Have you had that feeling that everything happens for a reason? That destiny knows what is doing? That sometimes God or whatever/whoever, puts you in the right place at the right time?
So, on my last post (ages ago… I know I know but hardly have time to even open my laptop these days as been super busy), I wrote about my experience of being blind for a couple of hours and how much my respect for blind people has increased ever since….
That was in Hong Kong… while in China – Beijing more precisely, I was having the time of my life, because after a couple of months of almost no speaking or hardly meeting new people, in Beijing I was on a treat, meeting awesome people everyday.
But there is someone extra special I would like to tell you about… His name is Alessandro Bordini.
I was at the hostel computer room when I suddletly saw someone passing by with a cane… and no, it wasn’t an old men with a back pain… it was a blind young man.
For seconds I was shocked, thinking.. was he really blind? Was he alone? Oh he must have friends or family around… or maybe he isn’t blind at all and I am just imagining things….
And then he was gone…. he left as fast as he came.
Later that evening, me and Aidan, my partner in crime in Beijing, my roomie and follow Londoner went for a walk and dinner. You know those dinners that are suppose to last 40min but end up lasting for 3h??? I could feel we would be kicked out from the restaurant as they wanted to close… so I suggested to leave. On our way to the hostel, just before we got into the hostel street, something … a feeling, a vibe maybe… told me to look back … and there he was. Alessandro was walking in our direction. Talking about being on the right place at the right time … 🙂
I just knew I had to speak to him. He didn’t seem to need help or anything (still, I was shocked to see that he was alone), but I still went to him and told him I was at his hostel and if he needed any help to go back – which he responded… “well, I don’t really want to go back to the hostel, I wanted to go somewhere where I could meet cool people”…
Me and Aidan looked at each other quite surprised and in shock, and apologised saying we didn’t really know any place to hang out and meet people apart from our hostel. Gladly Alessandro seemed convinced enough to join us and the 3 of us went back to the hostel where we took a table and choose a couple of drinks… my head was spinning, I had a million questions to ask, but I didn’t want to be rude or ruining Alessandro’s night as he wanted to have fun, and the last thing I wanted was him to feel like he was some sort of entertainer….
After deciding what we wanted to drink, Aidan went to order the drinks leaving me alone with Alessandro. And in that moment he told me, that I was the only person he had met that was planing to travelling longer than he was… which I was shocked to find out he was in fact planning to travel for 2 years and not a couple of weeks as I was initially imagining… so I finally asked, why, why was he doing this?
His answer was: “because I want to prove that there is good people in the world”.
The tears started streaming down my face, and somehow I knew there will be more coming… Is not everyday you are in the presence of someone so special.
All my life I live and spread values such positivity, or mottos like: fight for your dreams, believe in yourself, challenge yourself, be a better person, etc, and here he was. The person that was taking all those values and mottos to a complete next level.
The night became better by the minute as all the beautiful people we met through the days joined us at that fun and lively table at the hostel… and suddenly we had these beautiful couple of girls from Brazil with us, then a fun friend from Ireland joined us, followed by another cool dude from USA, and when we though it couldn’t get any better, my roommates from Russia joined us, they are only the funniest & hilarious people Ive met in ages, so we were no longer just Aidan, Alessandro and I, but a table that seemed more like the United Nations full of beautiful people with the most incredible stories, but the protagonist was definitely Alessandro, as he “killed” us all with the most amazing stories I have heard in a long time.
We laugh, we cried, we listen, we shared, we learned… it was definitely one of the most beautiful and inspirational nights of my trip, and I dare to say, of my life.
But who is Alessandro Bordini?
Alessandro is a young man, 28, Italian, that thrives on adrenaline. I never met anyone with such a passion for life.
He lost his eyesight 5 years ago during a skydiving accident, even tho he was a well trained skydiver, with over 1000 jumps in is repertoire.
The accident was brutal, and for a while the only thing that was working was his heart and his brain, so once you talk with Alessandro you will realise that he is in fact very grateful of his situation, because at the end of the day, apart from his vision, everything came back and not only he is alive, but he is also kicking.
He is such a happy chap, always smiling and with this calm and relaxing attitude that I haven’t seen in a while…
Alessandro said that traveling it is his replacement for Skydiving. He has been traveling for over a year as he needs to feel alive and to have adrenaline in his life, and oh well. Being a RTW traveler and going through so many challenges and difficulties everyday, I can only say that it is extremely difficult for me, so to someone like Alessandro that has no vision… I can only imagine … specially after my experience of being “blind” in Hong Kong for 2h.
On top of that, I must let you know that Alessandro travel is far from the conventional RTW ones when it comes to his destinations. He doesn’t necessarily chooses “normal” counties or places, and he has been traveling through remotes parts of Africa such Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Zanzibar, Mozambique, etc.. Also been to some interesting destinations such Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Mongolia, Siberia etc. And he holds the most incredible stories from those places… is like he is collecting this “souvenirs” – people’s kindness, and then he shares it with us all.
For him is not about seeing monuments or visit museums, is all about people, cultural interaction and the power of “good”, because at the end of the day, like Alessandro says: ” People is all I got, I have to trust them and depend on them to do anything while on the road”.
And this my friends, is the reason why I travel. To meet inspirational people that motivates me to be a better person.
Alessandro is the proof that you can achieve anything you want, as long as you are positive and have the right attitude… living in a world where most people complain and are so ungrateful even tho they live better than 95% of the population, it is refreshing meeting someone like Alessandro that proves to himself and us all, that we can make it. Life doesn’t end if something terrible happens to you and you should never give up on your dreams or give up on truly living, even if destiny just made it harder to get…. no… you can make it. Stop giving excuses to yourself .
If you want to know more about Alessandro, you can find his inspiring blog online at: www.lightheplanet.net
Also, he has done a Ted Talk recently, at the moment is only in Italian but as soon as there’s an English version I will update it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SrY9DIt3Zg
Alessandro, thank you for inspiring me =)
I shall tell your beautiful story to every good soul I know and will do it to new generations to come, you are definitely an example and a new hero to me.