When I run, I feel free.
When I run, my mind randomly wanders through a maze of memories. On that unpredictable road my mind takes me, I experience flashes of past experiences. They make me smile. I also enjoy the landscape around me and I am able to leave all my worries behind.
Actually, running is like traveling. When you travel, you move in a flow of hapiness where new memories are created. Amazed by stunning landscapes, great food and new discoveries you forget about your daily worries.
But that joy of running, the wandering off of the mind can be disrupted by sudden pain. My sore knee or foot disturb my running process. Every next step hurts. Sometimes the pain goes away quickly, sometimes it stays to leave a footprint.
Running is like traveling. Just when you are in such a happy travel flow, you litterally trip over a beggar, a cripple, a young boy with scars, a man without legs and sight, or children playing in dirt. It hurts.
Suddenly you are confronted with real life. Poverty. Being a traveler in a strange country does not mean you can hide from seeing poverty, you cannot just make unwanted scenes dissapear. Not even if you travel with your children. If you don’t want your children to see it, sorry to say but Disneyland is a good alternative.
Being confronted with inhumane poverty hurts. Sometimes the pain goes away quickly, sometimes it stays to leave a footprint.
I understand (and I praise myself lucky) to live in luxury, being able to travel our fabulous world. I alone cannot change the poverty situation in a country. When traveling in poorer countries, prepare and accept that poverty is all around. Do what you think is necessary.
In India we saw disabled people in such a way that we were honestly scared to look at them. In Morocco we saw a man with no arms trying to make a living by painting (very beautifully I must say). We had our kids watch his art.
The earth keeps turning and money keeps rolling. Differences between rich and poor are here to stay. When you travel and experience different cultures, you have to deal with the extreme. When we travel we don’t avoid it, even not when we travel with our kids. Sometimes we ignore, other times we talk about it. I hope it will show our kids how good a life we are living, once we return home safely, far away from the hurting.
All pictures by Emiel van den Boomen