(Listen to the music while reading blog post. This time this amazing song from the Into the wild soundtrack was Gergő Varenke’s idea, big thanks! The destination I recommend for you in return: the globe. You seem to feel home everywhere on it.)

Mind the Map blog is about to go on holiday in July.
I am going to Norway.
(Breath in, breath out. My blood pressure rises just when thinking about it.)

Actually all the news is said with these sentences, so this could be the end of the blog post. But I might help somebody sometimes if I tell how exciting is to wait for a big journey and how everything fits finally from the initial complete chaos.

But why the hell Norway?
… I was asked many times and it reminded me of an old TV series, Northern Exposure (the Hungarian title was something like ‘But why the hell Alaska’). It’s about a doctor who are forced to work in ice cold Alaska because had forgotten to read the bottom line in his contract.
Because what do normal people who ask this question think about Norway? It’s a weird place, far far away, not more than 10 degrees even in summer, but at least it’s always raining and on the top of it all, a beer costs about 10 euros (in NOK of course).
And what do I see in it? An adventure that I’ve never had before. A calling that I must obey. Good vibes I feel like following. A chance to explore the beauty of the Lofoten islands. An excuse to show that I am capable of make an old dream come true. A month of silence, far from civilization, inner peace, constant learning. A decision that is so exciting that only the preparation is worth it. A road that I seem to bond to follow.

The final jab
‘Judit, look, I am thinking about getting a tent, going to the North to explore a bit, photographing people and amazing landscapes and collecting experiences. But even if I just think about it, my legs are shaking from fear. What do you think?’
‘My dear Melcsi, to tell you the truth, my legs would be shaking even more. But the difference between us is that my legs would be shaking and that’s it, but your legs are shaking and you’ll go and make it happen.
(OK, we used different (and more dirty) terms for ‘shaking legs’, but the important thing is that sometimes we just need a bit of help to be able to make a scary decision. Thanks Judit!)

What will happen there?
I don’t have the slightest idea. For a while I’ve been trying to live my life with the less possible planning and adjusting myself flexibly to life. This might come from the freedom of my profession, but still it’s a long learning process for somebody who used to plan everything. Now I am capable of going to a one-month journey without planning anything apart from the dates of my plane tickets. What will happen in between, is still blurred like in a ballad.
This is quite frightening at first sight, because we always a bit afraid of the unknown, but when you are in a situation, you solve it, because you have to. And because it’s an adventure. And the special peculiarity of the adventure is that it’s unpredictable. You need to be lost sometimes, fight a bit other times and in the meantime, you need to feel it.
So I’ll grab my camera, stuff a backpack with tent, sleeping bag and other camping gear and leave.
‘I am going to put myself in the way of beauty’ as the girl in the Wild movie says who walked 1100 miles to find her best self again after a personal tragedy. I am fortunate enough not to have a personal tragedy, only some longing for adventures. But going to put myself in the way of beauty with the same enthusiasm.

Clearing up
When the idea of a journey first hits you with experience in nomad lifestyle converging to zero, you can choose between two options: either it’s an insane thing to do (well, let’s say exaggerated self-confidence at least) or an opportunity. I’ve chosen the second. Reni, a Hungarian girl played a big role in this – she writes the Highest, deepest and everything in between blog and she’s one of the toughest women I know. In Singapore she decided to ride a bike back home to Hungary without having experience in cycling. ‘I thought if this calling is for me, the answers will come for sure.’ she wrote and this sentence of her was imprinted in my mind.

You are not alone
And if this is your road to walk on, the answers start to come indeed. I got tons of messages encouraging me and not allowing me to beat a retreat. Zoli who I haven’t seen before, offered me his tent and thanks to Gergő I won’t loose its poles from my hand luggage immediately at Budapest Airport security checkpoint. Barna lends me his sleeping bag, Peti his power bank, Attila his constructive ideas, and Renatas (and many more, sorry for not listing every one of you) some useful advice. Guys seem to be over representing this nomad thing, we women might have more difficulties stepping out of our lives. Anyway, I am so grateful for all the guys for helping me out and for all the girls for standing by me.)
Best of all, Olympus offered me a mirrorless camera travel buddy for my journey, so problem of ‘how-the-hell-should-I-carry-my-extremely-heavy-dslr-on-me’ is also solved. My journey seems to be on the right track, just no need to be over-concerned.

Final thoughts
I know everything will be all right because it seems that I can get every kind of help necessary to make this happen. So soon I’ll be on my way. There won’t be new blog posts on Mind the Map, nor new pics on facebook or instagram. My social life goes on summer holiday as well. And I’m pretty contented with this.
A month of silence is due to come. Symbolic silence also. Silence for the blog, but what’s more important, silence for my always analyzing brain too.
See you in August, have a wonderful summer and don’t forget to switch on the ‘OFF’ button in your head sometimes.

(Photo credit for cover photo: Søren Birkemeyer, all rights reserved)



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