It was april 2010.
Spring had just come to France. And so had Robin. We spent a sunny Sunday in Céret, a small romantic town in the Pyrenees. We had not seen each other in many weeks. Way to many weeks. We had written more loveletters than it had been days since we were together. Everywhere we went, love went with us.
The sun was beautiful. The buildings were beautiful. The people were beautiful, like characters in a movie where we played the leads. Amanda with a flower in her hair, Robin with the smile of a happy child. The cars stopped for us. The people greeted us.
An old man walked up to us and offered some candy. A street choir walked the main street down and spread their tones.
Céret smelled of coffee, spring and love. When we smiled, the world smiled back at us, and we said to each other,
“We have to express this passion. We have to keep expressing it, and share it with the rest of the world”.
We will never forget Céret, or the people who live there. Maybe the people in Céret won’t forget us either, who knows.
We didn’t know it by then. But on that sunny Sunday in Céret, MangoManjaro was born.
India, we said. Let’s hitchhike to India. And we did. We hitchhiked – ONLY – until we reached Pakistan. As soon as we’d crossed the border from Iran, we had to get escorted by armed guards, half way through Pakistan. “For security reasons, you are not allowed to hitchhike, sorry.”
We made it to the Indian border, the very east of Pakistan. Because of some visa issues and poor planning from our side, we actually finished this journey in Pakistan. So we did travel all the way TO India, all we didn’t do was to enter it. It will be a future project, since we are quite certain India will still be there. So will we, and along with us comes a big portion of curiosity and passion.
We want to thank you all again.
All of our drivers, the people who have hosted us, all you Chicken Dancers, blog readers, donors, reporters and other Njaros out there.
Thank you for making our personal experience absolutely amazing.
Thank you for everything that you have shared with us, and for everything that you have taught us.
Thanks for all the chai and all the joy. Thanks for being brave and open minded, and for treating us so well.
Anton, one of our drivers in Bulgaria made a wise statement that we came to like so much that we copied it and printed it at some of our business cards.
“The world is a big village”. This line has really proved itself to be true during the last few months.
We started this trip with an empashis on challenging the fears that people in Sweden have. It turned out that most of the fears are shared amongst all people, across all of the countries that we’ve passed. This is our most important lesson, our most important discovery. It is not dangerous to hitchhike, talk to strangers, or stay in a strangers home. It’s rather the opposite! The most dangerous thing you can do is to isolate yourself and only trust situations where you’re paying someone to do something for you.
Fear in itself is what’s dangerous, because it hinders us from communicating with each other. And that makes us stupid.
MangoManjaro is now about 6 moths old, in other words it is still a baby who will grow and learn.
We hope to meet you all in our future projects!
Love, magical Mango energy and best wishes,
Amanda and Robin