My name is Nikolai, but my best friends call me “Ivan”.
During the past 30 years, lingering on this planet, I have had incredible luck.
My luck started already with my birth…
My mum repeatedly told me that my birth has been a little complicated. It took place in a Soviet hospital on Christmas Eve and I owe my life to the fact that there has been a trainee at the right time at the right place.
After hours of unsuccessful attempts from the trained midwives and studied doctors, to help my mum giving birth, personnel decided to take a break and debate. The only assistance left was a trainee.
So it happened that this trainee then decided to go for a rather old, unreasonably dangerous and by now also forbidden method to help the process. Thanks to this women, I did finally exit her womb alive, and I was confused. I´ve been so confused I even forgot that this would be the best time to start crying. From storytelling, I only looked stupidly and rather knocked out around, not being able to open my mouth.
Turning blue from the severe lack of oxygen, I spend my first days in an incubator. So the opening chapter I call “born blue, been thrown in a cell to cope” (This translation doesn’t quite work from German to English, sorry)
My mum did not tell the doctors about the trainee and insisted that the boy had just come out by himself. The helping hand was definitely grateful about this lie. Even more so, was of course my mummy, for her being gifted the most beautiful Christmas present of her life.
The first let´s say eight years of my life, I spend in quite simple circumstances in a village named “Mitschyrin”. There was no running water, nor a telephone connection in any of the households, but we were surrounded by nature, had many pets and other more productive animals around us as well as a wooden outhouse.
My best friend at this time, was my Kazakh neighbour “Dzjaka”. We spend most of our time climbing trees and occupying rooftops. We were like “Tarzan and Jane” playing with the animals, and without any thoughts about our future, we probably were the happiest kids on earth.
Even though this is now a long way in the past, I still have a lot of memories, about this chapter of the Soviet Union in my head…visibly outside my head…and also visible on various other parts of my body.
Because life as “Tarzan” is not really non hazardous, and unfortunately “Jane” couldn’t always stick around to look after me. That´s why I still have many scars from former lacerations, cuts and burns. Numerous accidents falling off trees and bikes, which probably every kid experienced. Another classic was to touch and or sit on rather far too hot surfaces.
Something more unique is my cut on the artery, which is still very visible to ones eye. This injury is a witness to my excessive luck (“bad luck” respectively “luck despite of stupidity”) which has always stuck by my side. From early age I have been a huge fan of Karate and Kung-Fu movies. So after having seen Jacky Chan (who has been still considered young in the early 90s) taking on the bad guys, I felt it was about time for my first break test. This one I passed easily. Just a little silly that I have chosen a glass. Do not try this at home! Glasses which you break in the palm of your hand, do quite naturally take immediate revenge: Zakk-Bum! Klirr! Blood splattered, I screamed…My sisters came rushing out the house, and they screamed…Randomly running around, my sisters randomly followed…Blood still shot out and our screams tuned in a round. After being caught, I got first aided, then instant sleep…Ruminant silence of a prospective Martial Arts Fighter…Zzzzzz…No one screamed anymore.
I was confidently convinced, that when I awakened, I was stronger then ever.
The second chapter of my life will be called “Auwouhauoawuoaouaoouaoawa”. (Pronunciation is like the “Tarzan” howling, you know?)
I cant imagine a better childhood, then the one I’ve had. And even though I did not want to leave “Mitschyrin”, I cant think of a better point in time, to have finally left my birthplace. In 1992, shortly after West and East-Germany reunited, my parents got permission to go to Germany. Back to where their ancestors came from.
It was only days till my eights birthday and our first “German” Christmas experience. It took us some time to get used to this new world with their colourful lights, big cars, yellow rubbish bags, running water and their convenient soap dispensers. We managed. Not without setbacks, but we managed.
In Germany I continued my academic career as well as my personal head-space-studies concerning “Humans, animals and other oddities”.
Along the way I trained Martial Arts and learned, unfortunately far too late, that break tests involving glass, will never quite be innocuous.
I could mention here that my academic progress has been quite successful or fairly average. Both would be a fat lie though, so I just don’t mention anything except: I have learned a lot! And ultimately, this is what it is all about (not just and only) in school, isn’t it?
This life-phase has been affected by many events, of which most are too private to be mentioned in public here. If you would like to know more details, you may invite me for one or twelve beer, and I will happily have a chat…
It´s been a wild, amazing period with a lot of highlights, but it did unfortunately not end without a terrible incident. However I still strongly believe -just as I did after my cut- that I have only become stronger. In fact I must be close to “invincibility”.
This chapter will be named “Jacques Jour, you have no idea” (This would be an insider, and of course makes perfect sense to those. As I already said: one to twelve beer would be needed for the others to hear the details.) Whenever I look back to this time, I inevitably have to think of my deceased friend Gerrit. This project is dedicated to him…
Now, after school, various mini-jobs, diverse practical trainings, and an apprenticeship at a travel agency I ended up abroad.
It´s been more than five years now that I have been active as a holiday rep at “DER-Touristik”. Through work as well as my personnel initiative I have come around a lot. In doing so, I repeatedly realised that time abroad makes your personality “grow”: You learn to see the world from different perspectives, you learn to respect, not bound to status or age, you learn to share happiness, you learn and learn and learn…
At first rather randomly travelling around, I by now decided consciously to live a nomadic life. Back then, I thought of travelling as an opportunity to get to see different cultures and to take photographs of some tourist features for the people back home. Nowadays I experience it as an opportunity to enrich other peoples life. In combination with today’s communication technologies, I see a chance, to mobilise people, to help those who are in need. And I want both the receiver as well as the giver, to have a positive experience.
So, now I can start to write the newest chapter of my life: “Help ´n´ Travel”.
The wish, to do good and to spread the positive attitude behind it, is something I felt like doing for quite a while now. And finally, after some 30 years, the fog lifted and the answer to the “but how?” became apparent, for me to finally spring into action…
Once again I was very lucky (or destiny?), to find the right people from which I have received great help.
It is time to give some positive energy back to the world!