My name is Laura Mayer. I am on the move. My eyes have seen some weird creatures and I have had some true adventures. As an octopus I like to spit out ink, and I keep my diaries safe here, so that they won’t get lost to the sea
Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1987
As a small kid I used to look at the world globe and fantasize. About far away countries, floating markets, what the jungle would be like. How it was to grow up on the streets or to live in a clay hut in Africa. I used to tell people I was made in Indonesia — which was not true — my parents had been to Indonesia more than a year before I was born. But I liked the sound of that.
20 years later: Saigon, Vietnam.
My first trip to Asia. Late evening. I am standing on the balcony of my big hotel and observe the family living on the street under me. A big contrast. The father is studying a newspaper meticulously. They squat and have dinner together, rice and some meat. The family is surrounded by older rickshaw drivers waiting for customers. I wonder about their experiences, thoughts, dreams, perspectives, and wish I could be them for a day. Just to see the world through their eyes.
Laos, a slow bus from Vientiane to Luang Prabang. The road is curvy and takes me past some of the small villages. Local people are working on electricity cables. They all wear the same dark green clothes and shoes. Would it be the state providing them work and these clothes? The construction workers, men and women, are working hard and appear tired. A young Laotian girl is sitting next to me. She starts vomiting. I offer her my window seat – she thanks me, refuses and is still throwing up.
I love being here. The smiles. The big rains. The realizations, different perspectives and acceptance. The contrasts. Things can also be done differently; there is not one way but there are many. We can learn a lot from that.
Work calls. Back to reality. I live in Amsterdam and dream of Asia. The people. The atmosphere. The flowers and the air. Every day. There is a world out there for me. I want to learn.
Ever since, I find my happiness in exploring. New places, other cultures, different mind settings. The Dutch way is not the only way. There are many.
I quit my job one year ago to start doing what I love: being on the move and to observe the other animals!