07 September, 2012

Day 65, 0km: Going to France


First of all I’d like to re-assure you all that I haven’t been kidnapped by Columbian revolutionaries somewhere in the jungle. I’m still free and kicking. The past few days were spent in Bogota, Colombia with Amelie and Daniel who I salute and thank again. Great to be with friends again.

Drole de jour que ce 7 Septembre.

I’m now on my way to France, which as you’ll guess isn’t exactly the closest route to get to Argentina. I have received some family news, not the good kind. So the next week will be spent in France before coming back to Bogota. These kinds of moments are never fun and now it’s kind of a surreal break, after the past two months spent on the road. Flying from Bogota to Toronto where I’ll connect to Paris, I’m roughly coming back to my starting point.

It took me 1440 hours to get from Vancouver to Bogota, and I’m now coming back to Canada in just 6 hours. I still can’t wrap my mind around that idea. Really makes me realize how incredibly fast modern travel is. As we’re zooming at 900kmph somewhere over north-eastern USA I realize how incredibly lucky I am to live in this day and age, an age where one can receive almost instantaneously news from around the world and be there the next day.

Surely enough though, people will one day have even better means of travel and will look back at the idea of travelling at 900kmph with amused pity. Very much like we do when reading Stevenson’s amazement at the idea of catching a train to go back in a single day where he left 2 weeks before with his donkey. And I’m sure there’ll be another order of magnitude separating us and future means of travel. I hope I’ll be lucky enough to see them in my lifetime.

As people leave us, one can only be in awe at the tremendous amount of progress that we witness in a lifetime. Things go so fast that these unwanted milestones help us stop for a few minutes, look back and realize the distance we’ve travelled. Now more than ever I realize this distance, literally first as I’m rewinding the past two months at 240x speed. Figuratively then as people leaving us now were born in a world vastly different, a world where life went at another pace.

We’re lucky and have to rejoice; doubly lucky as the marvels of modernity are only available to a selected few. And there are no rules for this selection, at all. It makes me think about that man from Salvador I met in Guatemala. He left his parents at 16 with no intention, nor means to see them ever again. He too lives in a vastly different world, albeit a contemporary one.

So that’s with a bitter mix of sadness, awe and gratefulness that I’m coming back to France for a week. I’ll continue the updates once I’m back in Bogota for the second half of my trip. ETA September 17.

Cheers,
Guillaume

6 comments:

  1. Guillaume, I'm sorry to hear that you've had to interrupt your trip, but family always comes first. Your outlook in the face of tragedy is inspiring, and wonderful that you have the means to curtail your plans to return home under the circumstances. While I look forward to further updates on your adventure, I do so patiently and wish you the best of luck in France.

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  2. Moi je ne suis pas sûr qu'on gagne sur tous les plans avec le gain de temps pour les voyages et la facilité des moyens de communications. C'est pas nouveau ce que je vais dire, mais je trouve que ça réduit la taille du monde et que ça uniformise les cultures. Tu l'as dit toi-même de nombreuses capitales se ressemblent, régulièrement tu as l'impression d'être à Bangkok. Pourquoi ce serait différent avec les gens? Alors pour l'instant si on voit les choses avec nuance on peut distinguer des différences, mais elles semblent de plus en plus étriquées.
    Facebook, skype, internet etc c'est très bien, mais on reçoit tous les mêmes informations aux mêmes moments. C'est peut être un risque de diminuer le nombre des points de vue différents, non?
    Et puis je trouve ça triste de penser que le monde puisse être traversé en un jour, même sans rien en voir.
    Après je suis peut être caïnophobe..

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  3. Really sorry about your family emergency. And yes as Oliver said family does come first and glad you can get back to France to be with them. Take care of yourself and look forward to hearing and seeing what you do next.

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    1. Thanks for your wishes girls, now back on the road!

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  4. Allo??? Ils sont ou les nouveaux articles? C est pas qu on s ennuie mais on aimerait bien avoir un peu de lecture pendant les pauses!! Bisous!!!
    Aline

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