This is it. 2 more assignments to complete, get it done already, one other errand to run, a day and a half’s playing with my son and I am on my way. The bags are packed, the paperwork in order and the leave application signed. I’m off on a hop, skip and jump through Europe.

The adventure starts on Thursday (31 March) when Emse and Janno will drop me at Monte Casino to catch the Gautrain bus. Instead of a two hour ordeal with Johannesburg traffic they are out and about in four quick kilometres. I’m catching the evening flight with EgyptAir to Cairo and from there to Geneva the next morning.

What’s the trip all about? The short answer is: experience. The trip of two halves is planned around experiencing different sights and sounds, smells and tastes, different ways of thinking and talking and a lot more. For the first part of the tour I am joined with 14 fellow travellers on the way to Taize, a retreat community in North-western France. After spending two days in Geneva we will head to this diverse community for seven days. We will take part in the daily rhythm of those who seek to bring about God’s kingdom in a very tangible way.

After this thought-provoking experience the group will split into smaller groups. The majority are slowly making their way back to Geneva from where they fly back to South Africa. I am doing things slightly different. Bearing a backpack and equipped with a few things to capture experiences I am heading out to Paris (2 days), Amsterdam (2 days), Rome (4 days), Athens (3 days) and Cairo (3 days) before I head back home.

During this whirlwind I will try to see and hear, taste and experience as many religious, cultural, and philosophical points of interest as possible. I am especially excited about my hosts. I am staying with native people in every city who kindly offered their couches for travellers seeking to experience more than just the tourism beat.

Now you know. This is what I will be up to during the month of April. If you are interested in my journey, please tune into this blog. I will try to post a blog every day of my trip, at least as much as internet access allows me. I might also send the odd tweet (follow me on @hannol) but rather than be connected to my phone I will be connecting to a world much different than my own. This blog entry will be duplicated at

Join me, even if it is from behind a computer! You are most welcome.


As a last thought. This journey, as the bigger journey of life, will be marked by a seeking and enjoying of mystery; barefoot!