The Great Northern Horizon
Nomadic Life by bike
Japon - 2019
Just before starting our first talk, Tatsuno San, the founder of Montbell, spoke. He introduced us, then offered us the Montbell Challenge Award. Surprised, goose bumps and tears in the eyes of this honour, he handed us the trophy intended for each of us: Xavier, Celine, Nayla and Fibie. On it is written:
“Nomadic Family by Bicycle as a Way of Life”.
Our Way in Japan
What was the greatest difficulty? Tatsuno San asked us. The hardest part doesn’t come from the outside. It comes from the inside. It comes from the fears that vibrate within us. It comes from what needs to be pacified in us. It comes from what we have to transform.
WHAT WAS THE GREATEST DIFFICULTY?
Our way in Japan is linked to a series of conferences for the Mont-bell company. In Osaka and Yokohama, in a large hall filled with more than 8,000 people, we present our way of life: Nomads as a way of being and living. We want to inspire everyone to live their dream, whatever it may be. There is no limit to the life that everyone can dream, create and compose, even as a family.
The MontBell Challenge Award is a recognition of our life’s journey. This award supports people in the realisation of unique projects. Since 2002, eight other prizes have been awarded to explorers, scientists, humanitarian projects, until now only to Japanese people. Tatsuno San wishes above all to accompany and support people who are trying without fear of failure. At 21 years old, he was the second Japanese to climb the north face of the Eiger. In his conferences, he talks about this tiny minority of people who push the limits of what is conceivable, who open the mind to other ways of being and doing. And who finally, through their audacity, are helping humanity to move forward.
We are honoured to receive this distinction, for what it represents. A recognition of our nomadic life, of our life’s path, of the inspiration we carry around us. And, of course, an immense gratitude to Nayla and Fibie. Nayla is the first baby to have cycled across the Nullarbor Desert in Australia, 1,200 km between two towns. Fibie learned to walk in a yurt, and she is the first baby to have cycled through the coldest desert in the world, the Gobi Desert.
We set foot on the Land of the Rising Sun, just as spring arrives. We feel this surge of vitality enveloping us. It invites us to deploy our whole being in the energy of life. At the same time Japan changes era and enters Reiwa, the Beautiful Harmony, with the new Emperor Naruhito.
In Japan, contemplating the blooming of Sakura flowers, Hanami, is a true hymn to Life, an invitation to celebrate the present moment, to live in full consciousness every moment that unfolds. The Sakura flowers also correspond to a metaphor of life and death, Mono no aware: the ephemeral nature of Life. To die like the Sakura flowers. Connected to the spirit of the samurai, it is the awareness that life can end at any moment, at the height of its beauty.
We cycle through a cherry tree alley in full bloom. A few petals fly in the breeze and compose a magical atmosphere. This magic softens the frigid temperatures. Last night, once again, it froze. We enter the former imperial capitals, Kyoto and Nara, guardians of traditions, and discover new sacred places..