You know, I have really gave the “normal” life a try. But you know how sometimes you wear a dress, that is gorgeous, but it just doesn’t fit you best — that is the case here. It just didn’t fit.
I can try to pretend that it does, but you can only fool yourself that your dress fits perfectly only for a while, then you have to go to the tailor. Tailor does a great job, but something still doesn’t feel right, so tailor says “Sorry, there’s nothing more we can do to that dress, you just have to get a new one”. And so you do, but the story repeats itself. That’s what happened in my life. The “normal” life of a well-lived home, in a neighborhood in which you know every cobblestone, your favorite coffee shops and restaurants. You raised your kids here and heard your grand-kids laughter. All the memories that you have lived together, in a city or a country that is so dear to you — a life that is truly beautiful in its own special way. But such life is just way too small for me, it will never fit me. And that’s ok. Every soul yearns for different things.
Mine yearns for the Road… For the magical, unparalleled, breathtaking, life of “The In-between”.
So I made a decision to live this kind of life until I can no longer do so…
I don’t think it was even a decision, no it’s not. I don’t think it’s something you choose, but something that is desperately needed. It is what I feel in my heart the only true way for me to exist in this world. A true Nomad, a true gypsy. No, I don’t want a permanent anything! Change is very real, change is a natural part of life, that most of you were taught to fight, with any means necessary since an early age. Permanence is not natural! Everything around us today is a total lie, convincing us to hold on to things that are unnatural to hold on to from the start — youth, beauty, relationships, things. People were nomads long before the system placed them inside “boxes” and chained them to mortgages, bills, taxes, religion etc.
We were nomads from the beginning of times…
This life of mine is an ode to the life our ancestors lead, a swan song of sorts. A swan song to the magical life, that you see less and less being lived by people today. My soul is from the past and it feels sometimes, that it just wants to return to all those different places it has once lived in centuries ago. The sounds, the scents, the energy of the whole universe bursting into itself… yes, those are the kind of moments, that are worth traveling through centuries of silence in order to reach them.
My life fits into 2 small carry-on bags, 2 of my passports are full of stamps, I have family and friends on each continent — Memories are the only things I collect. I create Art and work with artists from all over the world.
First country on my 6th continent was Australia. It is full of beauty, pain and paradox. I tried to somehow get into the roots of this land, but most of it has been taken over by gimmicky tourism attractions, that charge tourists obscene amounts of cash, to parade in front of them the ways of the past. The real Aboriginal Australians have been closed off in tiny communities or are completely immersed into the “new Australia”. Just like in US, South America, Central America, New Zealand, Africa, all over the Pacific and other parts of the world — the magic of how those people lived and what they believed in, their culture, their gods, their land — all have been totally abolished and torn apart.
These people used to live in harmony with nature and used it to cure themselves from all kinds of sicknesses. Some “new Australians” tease aborigines, because of over consumption of alcohol and other things. They call women “Gins handbag”. There’s a certain superiority feel over the true owners of this land, that is bread from school years into the heads of new generations. Maybe someday, I can try to reach their reserve and stay with these people.
My life on the road takes me to countless people’s homes, through airbnb. Most are absolute joy to stay with and only a couple that are so bad, that I don’t even want to write about them. They are just that unimportant and not even worth my “ink”. I’d much rather bring money directly to people’s pockets instead of the systems (hotels/resorts). People, for the most part really are a gift from the road.
Sometimes hosts will cook a really nice dinner for you, tell you stories about their country and their life.
And sometimes, when a host forgets to tell you that a door to the patio shuts automatically, a wonderful neighbor will help you escape the overwhelming heat, give you water and food, until the host, who doesn’t pick up the phone, comes back in the evening. The host is all freaked out by now, because she thought, you are probably close to death from the heat and dehydration, locked inside her little patio. Nothing exiting usually happens in Trinity beach, folks… Nada, zip!.. until Elena decides to waltz through it.
Most of them welcome you into their homes with open hearts and you become part of their family. A lot of the hosts, who are the older generation, who used to travel when they were younger, now open doors of their home and let the world come to them instead. You get to meet a lot of other nomadic souls and you get to feel as if you’re part of this nomadic tribe, a tribe that has left the “normal” way of life and chose to live on the road, be it for decades, a few years or months. With some of those nomads, you feel as if you really are a family – they accept you, the way you are, without trying to desperately change your colors into something more acceptable. You laugh with them to the point of tears, hug, dance and exchange stories.
Australia is one of the 22 or so countries that are on the list for Compulsory Voting… How sad is that? Where is freedom in that? People get fined and lose their driver’s license, because they failed to vote. I’ve already written about why I have never and will never vote. Hate to break it to you folks, but if Voting ever truly changed anything, they would make it illegal for anyone to vote! It would probably even result in a death sentence.
I will gladly give up both of my passports, if countries of those two passports, tell me I have no freedom anymore in choosing not to vote! And then, my darlings, I will most probably become a pirate. Who’s with me? Bring loads of Rum! And let’s go sailing!
Speaking of sailing, Whitsundays is probably one of the most beautiful places for sailing. After a few days at sea, it was hard to return. The water, sun and beauty of surrounding islands are all magical. I could feel pure freedom rushing through my veins, especially when the captain, lend me his “captain hat” for an hour or so. The wind in my hair, the birds up above, the life underneath and beyond, the horizon of endless possibilities and dreams, torn me away from all the shackles of the past.. or whatever was left of them at this point in my life.
At 3am you wake up and leave your bunk bed, in order to walk outside and look at the bright stars and milky-way. You are in awe of its beautiful stillness and vastness, it swallows you whole and in that moment you remember something you once read, which starts to make sense now, more and more;
“Do you imagine the universe is agitated? Go into the desert at night and look at the stars. This practice should answer the question.” – Lao Tzu
And when stormy waters hit the boat, instead of hiding from it, I meet them with open arms and laughter. Tourists take out their cameras to snap pictures of the only person laughing and getting drenched by the salty waters. Instead of putting a special suit so you don’t get stung by a deadly jellyfish, I go swimming on famous Whitehaven beach and in The Great Barrier Reef in the nude, without any separation between myself and nature. The true freedom, the fearless blood that flows in my veins, the endless possibilities. Spending a night on the Great Barrier Reef gives you opportunity to have all of it to yourself and maybe only 7 others. When everyone was done swimming, I took all my clothes of, put on a mask and jumped in the water. The last sun rays were kissing my bare skin, fish were swimming up so close that I could touch them, everything breathing, living and enjoying being themselves, without any judgemental looks or whispering from fear-stricken society.
No, I didn’t get a picture with poor Koala. Brisbane “sanctuary” is a disgusting zoo, with very small cages and very unhappy animals. We, wild things, not meant to live in cages, for your amusement and instagram obsessed society. These creatures are meant to stay wild, in the wilderness, that is being destroyed by logging industries all across Pacific and the rest of the world.
This is how you look at zoos — take a closer look at yourselves… enjoy your Koala picture with captive, unhappy and scared creatures —
And this is what Wild & Free looks like —
“The fist time I saw you, it was on Whitehaven beach. You were walking very proudly on white powdered sand, passing everyone, topless, with your nose in the air.. so high up, that you didn’t see me and I was too busy taking photos of a family, who requested my services.” — Dima recalled when we talked about chance meetings.
Life is full of magic, you just have to trust it and let go of your fear — If it didn’t start pouring in a Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation – the oldest rainforest in the world and a place where Captain Cook’s troubles started, I would have never met Dima — If I didn’t get soaking wet and then had to spend 5 hours inside a freezer of a bus back to Trinity beach, I would have never gotten a very bad cold. If I didn’t get a very bad cold, I wouldn’t have decided to come back to Airlie beach for Christmas and go sailing to lift my spirits up, which would end my travel in Queensland on a positive note, instead of a negative one… do you see where I’m going with this?…
All little moments, they are all special. Even the terrible, the ones, that torture and torment our souls, they are all important. The more I live and travel this life on the road, the more people and places teach me to accept all that rushes towards me. All the pain, anger and fear, have no place in a soul that has learned to let go and just be. Road will open the secret of life itself.. but only to those, who want to listen, to those, who choose. Regardless of what is happening outside; in the open vastness of this world of illusions, pride and prejudice, you will, my dear reader, eventually understand. (or not) Love is the only truth of the Universe. Love is all there is and ever will be, everything else is a grand illusion and a lie. Love is all you are. You are Universe. You are not of it, part of it or with it… You ARE it.
There is no fear or time, there is no death, there is no hell or heaven.
Can you even grasp the kind of freedom my soul has, that it understands the above sentence? I simply allowed my brain and all it’s been conditioned to believe, to simply step away and not stand in the way of that special something that lives between my bones.
What are you taught in schools and your homes? — exactly — “THINK, THINK, THINK, OBEY!” = FEAR
What are you told in churches, mosques and temples? — exactly — “HAVE FAITH, DON’T QUESTION, WORSHIP! GIVE DAILY BLESSINGS, OBEY! OR YOU GO TO HELL!” = FEAR
What are you told by your governments? — exactly — “OBEY, VOTE, OBEY, VOTE, BELIEVE CHANGE IS ALMOST HERE, OBEY, BELIEVE, BE AFRAID, TERRORISTS EVERYWHERE, STAY HOME, GO TO WORK, BREED MORE, SHOP MORE, LOOSE WEIGHT, GAIN WEIGHT, GET BIGGER BOOBS, HOUSE AND YOUNGER WIFE, SHOP, GET NEW IPHONE, BE AFRAID OF EVERYTHING, SNITCH ON YOUR NEIGHBOR, MAKE MORE MONEY, GET VACCINES THAT POISON YOUR BODY, CUT OFF YOUR TITS, CAUSE YOU HAVE CANCER, PAY TAXES, OBEY! ETC ” = FEAR
WHO IN YOUR LIFE TELLS YOU THE FOLLOWING? — LISTEN TO YOUR HEART, FEEL, YOU ARE LIMITLESS, YOU CAN DO ANYTHING! FEEL! LOVE MORE, DANCE MORE, LAUGH MORE! DO ONLY WHAT YOUR SOUL TELLS YOU TO DO! = LOVE
What do you choose every second of your breath? It is only your choice, you know?
The newborns and all the rest of wild things, know what they truly are. The rest of your life in this particular world was spend making you forget what you already knew, when you took your first breath.
I’m here to simply remind you of what you already know to be true.
What dies in this particular world is flesh. You are not flesh, you are not your brain! You are what lives between your bones… it does not have time or concept of time, it does not know fear or hate, it has no age or gender, it has no color or shame, it has no language, it knows no symbols, religion or rules of a man-made world…
But it does have a choice, to have those things or not, it has a choice to be tied up to those things or not.
Love has no fear. Shame, pride, greed, hate etc, are all fear based illusions.
It is your choice — Love or Fear?
You make that choice every second of your life.
You have a choice to watch TV, watch news and believe all mass media or not. (I can prove with my own experiences, they are all one big lie) Do you need to have a master or not? Do you need a master? Do you need a leader or do you have the courage to be that for yourself? You see, I don’t need a leader or master. I don’t believe in any authority over my soul. none. no one.
Go into the nature and see what kind of answers it will give you. Look at the sky, go into the forest, sit by the sea, climb a mountain… listen… listen to your soul. What does it choose? Love or Fear?
After I came back from sailing, my soul was calm and at peace. I wanted more of the sea.. I wanted more. “I’m always here, Lena, I’m here whenever you need me, I’m here, whenever you need to remember what you are, I’m here, without judgement, without pride, I’m here.” – whispered the sea. I went out on 24th of December in Airlie Beach, to dance.. to lose myself in a dance, to celebrate life, to move, to feel. to laugh and love with others.
Somewhere between the crowds, between the sweating bodies and glasses of rum, I hear a question;
— “What is your name?”
— “Elena and yours?”
–“Dima??!! What? Where are you from?”
— “Woohooo! Unbelievable! I was born in Russia! What do you do here?”
— ” What?!! You are Russian??! Unbelievable! I’m a photographer and you?”
— “No way! What a gift!! I’m an artist and model!” — giggling and jumping up and down like a little girl I scream in his face.
Dima picked me up in his arms and we were like two people who knew each other our whole life, but who have not seen each other for many-many years.
We danced and laughed and decided to spend 25th of December together, in an only way 2 artists knew how to spend time together = having a fantastic, mind-blowing photo-shoot in one of the most gorgeous and savage locations.
He cooked me fish on the beach, played guitar, sang Russian songs and we talked about his life in Australia, his family, his photography and my life on the road. Dima’s wish is to get a yacht and to sail around the world. Said he’s looking for the right crew members.. hell yeah! I’m in! I know how to drink Rum and dance topless under the full moon — I’m a perfect
crew member! I mean, A pirate!
Before my departure from Airlie beach to Mr. Bond in Sydney for New Years, Dima asked me to draw anything I wanted on the dusty window of his car. I wrote one word, a word that has been following me everywhere I go, ever since that moment…
I started seeing this word everywhere — plane magazines, boats, emails, notes, restaurants etc. It was everywhere.
In a few days I get an Airbnb feedback from a person I rented my place from second time, in Airlie beach, that reads;
“A little bit of egg eating coconut scented magic just passed through our lives. But as it is with all good messengers of the magic of life the messenger has gone but the message remains. Grab life by the coconuts and squeeze. Thank you universe for sending us this one. Hope we get more like her. See ya”
Mr. Bond and I greeted 2016 on top of a Pirate Ship in the middle of Sydney Harbor, with fireworks that were bursting into magic, all around us. I danced barefoot with a glass of champagne in one hand and chocolate in the other. My feet could feel the stories of worn-out leather boots, the storms, the salt water and the wind of freedom. The drums send me into the dance, that can not be controlled by learned steps, it can be only felt with the soul of many colors. To dance through centuries and to tear away the cages, that are build daily around our true selves.
Before Mr. Bond and I left the ship, the woman who was celebrating her 80 something birthday, came up to me and said “Goodbye, absolutely gorgeous creature.”
Mr. Bond has been in Australia before.. about 30 years ago… there were way more topless women on the beach enjoying the sun… now? One woman — me. That’s what 30 years of religion does to a place.
The road will never abandon you, just because you have different dreams than her. She will never tell you, that you’re not really a woman, if you can’t or won’t have kids and still not married. The road will never dump you just because you gained 20 pounds, your head is full of grey hair, your face is full of wrinkles and your body now has cellulite. She is always near, when you just need a friend, who will silently and loyally, lift up all your weight, with all your “baggage”, that you so stubbornly, carry with you since childhood. Doctors, might say that with your current health conditions, you must stay in bed and spend as much money and time in hospitals as possible. The road will never tell you that.
Love is perhaps the best cure of them all and Love is always something you can meet on the road. The road will never ask you “So where is this all going?” or “Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?” or “What do you do for living”, “What is your religion?”, “Who will you vote for?” or “How many followers do you have on instagram?”…
The Road will never turn your brain into crumbles of bread, trying to convince you of the fact, that it’s more important to “Think about your future”, instead of living in “NOW”. Even when you spit into her soul, she will never answer you in the same way.
When me and her are in each others silence and stillness of “now” and in this life of “in between”, where time, age, differences, hate, anger and fear does not exist, I hear a drumming sound, that says;
“I’m always here, I’m always near, just come.”
Lately, I’ve heard the road say something, she hasn’t said before to me, as often as now;
“I’m happy, that you are now dancing on me so passionately and fearlessly, with your dusty feet, while leaving behind footprints of love, freedom and magic.”
yes, I’m alive! : ) sorry for months and months of silence. I got emails, asking if I’m ok. Everything is great! The wifi connection has been almost impossible to catch, since I was in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Timor-Leste (East Timor) and now in Brunei (my 49th country).
I have tons of stories, photos and videos to share. All press about Papua New Guinea is a lie! It is the most incredible country and the kindest people I’ve met. I was the first white woman to dance topless with tribes and other bare-breasted women, at the Madang Festival in Papua New Guinea, lived in a village with locals with no electricity, running water or toilet, breastfed (with no milk) a local baby, ate turtles and tried betle – nut.
filmed more footage for my documentary with Dima, whom you read about in this story (we traveled and filmed together in PNG and Indonesia), spend time on an abandoned Island, lost and found my camera, laptop and all my footage in Indonesia with the help of the whole town, by the name of Manado.
Was invited to a local funeral in Toraja, where they sacrifice Buffalo and pigs and was invited to eat with the family of the deceased. (a place where I decided not to eat meat anymore) Saw mummies and was told by a soul of a woman, who’s from Africa, who entered the body of another woman in Indonesia, that I have no fear about anything and that I am half man, half woman. I traveled by local bus alone, into nowhere, across the whole Island in Timor-Leste, where I now have a family to return to. Lived with a chief of the Tutuala village, touched 6000 year old paintings in caves and got drawn pictures by 6-year-old boys in Lospalos, Timor-Leste.
My bags, my fingers, my wrists, my neck, my ears are all heavy from all the gifts, my soul is light and full of love, my feet are dusty, my skin is tanned and my face is kissed by tears of laughter and joy much more now, than from tears of sorrow.
I, for some foolish reason, check-in about what’s going on in “the real world” … and you know what they say? — People are now complete zombies; running around streets with Pokemon go crazed eyes…
Is that what you’re doing with your life?
I just touched a 6000 year old painting inside a 30.000 year old cave in Timor-Leste (East Timor) and some of you are running around “catching” imaginary friends in your virtual reality world? What?
Have you made someones life a little bit better today? Is this world a better place, because you are alive?
When was the last time, you made someone smile or helped someone, without asking anything in return? When was the last time you hugged someone and told them you love them, just the way they are? When was the last time you send someone flowers “just because” and gave your seat away in a crowded and hot subway?
When was the last time you put on some music and danced with your wife, while she’s preparing food for your children or washing dishes?
When was the last time you told your children “You are perfect just the way you are. You always have a choice and this choice is only yours to make. I will love you and support you, no matter what. Go live! Go experience this world! Fall in love and dance! Live your life, how you want to live it, not the way I want you to, but the way your soul wants to live it. Honor your soul above all else.”
When was the last time you told a total stranger, that you loved them, regardless of your differences?
What are you waiting for? When will it be the right time for you to start living instead of existing?
When was the last time you asked someone “What makes you happy?” or “What is your passion?”
When will it be the right time for you to start loving?
The questions people ask me, might have changed in the past months; from “What do you do for living?” to “What is your religion?”
But my answer stays the same …
TO WHOEVER IS READING THIS RIGHT NOW ;
EVEN THOUGH I DO NOT KNOW YOU OR SEEN YOU, HUGGED YOU, DANCED WITH YOU, LAUGHED OR CRIED WITH YOU OR HAVE THE SAME SKIN COLOR, BELIEFS OR THOUGHTS AS YOU —
KNOW, THAT I LOVE YOU.