"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."
I have had this Marcel Proust's quote in my mind since the beginning of my trip.
I love watching new landscapes, I'm currently in New Zeeland and it makes me really happy to realize that the "Lord of Rings" scenery exists for real. It is really beautiful.
But what is actually changing my way of thinking is not about nature, it is about humanity.
It is maybe the holiest city in India. If you stay a few days in Varanasi, you will realize how spirituality can change people's lives. Most of the time, Indians come to Varanasi to die. Hindus believe in reincarnation. This is one of the reasons they can endure their life in misery, because they think that a better life is waiting for them after death.
In Varanasi, the tradition is to burn the body and put ashes in the Ganga in order to stop the reincarnation cycle and gain access directly to "Nirvana". You can go to the "burning ghat" and see hundreds of human bodies burning, kids throwing the burnt to ashes body of their father in the holy river where other Indians purify themselves.
You will definitely ask yourself a lot about spirituality. In general, I think that travelling in India will definitely change your point of view about a lot of things.
You will be able to compare your needs with Indians needs. For a lot of them, the only one purpose in life is to find solutions to survive.
After 1 month in India, I was so happy to leave this "crazy country" and thought that I would never come back.
6 month later, I realize how much I learned from this journey and I really encourage you to go.
People either love it or hate it, but never come back unchanged.
Flores is an Island in the East of Indonesia. It is where I have seen the nicest people so far.
Giving and receiving smiles is so important for me. I deeply believe in the power of the smile. My theory is that smiling is like an exchange of good energy. When you smile you give to yourself and to others good energy. You can change feelings with it. Try to think about something funny and smile in a mirror when you are in a bad mood. You will see that your feeling will automatically change.
This is why I love Flores and Indonesia.
The sincere people's smiles give you this energy which makes you realize that happiness can be simple.
They remind me everyday how a human being can be nice and pure.
Also, Flores is one of the most beautiful islands I've ever seen.
The middle-east's capital has definitely a lot of things to teach you.
According to travelers, Dubai doesn't deserve more than 3 days to visit. But I really wanted to experience the lifestyle, so I decided to stay 3 weeks.
What can you do in Dubai in 3 weeks? I haven't skied in the famous Mall of Emirates, I haven't been to the top of the Burj Khalifa, but I have learned a lot.
Trying to understand the Culture and the lifestyle was my main focus.
You can go to jail if you kiss a girl in the street but most of the locals are polygamists.
And Dubai is also the place which has the biggest population of prostitutes in the world!
As westerners, we have no other option than to open our minds, it is really hard to understand these kind of paradoxes.
They have the Biggest tower in the world, the biggest Mall in the world, the only 7 star hotel in the world and so many luxurious cars. I think that the word "limit" doesn't have the same meaning after spending time in the central business district.
Close to here, there is the "old Dubai" where you'll realize that they also have a lot of history and a lot of poor people.
UAE was the first stop of my world tour and it has been really helpful.
I started thinking "Ok you are not in France anymore, this is the reality here. You have to deal with it"
To finish, here is maybe the most important thing I have learnt in Dubai.
Unfortunately, Islam is a religion which makes people think about terrorism.
But I think that Islam is also a religion which makes people really kind and spiritual.
I'm talking again about spirituality because I can realize now, that Western countries miss it.
By the way, I'm not afraid anymore when I see a Muslim with a beard on my plane, I'm just happy to try to talk to him and improve my Arabic.