Here is the full transcript of Mateusz Andrulewicz’s talk titled “Your Own Journey Through The World” at TEDxUniMannheim conference.
In his talk “Your Own Journey Through The World,” Mateusz Andrulewicz shares the captivating story of his 15-month bicycle journey from Poland to Cape Town, highlighting the extreme climates, cultural immersions, and unexpected challenges he faced. He describes the intense humidity of the Gulf Coast, the hospitality in the Middle East, and the legal and health troubles encountered in Africa, including a brush with malaria and an ear infection that cut their journey short.
Andrulewicz reflects on the deep insights gained about the Muslim religion, culture, and customs, especially during their time in Saudi Arabia. Despite not reaching their final destination due to unforeseen circumstances, including the outbreak of civil war in Sudan that likely destroyed their left-behind bicycles and luggage, Andrulewicz deems the journey a tremendous success. He emphasizes the value of embracing hardship and discomfort as a pathway to growth and learning.
Through his adventure, Andrulewicz discovered an imbalance between body and mind fostered by modern lifestyles, advocating for a more body-focused approach to daily life as a means to correct this imbalance. The talk concludes with Andrulewicz encouraging his audience to embark on their own journeys of self-discovery and adventure, emphasizing the transformative power of such experiences.
Listen to the audio version here:
All right, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to invite you to a Sudanese tea house consisting of plastic chairs scattered around summer on a sandy street corner in Khartoum. It is 45°C, and the Sudanese winter is just about to finish. The summer will soon begin as I’m sitting in my plain black tea without sugar. I’m contemplating my next step, as my 15-month long journey from Poland to Cape Town is facing its biggest crisis yet. But first, allow me perhaps to give you some background.
The Phenomenon of Storytelling
When you come back home from a trip like this, there is this really funny phenomenon that awaits you when you tell the story to the people who are listening to you. The story often seems overwhelming, even though cycling from Poland to Sudan is the most real, the most tangible thing that I have ever achieved. I mean, I had to conquer every single meter of the 14,000km with the power of my own muscle. I would feel every single slight. I would feel even the slightest change in terrain or climate. And finally, I could interact with everything and everyone that I passed by, even with all this tangibility.