exploration journal

Paris-Seoul – words about leaving



I am at Charles de Gaulle Airport. Waiting for my plane to Seoul – well, actually, I am flying to Doha and then Seoul.


Let’s have a look backwards.

My adventure started in August.

I went to Plum Village for a Buddhist mindfulness retreat.

I came back to Paris and then went to Romania for an immersion with two awesome entrepreneurs into the third-places ecosystem – among others.

I came back to Paris and then went to Ile d’Yeu to enjoy the seaside, ride my bike, read. But what I experienced most actually was loneliness ! It is part of the path…

3 explorations.

Yes, the lifelab project has started for more than a month.


But today, I am leaving for real.

I am leaving Paris, I am leaving my family and friends to go very far away, and I have no idea about when I am coming back – I am leaving for 5 or 6 months at least.

I will be travelling in 5 or 6 countries – after Seoul, I will go to Hong Kong, then Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, India, maybe Malaisia.

For the first time of my life, I have been preparing a « several in one » journey. And on my own. I don’t like administrative things – few people do, I know. And practical intelligence / organization is not my strongest talent !

Visas, vaccinations. I had to pack for several countries, with very different contexts and atmospheres – from business districts of huge cities to isolated villages. To work and to travel. And there will be changing weather – quite warm, less warm, rain, no rain.

I think the most complicated was to figure out what to bring with me ! It really teaches me to get detached from the things I own (especially clothes), the things that surround me everyday, the things I think I need to have with me to feel comfortable.

I had the feeling that I had to pack my life in a 80 liters bag – I will not move that much as I wanted to settle in places and create experiences there, so I chose quite a big bag – a backpack with wheels – Mum, thank you for the wise advice ! 🙂


While preparing my journey, I said goodbye to my family and friends.

It was good to create rituals to see them, spend some time with them, say goodbye. And as I leave for a long time, far away, not knowing when I come back, I felt that it created a different connection and a deeper expression of feelings and attachment.

This morning I organized a last breakfast at home with my parents. And my sister even happened to be here.

When I said goodbye to my parents, and getting so close to leaving, I really felt a wave of mixed emotions ! Aïe !

Sadness to leave the people and the places. Fear of the unknown. Stress related to organization (what if I forget something ? what if I miss my plane ?).

I spent the whole morning stressed, and crying. Finishing packing and tidying my room, and crying. I had not cried like that for a very long time !


I am sad about all I am leaving behind.

Leaving the people I love ; the people I have shared time, experiences, emotions, enthousiasm, and joy with ; people who made me grow-up, people who allowed me to believe in me and dare ; people who encouraged me to be ambitious ; people who helped me transform the dream into reality.

I am doing this lifelab project because people around me expressed their faith in these dreams I wanted to make true. Telling my story and ideas to them, words little by little became my reality. Through their trust and faith they made me believe in my ability to create this.

Thank you to all of you. You certainly contributed to my project more than you imagine.

And I am sad about the places.

Paris, the memories I have here. The beauty.

My room in my parents’ appartment – where I came back almost 3 months ago. My books. My clothes (haha, yes !). The comfort I know will not have anymore. My organic foodmarket. My favorites cafés.

My life here.

So I cried. I couldn’t help crying.

I know it ‘s all about perception and I know I can choose my thoughts and the focus of my attention. Well, sometimes, like this morning, I could not. I was overwhelmed.


I calmed down when I arrived at the airport.

I was still deeply aligned with my choice. But it was a lot to go through.

I have decided to divide the big mountain into little steps. I am not leaving my life to a totally unknown one in places I don’t know, with people I don’t know, for an undetermined duration.

First step. I am travelling to Seoul. And I am going to spend 3 weeks in Seoul.

(I will tell you later what I will do there !)


What helped me a lot is that I have an appointment there.

A French friend connected me to one his friend who has been living in Korea for many years. I shared with him through facebook, he already gave me great advice. And I know I will see him soon when I arrive.

I feel that this very simple thing – having an appointment with someone nice, there, changes everything.