My name’s Celia and I was born in Switzerland about 24 years ago. I have a degree in Anthropology and Languages (Spanish and English) but university has only been a small part in my formation. My real learning was through different travels, most of them around South and North America. Actually, I don’t know if travelling awakened my anthropologist interest and my love for languages and communication, or if I decided to travel because being in contact with people and communicating with them makes me vibrate. It’s probably a mix of both.
Form of travelling?
I hitchhike when the situation and the people I am with permit it. What I mean is that I used to live in Mexico and I’ve learnt to hitchhike in some places and not to in others. I don’t feel confident hitchhiking alone as small of a human as I am. I do like this way of travelling though, because you really take your time (well, you must take your time), and you get plenty of stories to tell.
As well as this, I love long bus/car journeys when you can watch the landscape, and the sky stops time above you. Trains are great for me too, even if I haven’t travelled on them a lot, but I have dreamed of a Trans-Siberian journey! I am also planning to travel by bicycle for a while because I think it might be a nice way to go about a trip!
Why did you start travelling this way?
I decided to travel the way I do to take time to live, to learn and to feel like I invest myself in my travelling, but also to lose control over what is happening. It wasn’t really a decision, it was all natural.
“Travelling has changed a lot of things. I realised how beautiful and how terrible human beings are, and that finally I am fully a part of all of us. Even if I don’t recognise myself in a lot of people, I am a little part of the world that makes a whole, and you are too!”
Do you travel mostly solo or do you road dog with someone?
I mostly travel with one person (or two) because I’ve found travel buddies, but almost always with just one of them at a time.
I also tried travelling alone because I admire people who travel by themselves and I wanted to live that too, but it wasn’t a good experience, maybe because it wasn’t the time, but I know now that I need to share what I live with someone. It might be because I’m emotional and I like to be introspective when I travel and then share it, I don’t know, but I need my travel buddy to feel complete in my trip.
Are you currently travelling right now?
Right now I am back at my parents’ to prepare for a new life. I’m planning to take my bag and go, leave, live for a long time.
Do you think the love of adventure and freedom is addictive?
I totally think it is addictive! Why? Because most people I know who have tasted it are addicted right away!
Do you travel just for the love of travel, or to get somewhere?
I don’t know. Sometimes I feel that I have to get somewhere, but not straightaway. Or maybe I’ll feel that I might go everywhere.
While hitching, do you find it exhausting trying to communicate in foreign languages?
I’m a languages fan, so if I can communicate, good! If I can learn new words, better!
Could you (or would you) travel as a lifestyle?
Yes! Well, for now, and that is what I want! As for the future, I can’t tell.
Do you think travelling kids sometimes get a bad name? Why?
Well, yes, because people don’t understand. But that’s ok, we might not understand them either!
Do you think travel is a form of education?
Totally! It’s an intense mixed-up-disciplines school! As we say in french: “L’école de la vie”!
“All three of them embody the security I need, the crazyness I feel, the questionning I endure, and helped me put some words on what I am and what I want.”
Do you carry weapons?
Never! I have my Swiss army knife, but I will never use it as a weapon! (I’m actually really scared of violence and weapons and don’t agree with the use of them.)
Has travelling changed your views on people? How about changing your views on your own life?
Travelling has changed a lot of things. I realised how beautiful and how terrible human beings are, and that finally I am fully a part of all of us. Even if I don’t recognise myself in a lot of people, I am a little part of the world that makes a whole, and you are too!
I realised that if we want something we have to make it possible. We are the only ones that can change our own lives. We have choices to make and each one will teach us something, even if we think it was a mistake!
Does it give you faith in humanity?
Totally! Some days no, but most of the time yes! We are creative and I believe in us!
Do you prefer cities or the countryside, or a healthy mix of either?
It depends. I am not the type of person that knows exactly what they like. I like the idea of a “healthy mix of either” but in reality I might have a preference. In cities, I need to escape to the country and in the countryside, I need to escape to a city.
Do you find it difficult coming home after being on the road and settling down?
I feel like everywhere is home for me. But when I come back to where I grew up, sometimes I feel like I regress. But it’s ok if I know I am leaving soon!
Are there any universal characteristics about travellers that you have noticed?
Yes, they are happy and they accept themselves more, me included!
What’s your dream in life?
I used to have a big dream to travel South America and I’ve already realised that dream! I have new plans and projects but they won’t be like that life dream. Isn’t it great to be this young and already have fullfilled your dream? Maybe one day I’ll have a new one.
Has anyone you’ve met changed your life in any way?
Yes! Two beautiful people shared two important trips with me and formed an essential part in my development. And also credit to my partner (with whom I’ve been hitchhiking) who plays an incredibly positive part in my happiness! He is a vibrating person who radiates positivity and a love for travelling. All three of them embody the security I need, the crazyness I feel, the questionning I endure, and helped me put some words on what I am and what I want.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned from travelling?
Listen to your instinct: we are animals!
Do you believe in love on the road?
Absolutely! I met my partner while I was living in Mexico. Two days after we met we were on a huge truck, hitchhiking up to the desert with 5 other beautiful people. (7 of us hitch hiked and it worked!)
What’s your next trip?
I’ll start with Oceania in a few months and then we’ll see!
What is next for you?
I have no idea, and I don’t want one!