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Journal of Ala Oueslati: Tunisian World Nomad e wanted to let you know about his heroic achievements. He has been to Barrow! The northernmost city in America, and he survived, and he saw green strange things in the sky, and he liked it and he came back to let you know about it. He thinks he's great.

Wanderlust: Cold and Green

USA | Thursday, 15 May 2014 | Views [427] | Comments [3] | Scholarship Entry

He stole a small white memo pad from his host's house. He was hoping they would not mind. He just needed to write things down. He knew that by writing things down, he would avoid going crazy. That is what they said on the radio.

As soon as he found himself walking by the ocean shore, not very far from the city, he was thinking about the frozen salmon and his bleeding toes. His phone was not working. He hated having to use a pen with his gloves on, but he was delighted that he had the chance to record those meaningful extraordinary moments of the north.

As he saw the sign that said, "Barrow, top of the world", he understood that he is crazy, unstoppable and that he could not fully assimilate what happened. It felt peaceful and quiet. It felt white and pure. He knew everything was perfect; the heaven he had imagined, the extreme beauty of nature that he had been looking for, the unusual sensations of satisfaction. He was walking steadily, his face covered with a thick green scarf and his hands in his pockets, making sure to look everywhere, humming and singing to the Iñupiat Gods and the Eyak and the Yupik and even Apollo. Then, he paused for a second and looked at the sky. A grey fog covered all Barrow. He could see the slight glimmers of the few Alaskan houses. He then started a new reflection on how to confront the monsters if they come haunt him down. He knew it was just a legend, but the circumstances made it feel so real. He did not care and he said the things he always said: "you needn't worry, this is absolutely fine"

He passed his hand carefully over his abdomen. He wanted food, but inspiration was strong in him. He knew everything around him was magical at that moment. The temperature was dropping and it was getting darker. He had a toughness and a philosophical attitude that was new to him.

He kept walking towards the horizon when he noticed that the ice under his feet was getting green. He paused. He smiled. He looked up at the sky and he saw his dream; green and red flames of light stretching across the sky, a surreal glowing curtain of light forms swirling above him and above Barrow. He understood that he had just witnessed the Aurora Borealis. For the first time he was not thinking about peace and war and crimes and inequality and starvation and also poverty and selfishness and greed and animal abuse. It was the first time he saw freedom. The temperature was still dropping, but he was absolutely fine. I, was absolutely fine.

Tags: 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip



Nice story, I like the small details and the metaphors!!

  James May 27, 2014 1:11 AM


OMG you've been to Barrow! That has to be something special! I hope I'll be able to do it one day! Hats off Mr. Very inspiring :)

  Jihene Barhoumi May 31, 2014 11:10 AM


The story is very emotional. It must have been a beautiful jounrey.

  Juan Guilleza Jun 2, 2014 2:14 AM

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