I perfectly remember the moment when I came to terms with the fact that “the adventure” was over. Milano Linate arrivals hall, the chaotic chitchat of hundreds of people that looked so familiar, but, at the same time so different compared to the faces we had come across for months. Me and Isa slowed down and held hands, as if we both needed a moment and the support of each other before plunging back in what we both used to consider “normal life”.
It’s been more than a year since we returned from a 4 months backpack journey in South America.
My tan slowly disappeared, I went back to shaving regularly and using shower gel instead of the small hostel soaps I had washed my body with for months. I slowly got used to comforts such as a comfy mattress and a soft pillow, an electric toothbrush, 4 layered toilet paper, the possibility to pick outfits I completely forgot about… I couldn’t help but thinking that yes, it was cool and it felt nice, but did I feel less happy when I could fit everything I owned in a backpack?
I soon started to miss everything about those 4 months. I missed the road, the language, the hitches, the early risings, making friends in such a spontaneous way, the ocean, the new flavours, the way my brain felt stimulated 24/7, shooting every day, the adrenaline, the places that took my breath away, the sunsets, how grateful I constantly felt.
What we experienced in those 4 months doesn’t only reflect in a series of incredible memories (and in the 50 rolls I shot) but actually shaped the person I currently am. I learned to be braver and more flexible, to take chances, to be less dependent on objects, to feel pure joy for things that I normally would take for granted, to be less superficial and more willing to scratch beyond the surface. Eventually it made me a bit closer to the person I want to be.
And no guys, I don’t want this to be a “once in a lifetime experience”, as many people I spoke to defined it. Because that’s the most alive I’ve ever felt.
Olympus OM-1, Zuiko 50mm f/1.4, Lomochrome Purple 100-400 (35)