I love to travel and explore. I knew that it would be amazing, like a journey of that kind can be. Of course. But choosing to drive all the way to Nordkapp had definitely another meaning to me. I wanted to see what they have seen, to drive on the same roads and to understand their fascination. It was a need, like something in my genes. I saw it as a migration, a pilgrimage. It was a way to carry on my family history and to pay tribute to my grandparents.
So I left. To eat up kilometers. For three months, alone. To discover Scandinavia. I have been through Denmark and Sweden, I have devoured Norway. I savored every single bite. I drove all the way up to Nordkapp, the Northernmost point of Europe. Nothing beyond the horizon but the North Pole. Driving my van.
I had decided to start this trip also for other reasons. First, I wanted to experience solitude. Living in Paris can make you feel really lonely, lost in the crowd of that big city. I wanted to really be alone, not just to feel alone. To embrace it and not to suffer from it. How much could I handle? Would I be bored? How far would I think?
That need for solitude was strongly binded with an urge to be in the nature. I wanted to be surrounded by its beauty, to be amazed every morning as I open the door of the van. To have breakfast with my feet in the grass, to walk in the forest and to go on mountain tops. I wanted to just sit and stare. To have it for myself.
Some people just fit with ordinary life. I don’t. I need more. More time, more adventure, more unknown. More uncertainty, more mistakes. I don’t want to know what tomorrow will be. I want to take crazy decisions. I want to take pleasure in being lost. I want to turn left even if the GPS says to go right, I want to be able to see what will happen if I keep on driving that way anyway: to have the choice. To really decide.
So I quit my job. I packed light, more books than clothes. I bought a map and rolls of film. I put everything in the van and I left alone. I changed my way of living, I became a nomad. Living in the outdoors, to be free. No attachment to any place, no attachment to anything but the real necessary. No cellphone, no computer. A complete disconnection. All I had to think about was how to spend my day exactly like I wanted to. I could just focus on living. Pleasing my eyes, pleasing my brain. Seeing as much as possible. Filling my memory.
Go on reading about Agathe’s solitary journey in the upcoming chapter “Rambling over the moon”.
Words. Agathe Monnot
Photography. Agathe Monnot
Drawing. Ángela Palacios