to see me again in order to listen what I had to answer to their questions.
Leaving them again to pursue my traveling quest in Peru was harder this time than the day I announced my parents I wanted to go to Australia without any return plane ticket.
Fortunately this sensation is familiar to me since I’m 20 by the time I was studying in Bayonne. Hug, backslapping, kiss and I’m gone. After that I looked inwards what dreams I was going to transform to reality in Peru.
However it seems that the burning passion I have towards the mountains isn’t something usual here. In fact, living in the middle of the Peruvians peaks has a cost that a few travelers can allow themselves: we need to acclimatize ourselves to the altitude if we expect going over 4000m. During my trip in Peru I didn’t meet anyone who would like to join for an auto-organized “extreme” adventures. Therefore I lead my expeditions in solo. Even though local people provide me an authentic and memorable inner richness, this isn’t enough to balance with the difficulty felt during a solo adventure in the mountains. Happiness is only real when shared in present.
This emptiness limits how much risk I can take and makes the effort harder since I can’t share the pain I’m feeling with somebody else. Having no partner also reduces the number of activities I can do by myself. Peru is the second poorest country in South America. That means it would be insane going down a river or riding a mountain bike alone because nobody will be able to rescue you for lack of means (and a poor mobile network outside cities). Those activities are only possible if you take part in a group with a guide but you don’t feel as much freedom as when you do it on your own. Therefore I only do some of the nicest trekking routes available in the world (the last one was very dangerous) and after 2 months I got bored doing the same thing.
I don’t appreciate my journey anymore, I need a new goal that provides me inner richness and makes me feel alive. Already in New Zealand I had a strange feeling about the kind of legacy I would like to transmit: developing ergonomic products that allow outdoor sport enthusiasts to access Nature more easily and stay connected to it without parasite gestures that cost time and energy. For several months between June and December I had lost this sight. This one came back while I was walking from Huarin to Baños in Peru when I got into the Cordillera Huayhuash area.
I was thinking about this legacy thing when I felt a strong and warm energy taking birth in my belly before it got released giving me a thrill. It was the first time a was saying loudly and clearly “Well Julien, you must start your own business. There is no other way and you know it”. My ultimate experience in Peru next to the crater of El Misti struck a decisive blow. I realized that traveling this way won’t teach me anything more and I have to move on quickly to use my skills and know-how and financial resources to launch my own business in the Outdoor Sport Industry.
Surprisingly I meet my host’s son when I came back to Arequipa where I left some of my stuff I wouldn’t carry to El Misti. It appears Roy is a international travel agent and this one has plane tickets from Lima to Paris at bargain rates. I have the choice between a one-way flight between Lima and Paris for 1450 Soles or a Return Ticket valid a year for 1600 Soles (about €453 in March). I don’t hesitate one second and got the return flight ticket. Ten days later (including 3 days in The Colca Canyon), I’m back to France.
AmbitionOutdoor: The ultimate Outdoor Sport trademark
Ambition is a burning desire to achieve something. This word symbolizes who I am as well as what animates every outdoor Sport enthusiasts: the search for a project, visualizing it and using your resources and means all together to connect yourself to your natural element, gateway to this fleeting Nirvana.
The meaning of this word is so strong that most people assign it a negative connotation. Nonetheless Outdoor sport enthusiasts are deep and complex people, very sensitive towards environment and life itself. Behind the word AMBITION I see an ephemeral conquest that must be earned, origin of an inner fight that requires all my physical and mental resources during which I suffer, I shake and I scream (yummy!).
Reaching this summit, going over this obstacle, taking a tube, defying gravity, being amazed by this landscape only known by a very few mortals, …this one-second break liberates our soul from our body and its pain. We are disconnected from the world but connected to the whole Universe. Never before we felt so alive. So much suffer to reach this one-second break that releases this indefinable amount of positive energy. This moment is so worth the effort that we are ready to go back in Hell, hoping we will feel this second again and again.
This is how I consider Outdoor Sports. My goal isn’t to make those ones more popular but rather removing the parasite gestures while we’re doing them with the right equipment to keep our mind focused and open new possibilities.