Have you ever travelled abroad for a short holiday? And did you ever think that one day you’ll make that place your home? There are just a couple of reasons why people take that one-way ticket to a foreign country.
A project manager at an IT firm, Peter Van Geit — from Belgium — arrived in Chennai on work, in 1998. It has now been close to two decades and the city has become home.
His love for the outdoors made him start a trekking club which now has over 30,000 members. Through the club, he has organised treks, marathons and triathlons — at some stunning, unexplored locations across the South. “When there is a will to experience each moment of life more fully, there will be a way. Just run with nature to discover a more fulfilling life — filled with simplicity, adventure and stillness. There’s nothing quite like the solitude and exhilaration one gets from taking the scenic routes.”
Van Geit has also been inspiring youth to take up active lifestyles. Last year, he ran over 1,000 km across the Himalayas and then there was a self-supported 500-km run this month during which he stayed with locals in the Ladakh region. He has also cycled to India’s many beautiful, mountain destinations
“I never really saw myself settling down in India. One of the joys of spending time in another country is that you slowly become a part of it and over a period, one of its people. The attention to detail is heightened and we make a concerted effort to understand and fit in until we become one with our new location. What I have seen and felt and heard in each of these places has made me who I am today. It’s good to challenge yourself and be adventurous, scare yourself once a while — it makes life less dull. Our choices are half chances and so are everybody else’s. When you go with the flow and let the road ahead just unfold, there’s no reason to be regretful. You just make the best decision you can and in the end, the journey becomes the adventure.” adds Van Geit.
And his ability to run amidst nature, through a country that was not originally home, also shows how much strength even the unknown can sometimes offer....