#8 What's in the Travellin' Man's Briefcase?

I’m Maseh Hadaf, and this is DeepTox. Thank you for being here with me.

I’ve recently relocated to Ukraine.

  • Take risks, make yourself vulnerable, uncomfortable, press enormous weight on old, safe relationships, sacrifice who you once were.
  • Share what I have discovered so far about costs and benefits that come with travelling.

The Briefcase Key

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” T. S. Eliot

There’s a lot of things in the travelling man’s briefcase. I’m going to deliver it the same way it’s all stuffed in there, organic and a complete mess.

Relocation. Change of coming to a new country. Language (barriers, Russian and Ukrainian). Politics, uncertainty, hope. Food. Water. Cash. Apartment. Electrocution. Infrastructure. Work 9-6, being the intern at retreat coffee machine, providing support to local women’s organizations, +commute. Value of time-off. Setting mission, vision and values, goals and objectives, spreading myself out thin. People. Finding old habits. Forming new ones. Friends. Family. Relationships. In the long term. Uncertainty. Love. Connections. Mission. Purpose. Age. Race. Uzbeks. Tajiks. Dawud. How different we are, how alike (zindagi mushkill ast). Eye-contact with brown mans. The rich. The overwhelming poor. How I am perceived. Who I am. Fish in a different fishbowl, seems different, is it?  Who do I want to be.

My Desktop Wallpaper

Vision, Mission, Objectives, for real.

Setting a Vision, mission, objectives. Bound-time frame. Day A/Day B. I’ll share what I have. It’s on my desktop background image!

Not just taking, try to match giving everyday (set the intention whether it’s possible or not). Learn the local language/history. Communicate with local people, make friends, have money in your pocket to give, tip, try to do humanitarian/development/fair private sector work, male privilege modelling, don’t get caught in the expat bubble. Don’t tokenize these people (white person smiling with a bunch of African kids on Instagram, voluntourism), put your heart in it the work. Try to see how others see you. Show love.

There are many things that cannot be told, only shown. Only felt, tasted, heard. No logic, no assumptions. Travelling tears assumptions apart with it, and brings you closer to perceiving things without the veil of thoughts covering your eyes. When I travel I feel that I am more awake, I notice small details everywhere around me that would be background noise back home.

“I did not tell half of what I saw, for I knew I would not be believed”
― Marco Polo