Almost a year ago, I changed my laptop password. Since then, every day at least for once I have to type “chaseyourdream” (Do I have to change it now? 😅). I say it loud in my head “Chase your dream”. Today, typing that password made me feel a bit different. It’s the feeling that tells you that you’re doing the right things.
“Good morning Jamal, you can come to pick your visa”, said the man’s voice on the other side of the phone from the German embassy. I hung up, took me couple minutes to process what that means. For those of you who have a “VIP” passport like American, EU or Israeli probably that doesn’t mean anything, traveling or moving to somewhere else is just about buying a flight ticket and maybe signing couple papers. For me, that call was a life changer. When you grow up in East Jerusalem holding a Jordanian passport (don’t ask why) and you have to pay to get a visa for almost every country in the world, Wait at least 2 weeks to get it and miss your flight when they don’t give it on time. Traveling turns to be a nightmare and your home country turns to be a big jail.
6 months, >3000$, tons of phone calls and 22 different letter and document were the cost of that visa. Still, I would not make without the help of my friend Sassan. Defeating the stereotype about the Middle Eastern Arab is not easy. You are supposed to be poor, undereducated and probably going to work in a factory (As the Israeli security guy assumed when he asked what I’m going to do in Germany. It was a little moment of victory when I saw his face changing after I said what I had to say).
“You have changed”, “You are crazy” are my favorite compliments even when people don’t say it as one. I feel sorry for those who don’t change often enough. Being the same as yesterday is what scares me the most. Less than a year has passed. I quit my job, became a freelancer to work remotely, lived in 4 different cities in 4 countries, raised my hourly rate from 30$ to 60$ and it should get to 80$ soon, moved to Germany to make traveling a bit easier and more important, to work with Sassan on our project and launch a company in the next few months!
What next? Every 2-3 months I want to move to a new location, different city or country. Explore more cultures and make new friends. Next month (12-17th) will be in Berlin to meet my second family, Hacker Paradise. Will visit them in Palermo, Italy in August and join them again for a month in Cape Town, South Africa (Ya Spencer, are are happy now?). So if you are somewhere in Europe and want to go on an adventure, hike or even meet for beer. Let me know 🙃.
إذا غامَرْتَ في شَرَفٍ مَرُومِ فَلا تَقنَعْ بما دونَ النّجومِ
If you reach for the highest of ideals, you shouldn’t settle for less than the stars
2 days ago, I finished reading a very famous book that I didn’t get the chance to read before, The Alchemist. A lot of people love that book, some say it’s overrated. For me, it was like reading my life story. The shepherd who quit his job left home and traveled to the unknown looking for his Personal Legend. If you didn’t read this book yet, go read it now. If you already have and you are still like the crystal merchant go read it again. If you want something, go for it. Don’t be the crystal merchant!
Stay Hungry, Never Settle!