I just landed in Istanbul. I walked down the same hallway and used the same passport control as I did after I left the first time a plane to start this journey. And here I am nearly 5 months later - can't stop smiling and laughing about myself. How nervous I was, when I was here 5 months ago ...and now the Turkish language, the Hijab, the toilets - all that seems so familiar. I feel like hugging the Turkish guy with a moustache and his women in a burka, if they would know how much they actually look already like home to me, even though I felt 5 months ago they look so different.
This is different? That really makes me laugh. I feel so home and so much back in my comfort zone already here in Europe.
It is stunning what happened to me in the last months:
I hitch hiked half of this country Turkey, I ran from dogs, I was on the best diet ever, I was drunk in Georgia the moment I crossed the border, I went skiing in the Caucasus, hitch hiked through Armenia with a 20 tones Truck above the highest mountains I have ever been to, trying on the few Russian words I had, but learning so much more about their history, I went into Iran walking a windy narrow valley between mountains who could not more impressively represent the black box Iran was to me until then, I lost my fear about their government, about the hijab and covering from women in general, I saw the first time a desert and got to know it with all of its impacts when I drove the bus of my friends into the soft sand just before sunset, navigating along the stars back to the village, getting lost in this sea of sand, I learned riding the motorcycle in hijab and flip flops, and spoke my first Fasi words and wrote the best Arabic I was able to and most important of all, I spoke to the most inspiring people and I made real good friends, I went to India, enjoyed beaches in bikini again and noticed for the first time the main difference between traveling and holiday, I continued traveling without a man at my side and had a holiday with my girlfriends from Norway instead, and then, in the very end, even travelled alone, I made Indian friends, visited the Dahravi the biggest slum of Asia in Mumbai and learned much about the people and the industries there, I can not be prouder than calling Sunil my friend, as someone who widens my perspective on this world by every word he speaks to me, being born and raised in Dharavi, I discovered Imran and his great idea of founding a brand for the Daharvi leather industry itself and producing high quality leather goods. I learned so much from every single person and moment I experienced during this trip and it all started here, five months ago, when I met Alper and Beste, who told me and Max, go to the places not everyone goes to, you want to see how it really is. Speak to people you are afraid of and trust them. That was the very first and most importantly advise, which we followed until the end.
Nothing I did is worth anything without the people I met. I feel like a transmitter, breaking the stereotypes of this group of white, capital-wise and passport-wise privileged, European people, I have to count myself into.
I was afraid, because I was raised in a surrounding full of ideas, that now been proven wrong to me.
It is just march in Europe and I am back. When I look back on what happened it feels like I lived 15 years in five months. It's like every moment and person has written a page in the book of my life. And I have to thank everyone who was part of this.
I am sitting in the plane home now. Just a couple of minutes until I am landing. The plane is so much more quiet than any transportation I have taken in a long time. There are many people with laptops being busy with their work and annoyed by any mistake the crew might make, even when it is just "being too friendly" one just claimed behind me. Most of these people are Germans. I laugh a little. I feel like I want to hug them knowing, how much they would hate it. But those are the first Germans I meet again since I left. Now coming back to my own culture, after looking at so many other cultures, I can see more clearly the habits and impacts of my own culture and society.
Just one out of many other problems is the lack of happiness in Germany. We are used to suffer and we are proud of it. Second World War and German working mentality brought us where we are now, probably at the peak of these golden times in Germany we live in now.
It is up to the individual to find his or her own happiness, what ever that might be.
I personally found my inner peace, which is something very strong and quiet, which whiles now in my head and in my hart. Technics keeping that peace upright I learned with Yoga in India, but I know that I would have never opened myself up so much for it, if I wouldn't have travelled Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Iran before. I freed myself from the feelings of guilt for the life I am living, a life I was born into.
Most of my life I felt an enormous pressure to take responsibility for what I am born into. Now I traveled and I have seen people who suffer from governments, history, stereotypes, violence and poverty. But most of them see the things as simply they are. You were born and you die. There is no difference in that for any life on this planet. And if you are able to see life as something that unites us, then you will be able to respect any life on this planet and you will find your peace with life going on in many various ways, but always with birth and death.
To me it was important to see and to talk to people I felt responsible for. Like mostly people in the fashion industry, who make clothes which I buy.
They laughed at me and said "Why do you care?" - the poverty in the slums is as much my fault as much it is the fault of the kids living in the slums. One got lucky with this another one got lucky with that. This takes away pressure, but it is not what it is about. It is not about what we are born as, it is about what we are born into and what we make out of it. And by making I mean nothing else than maybe sitting silent and finding your own happiness. But most importantly is never to close your eyes when faith is happening right in front of you.
All of us are born in an imperfect world, into unfair systems, governments and economies - it's an inner feeling what thrills us and let us know when it is time to step out of the existing system and to stand up for a change. To me this means it is clearly time for a Fashion Revolution.
And it is not just me. It is you in the "first world" and it is you in the "second" and "third world". We all have a voice, an optinion and thanks to the internet we all have the possibility to put ourselfs out there. (Also to be mentioned, thanks to people like Annonymos and Co.)
The world just got better and better by time. And this is because of induviduals who steped out of their system and made it a better place. Max used to say: "Instead of forcing everyone to spent one year in the army one should force everyone spending one year travelling" I think he is very right - we should get to know the world we are live in instead of fighting it.
To me this just means I will do my personally best to keep my promises upright and work for an Fashion Revolution I belive in. And this is all about it already. This is my secret for inner peace and why I can feel happiness now to be home - I found a way to work around that sick system and the perfect world I was born into. I can't make "the change" but I can be part of "a change".