My strange nobordertrek year ends…

with a slight sense of guilt. For nearly three months as I trekked across the Alps I drew upon the support of friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances through this blog. I posted nearly every day because it helped me feel in touch with the rest of the world, despite being alone on the trek. Feeling people’s support gave me part of the strength to push through. Then, when I arrived at the end of the trail I simply stopped writing. I’m sorry. The reason was that at the end of the trail some brutal realities awaited, which I’ve had to face up to. A broken 8-year relationship. Newfound loneliness. A career setback. Things which I couldn’t foresee when I started out on the trek. Of course these things happen. But the shock kept me from wanting to communicate. I didn’t feel like pouring my heart out here; neither did I feel like writing as if all were well.

2014 was a strange year for me, and I hope 2015 will be better. Without a doubt the best part of 2014 was the nobordertrek; the part which did not feel wasted, which will always stay in my mind. It was a test of endurance and strength which I wouldn’t want to go through again, but which in another life I would happily do again. It was for a cause which I still stand deeply committed to. 2014, at least, I think (and want to believe) was a good year for the cause of refugee and migrant rights in Europe; the injustices of Europe’s migration regime were discussed in the media and politics as much as probably never before. My greatest sense of guilt is for having been silent on this public cause for a few months now, due for my own personal reasons. I want to change this in 2015.

I’m also aware that I haven’t even posted anything like a final tally (or resumé) of the trek. I wanted to do this properly, and will do so soon in the new year. Just very briefly: the trek in total was nearly 1,600km from Ljubljana to Nice, and around 67,000m of up-and-down.

Over the past weeks (in tranches, due to transaction limits) I’ve donated the money I promised to Medico International and ProAsyl (some proof), and will make my donation to the Medibüros in the new year (for fiscal reasons). I hope to have at least done something to raise the visibility of the fine work all of these organisations do.

Thank you very much to everyone who supported me directly or indirectly on this journey, and please forgive me for what must have seemed like an egoistic forgetting of everything once it was done. But this project is not quite over yet.

Camera HDR Studio - 1404124125466

All the best for 2015, and have a great last few days of 2014,

Phil

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