Many people have asked me when I planned to return and why I was doing this. I feel it is time now to answer these questions. Beginning with all the reasons I did not start this trip for: I didn't start traveling around the world to find myself. I know quite well who I am and what I am. Maybe even more importantly, I like who I am. I know there is some room for improvement (mostly on the emotional side), but apart from that I feel I have reached the furthest one can go logically on issues like meaning of life, the universe, and everything :-) (wether this is actually true is irrelevant). Thus I don't need to look for more answers out there. I am also not in search for happiness. You are happy when you are surrounded by your loved ones, so leaving everybody and setting out alone would be rather counter-productive.
There are two reasons I quit everything and started this trip: The first is for excitement and to explore the world. I felt that working in an office and having an eight-to-five job would be boring, and I preferred to have some adventures to tell my grand-children if I'll ever be so lucky as to have any (doesn't look good so far).
The second reason is that I am an angry person. Anger has been the driving force behind most of my achievements for most of my life. I used it (and still use it) to stay focused on a subject. I am angry because the world is not as I would like it to be. I am angry at people for being shallow and obnoxious. I am angry at governments for obvious reasons. I am angry at corporations for being greedy. I am angry because there is pettiness, poverty, climate change, and more. I have dedicated part of my life to fight climate change. But in the words of Sun Tzu, “A good general not only sees the way to victory, he also sees when victory is impossible”. Or as someone else puts it " It's good to see all that's wrong in the world, but you have to accept the fact that you cannot change it". I have realized quite fast that whatever problem one tackles, it is a loosing fight on a global scale. Fighting for a lost cause made me angry. So when I finished my PhD, I saw the path laid out for me in Switzerland: more anger, and finally bitterness. Don't get me wrong, I think sarcasm and cynicism are two of my best traits, I love being that way, and they're partly the result of that situation. But I don't like bitterness. During my previous travels I sometimes felt the anger wash away. So I am not traveling in search of something, but I try to get rid of something inside of me. I am looking for a way to accept the world with it's good and bad qualities, and enjoy the good ones without being dragged down by the bad. This doesn't mean that I will give up the fight, I just don't want it to consume me.
There. I feel really uncomfortable getting this in the open, and I am quite sure I will regret it as soon as it's posted, but since this is a diary, and for the sake of honesty, this belongs in here. Also, I think you, my family and friends in Switzerland (and elsewhere in the world), deserve to know why I left you all. I know I could have said all that before being gone for over a year, but hey, i've never been good at communicating my feelings. Better late than never, right?
As to when I'll be coming back, this is a tricky question. The plan for now is to continue to South-East Asia, then maybe China, South-Korea, and Japan, then South America, and work my way up to the US and Canada, where I plan to look for a real job and settle down. So going back to Switzerland is not my primary option for now, but who knows, things change...