The Slovenia Times

Destination: Unknown



When somebody asks us where we would like to travel, the answer commonly heard is: "I want to travel around the world." Matej Sedmak, from a small village near Postojna, was surely one of those people. Approximately one year before he left, he finished his first year at University. "I suddenly realised my life had no meaning. I simply wasn't satisfied with it. I went to France where I wrote about 20, 30 pages about who I wanted to be. My first dreams were about hitchhiking the globe" explains Matej. His parents and relatives weren't very keen on the idea of him leaving home for such a long time. Most of them thought he was crazy and they wanted to stop him. "But then one day during dinner I made it clear that I was determined and that they could not stop me, they could only support me." The next day his father bought him a backpack and his mother got him some new clothes for the journey. He left home carrying a big rucksack, a guitar, 200 dollars and a credit card (just in case...), which he never used. He started to make his dream a reality. "I suddenly realised I would have to fight to survive" His journey at first took him to Italy. "I ended up in Rome with no money. I played my guitar in the street to earn money for a meal, and I found out that it is not easy." He then moved on to France and walked over 800 km in 22 days, to Camino de Santiago in Spain. Then his father got him a plane ticket to the USA. He travelled to Costa Rica, Mexico, Cuba, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand and finally to India. He journeyed 170,000 km in a year and a half. He met many important people - writers, musicians, politicians - among them Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the Dalai Lama and Bernie Ecclestone. "At the beginning of my journey I wanted to travel to meet all those famous personalities. But at the end I realised that those weren't the most important people I had come across. The most important people were those who were completely unknown and poor," comments Matej. When he was in India, he met Slovenian President, Dr. Janez Drnovsek, who was there on a visit and who had corresponded with Matej earlier. "We shared our thoughts and I helped him to establish contacts with people he wanted to meet during his stay. I even succeeded in bringing Indian National Television to the airport when Drnovsek arrived in India," laughs the world traveller. "Nothing is safe in our lives" Although he was travelling alone, he was quite lucky, as there was not a single night that he had to sleep on the street, nor one single day that he was left hungry and without friends. Of course, there were also dangerous moments and experiences. As he was "hitchhiking" yachts in Varadero, Cuba, he encountered local intelligence agents, who thought he looked very suspicious. "They accused me of being an American spy, who wanted to infiltrate Cuba. I ended up in Havana's jail. This was the first time in my life that somebody had taken my freedom." He obviously succeeded in proving his innocence and was free to go after 13 days in prison. Dreamworld 2100 A defining moment of his journey came in Costa Rica. He decided he would liberate himself from his worldly possessions and left everything he had with him, including his backpack and guitar, to people who needed them more than he did. "Then I had a vision," he starts to explain. "I saw a picture of the world in the year 2100. I wrote down all my visions and expectations. I saw a world with no borders, no hungry people, no poverty and starvation. I saw a world with no weapons and wars, where people used their energy for more important things than international relations and conflicts." Sounds good, but is it possible to change our civilisation in such a fundamental way so quickly? "Of course people will cooperate, they will work together, unite, find solutions and share them with each other," answers Matej, who believes that life is getting better, even for the people who have to fight to survive from day to day. "It all depends on what you believe" Matej is a peace-hiker. Peace-hikers are people who want to live their highest vision of life, who always choose love and truth, who dare to live their dreams, who wants to see a world with no borders, weapons and wars. Peace-hikers can be very rich or extremely poor. His story may sound implausible, almost utopian. Did he really travel round the world with no money? "My parents gave me 200 dollars and paid for 4 plane tickets. The other 17 plane tickets I used during my peace-hiking, as well as the money, food and accommodation, I got from friendly people who were ready to help me. I spent only 200 dollars of my own money," insists Matej. He came back to Slovenia in the middle of March. Now he wants to finish University, graduate, become a success in the business world and work on his project "One World." There are people who think he is arrogant, weird and conceited and there are others who support him and who find inspiration in his beliefs. "I am glad to get provocative responses. I just want responses. The worst thing in my opinion is apathy. I want to collect all the different opinions and thoughts. I want people to react and to tell me exactly what they think. You just have to follow your dreams," concludes Matej, who is also writing a book containing all the stories and details from his interesting adventure in order to share his experiences with as many people as possible.


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