Travelling in a world that’s falling apart


I guess most people my generation vividly feel and experience the world changing around us. So much is so very different from a couple of decades ago, and as the world is falling apart, maybe that will actually be the salvation. In just a few years we’ve seen the rise and fall, thank God, of far right activists like Ukip in England, Le Pen in France and after quite some time Berlusconi in Italy. Also Austria went for a democratic choice last year, and they did it twice, though the far right candidate surely was predicted to win. Canada as well as the rest of the world is loving the adorable Monsieur Trudeau and even the mad Gambian dictator Jammeh finally abandoned his country and gave a better solution to his people. He just forgot to leave the country’s wallet behind, but hey, happiness and money are necessarily not dependant of each other. Iran chose the reformist candidate out of only two options, and frankly, it seems like the world is finally waking up. After Erdogan, Putin and the success of Trump, people realise we cannot leave the world in the hands of mad men. Though votes of independence for Scotland, Catalunya, Bask, Brexit and all, it seems like we are less united than ever. But a decentralisation of power, a more direct communication between people and a sense of self control, access to politics on a local level, will do good for citizens of all kind. When the power is too far away to be able to access it, people stop caring. And in these times, we do need to care. For neighbours we hardly nod at and greet, refugees fleeing a living hell, and strangers sleeping in our streets. I wouldn’t know half the worlds misery if I didn’t travel. I wouldn’t realise the poverty and desperation in a conflict ridden Mali, I wouldn’t know the betrayal of the Indonesian government towards the marginalised islands east and north of Bali. I wouldn’t have heard stories from grandmothers in Laos, hiding in caves during the Vietnam war and I wouldn’t have shared meals with Palestinians living in their designated areas under the watch of Israeli teenage soldiers’ AK47. I wouldn’t realise the importance of religion, bringing hope and order to a chaotic India, with too many people to even pretend there is something called social security. I wouldn’t have sat, shared heart to heart stories, with Kurds knowing that military force is the only way to gain their freedom. I wouldn’t have seen the traces in places and peoples faces of a war torn former Yugoslavia and the scars of old neighbours turning deadly enemies. And I wouldn’t realise my own blessing, the gift of having a Swedish passport, of moving freely in this great, big world. Privileged of 200 years of peace, trust and economic stability. Being any thing else than thankful, living in the western world with western problems, would be a mockery to all these strong, struggling people I’ve met through the years. People who live with the injustices on a daily basis, day to day held back politically, economically, religiously and socially. And it is them I own more than I do my home country, for sharing what they can with a person, who, theoretically, could have it all. Every westerner should want to balance out the inequalities that we brought upon them, through years of oppression, war and colonization. I am scared, as the years go by, I will not be able to really do anything. To change anything for any one, that I will not live to make or see things moving in the right direction again. But what I do know, is that travelling gives me an opportunity to see people, and to see myself. And sometimes people really, really just need to be seen.

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