Not that I was in any doubt, but After 5 weeks of traveling along the whole coast of Norway from Oslo all the way up to Finnmark – I’m more in love than ever before. In Norway – and in seafood. It’s been a project that I was lucky to be responsible for on behalf of the great marketing agency Jimmy Royal for the Norwegian Seafood-council and the main mission was to revive the tradition of seafood and inspire people to appreciate and eat more of it. Did you know that Norway has the largest coastline in the world and is the second largest exporter of fish after China? Did you know that 31 million meals of safood from Norway are being eaten daily around the world? I don’t think a lot of Norwegians do either… Norway has the best seafood in the world, yet Norwegians name 10 national dishes containing meat, before fish.
This is the story of how we built nearly 70 fishing-boats to fishermen who lost their boats after the deadly typhoon Hayan hit the coast of the Philippines. I met a lady in Ubud (Indonesia) who told me about the Iloilo-province in the Western Visayas. It is known for it’s rich marine wildlife and numerous fishermen, but they lost 90% of their fishing-boats during the typhoon. We decided to team up to try to make these people self-sufficient again by building boats to the fishermen. I posted one FB-post about the initiative right before x-mas, and over 100 people bought their own boat. The price: It costed only between 100 and 350 USD to build one, and if you bought one you could name it whatever you wanted. As soon as your boat was built, you would receive a photo of it with your chosen name painted on the side of the boat. The perfect x-mas gift!
With poor electricity and internet-connection it took two days before the sad news about Mandela’s death reached me in Lombok. I cried, but felt I was part of a universal grief there from the jungle. I didn’t have to share my sorrow or story with anyone on FB or Instagram. Little did I know that I was gonna be taken straight back to the day that I gave a rose to him and president De Klerk – and later share it on national news.
But my memories went back to the cold day in Febuary 20 years ago, when I got to meet my biggest hero.
It’s been one hell of a ride; with ups and downs, highs and lows. It all evolved from the hitchhike with Keith last year, to the creation and completion of the crazy adventure: The “Grand Tours Project“. In numbers: 10,533 km cycled, 157,848 meters climbed, 407:32 hours and 63 days on the bike. But most importantly 170 countries were reached in our mission of inspiring all of us to listen to “the scream from nature”.
Actually there were 3 weeks in the Himalayas not showering, 2 weeks in India not speaking and now 7 days in Thailand not eating.
How was it to sit crosslegged for 100 hours?
We’ve heard it all before; “the power of the mind is so strong, blah blah blah”. But do we really understand it? I know I didn’t.
But after these 1oo hours of meditation I feel a much deeper understanding of the term. And also about the connection between our mind, our thoughts and our body.
100 hours of meditation, no speaking and no communication (what so ever) for 10 days…
I touched the trunk of this one tree everyday, I observed the slow expansion of the moon, I said goodnight to my favorite plants every night and I saw a different color green, more vibrant, than before. If you didn’t think it already you probably now think; “What a freak you are Martine. What were you on?”
The magic of a conversation in one of Indias wholiest cities, Rishikesh: “Did you hear about the wild elephant who came down to the village and smashed a shop last night? Appearantly it was angry so they gave him herbal medicine.”
The images of this place will be burnt on my retina forever… And luckily some of them are captured in my cam.
This is me, a few hours hours before i reached 5416 meters and with no clue that I was gonna get Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). That’s heavy shit. So if you intend to reach a high mountain one day, please DO read on…