After years of following a set career path and living the life according to societal norms, I decided that I have had enough of being trapped in a system encouraging addictions and prejudices, where the only way forward is to join the mindless rat race, whether one wants it or not. I have realised that what I really lacked was the pure joy of being alive. The very basic sense of inner happiness that does not depend on material things. From this inner desire an action was born, and I have decided to change my career path. After completing the first year of BA in Psychology, I went to Morocco and explored the outskirts of the Sahara Desert hitchhiking and staying at the houses of hospitable locals. Without access to electricity, running water, or any other conveniences of the Western world I realised once more, how dependent on them I really am.
Another eye-opening experience that pushed me on this path was my backpacking trip to Indonesia. There, away from the mass tourism and immersed in the local culture, I got to appreciate the depth of human connections and the power of nature. At the time of my trip, nature showed its might also through a devastating earthquake, which claimed the lives of over 500 people - fortunately, I was not one of them. The collaboration of members of the local community, people who, after the earthquake, had nothing left, impressed me even more. In 2020, during my internship in the slum of Mombasa, Kenya, I had a profound realisation about something that our Western culture seldom takes into consideration. The job title, education, or the amount of money in your bank account do not matter. The only thing that matters in life is how you behave towards other people and what value you bring into the world.
It was there that I started to wonder which one is the developing country? At first glance, it seems that the answer is obvious: European expectations are quite different when it comes to things like infrastructure or public life. However, the way people interact with each other in the Kenyan slum and, in general, on the African continent, really impressed me and I started to ponder the matter of “a developed society”. This was the crowning experience that convinced me to stick to my path.
Our society craves the physical signs of status and uses those as evidence of success. But that is precisely the opposite of what I want. I want to give people something for free, without them feeling compelled to give me anything in return. My life has taught me something important, and unfortunately, it is something that our Western culture seldom takes into consideration. The job title, education, or the amount of money in your bank account do not matter. The only thing that matters is how you behave towards other people and what value you bring into the world.