Jean Belivo: "Poor has no money, but there is time, and this is a big jewel!"
Is it possible to get around the globe on foot and what’s necessary for this? The question seems abstract, but Canadian Jean Belier knows the exact answer: a three-wheeled trolley, exactly so many things as it accommodates, $ 4000 and 11 years.
This story began in 2000. A resident of Montreal Jean Belivo tried to promote a small business – the workshop of neon lamps, but did not succeed, but, on the contrary, went bankrupt. The unsuccessful entrepreneur responded to the loss most possibly extravagant in the whole history of mankind in the way: he threw everything and went into the world journey on his two, and not just so, and under the slogan of the world for children around the world. He was 45 years old. He returned home 11 years later, alive, healthy and happy, visiting 64 countries and leaving behind 75,000 km of roads. Belily devoted to his adventure to the book "The man who walks" and the site Worldwidewalk.
How it happened that the failure in the affairs came across you on the idea of round-the-world travel?
– Probably the reason was the existential crisis of the middle of life against the background, indeed, the monetary difficulties. I did everything to raise a business, but in the end I surrendered … and went. First slowly, then, after a few months, I ran and could not stop. And once on the bridge Jacques Cartier – this is such a big bridge here in Montreal – I saw a pedestrian walkway and thought: "Why don’t I go on it?"And began to prepare, the route sketched on the big map of the world … I kept my plans to the very last moment, even from my wife, because I was afraid that people would try to convince me and the dream would not come true
And how your family responded when you still gone?
– Oh, it was a whole tragedy. About a month before to go on the road, on Sunday, for breakfast, after a sleepless night I finally told my wife, what was going to a very, very long walk around the world. She asked how I intend to do it. I replied that I would travel with a cart, but for the night stay from those who agree to let me. "You will return home?"She asked. "No, but you can come to me". And she really came to me every year about three weeks. "Well, between us all over?"She asked further. I said: "Of course, no, I love you and I would like to keep our relationship". See how I risked? And she, too, but in the end we both went to this risk.
You mentioned that the midship crisis sent you on the road. Someone can say that you escaped from your problems instead of solving them. What do you answer?
– Oh yeah. I myself initially felt myself a coward that saves responsibility. But then, already in America, I heard many times from different people about my courage, they admired that we were so far from each other, we stay together. And then, I needed a reassessment of values, I needed to find new meanings. And Luce, my wife, as I said, I supported me very much: she repeated that people are free, which can not be locked by love in a cage … she is incredible! Maybe another such is not in the world.
How did you plan the details of the route? As decided that you will go to this city, and in that – no?
– My goal was to cross all five continents. And I had money with me only $ 4,000, so I planned the route so that it is possible to avoid flights if possible (and I avoided: I came across the plane only where it is impossible to pass physically, for example from America, which crossed from north to south, in Africa why, on the contrary, went from the south to the north, and this flight was paid to me the local airline). At first, when the world was still the outlines on the maps, I was very naive and treated the choice of the way frivolidly, about the way, walking in the park, we prefer this path that, even without thinking. But life made adjustments: it was dangerous in Colombia, and in Africa, it was persuaded to prefer the eastern edge of the continent to restless countries in West Africa. I dreamed of getting to Russia and thought about entering St. Petersburg on the way from Sweden ..
And not gone. Why?
– Did not work out. When I got to Germany, was October, and I was afraid of the Russian winter, so I turned north, but south, in Greece. I am very sorry, forgive me.
And you got into truly dangerous situations?
– And how! The first time – in the town of Philadelphia in New York (not to be confused with Big Philadelphia, the main city of Pennsylvania state. – "MP".). I got there late in the evening on Friday, I was waiting for people from whom I had to stop. I began to ask passersby, how to get at the right address, and they were horrified and snapped with their hands: "You will need to cross the dangerous area, do not go there!"I look, and the truth is somehow around Nareskovo: everything is locked up, closed with lattice windows overnight … I say:" How to be where to spend the night?"And they explained to me that it was necessary to make a ten-meter hook to bypass the dangerous area, do not stop, in conversations it is not necessary with anyone, look at the pockets and hope that they will not kill.
And in Africa, I was taught what to do if I meet with lions: continue to go, how walked, not paying attention to them, and in no case run. Fortunately, I did not need, although the lion’s traces I saw. The lion trail led me in the end to some village. Locals are asked: "You have a pistol even there?"No – I answer, – I go for peace!"In general, I was explained how big I was lucky. Apparently, the lions decided that the Canadian meat of the tasteless.
And as ordinary people in small villages in Africa or Asia, people who live poorly and rarely see foreigners, reacted on you – a strange white man, which comes out in no clear where it is not clear why?
– Well, they were surprised. According to their ideas, I had to be crashing with modern gadgets, move on a cool motorcycle and all that. They told me: "What, the evolution turned reversed? We walk on foot, because we are poor, and you?»I replied that my own legs were the very first means of movement, and they, seeing in me equal, penetrated sympathy: Rustic elders were invited to themselves, treated, we spent a long time. Even when the locals at first were aggressive, I always managed to explain to them who I and why I am here, and in the end they helped me. Sometimes I blended too much, because I understood: these are poor people, their children may be starving, but I always persuaded to eat. And I understood what kind of thing: yes, they are poor, they have no money. But they have a time that is always enough for us. And time – a big jewel.
Tell us about the most incredible adventure that you happened to survive.
– On Borneo, I got into the village of the Iban tribe, the most who were once marine pirates and head hunters. I was taken in a long such community house, and I all tried to find out if they were kept where the skulls, but the leader said that, alas, because of Christianization, they were forced to abandon the mummation of the heads, but everything that was, was buried. After some time, one of the men still confessed and led me to the hut, where eight heads were kept in the chest. They were old, maybe 70 years ago, now there are no longer there (as they were assured), and my head, as you can see, safe and preservation. But the essence of the old tradition is that the new leader received the head of the former to get his strength, success in women and all that. So who knows, maybe the head of the current leader who took me, someday still replenish this collection.
Now you wrote a book, stand up with lectures. What’s next? Are you going to repeat?
– Yes, where can I go now? Except for the moon. I still go, but except for a couple of hours a day. No, enough. The journey was hard and the Luce was gone, and I, and I didn’t even adapted after returning. Of course, life is not yet over, and who knows what the idea someday will ever come to mind, but while I am very busy with public speeches and writing (now I finish the second book). What’s next – there will be visible, but while I am configured to calmly sit still and comprehend experienced.
How the journey changed you?
– Jean Belivo, who went on the road on August 18, 2000, on the day of his 45th anniversary, died. And a completely different person was born, with other values and views on life, with other interests: when I look at the news, I pay more attention to international events, now it is important to me what is happening in different parts of the world, because I was there many living there I know personally! Now the world has become so small, and when someone suffers, it is impossible to treat it more as what is happening "somewhere" that does not touch us. And this new person who returned home 11 years later, sometimes feels in his hometown by immigrant.
Over these 11 years, the world has changed. It can be assumed that some of these changes passed by you, because the impressions of acquaintance with new countries and new cultures were stronger. That in the changed world turned out to be the most strange and amazing upon return?
– in 2000, when I left, the Internet was still in a novelty. During the first six years, I didn’t even have a mobile phone, and I was weakly imagined what was happening in the world. And now everyone go, bolding into smartphones, with such a kind, as if they will immediately die, it is necessary to be offline. We can’t even say hello to friends who we celebrate on the street, because we look into the screens and do not see each other. Apparently, now, accidentally seeing a friend, "hello" he needs to send by email.
Which of the places where you visited you would call the happiest?
– People smile a lot in Africa and in Latin America. There were children who came to me, and we went together, and sang the songs of their peoples that they taught me, while European children at that age with sad physiognomies are to school. In Peru, I met one guy, which in a conversation somehow noticed: "I knew people so poor that they had nothing but money!"It influenced my perception. Yes, their lives are difficult, but it is difficult to live here, some even cum with them, without being able to cope with stress. And there people can not even understand how they can commit suicide. I do not want to seem like a singer poverty and deprivation and absolutely not arguing that it is bad here here, and in the third world countries – well. Just not in money happiness, that’s all I mean.