A long time ago I heard of a Polish couple, Kinga & Chopin, hitchhiking around the world. They had already travelled a couple of continents, where on the road for a couple of years and didn’t intend to quit anytime soon. For the next couple of years I read Kinga’s updates from the road and they were a huge inspiration for me. If there ever were some people daring enough to live their dreams they were it!
After 5 years of travelling they got back to Poland for a break. Kinga published a book filled with the pictures and stories of their adventures; partly to share & inspire, partly to raise money for her next trip to Africa. While she was on tour to promote this book 1,5 year ago I finally met her in real life, in Groningen, by coincedence on my own birthday. She gave a very colorful photo presentation for a crowd gathered in an former hospital. Afterwards we chatted a bit in the bar, and when she discovered it was my birthday, she and her friends sang “Happy birthday” in Polish for me. That evening I also met Asia, one of Kinga’s best friends. Asia and me stayed in touch, and occasionaly hitchhiked together.
Kinga I only met once, but she did stay an inspiration for me. Last time I hitched with Asia, about 2 weeks ago, she told me the story of Kinga freeing a young girl of slavery in the Ivory Coast. She was now hitchhiking back with the girl to Ghana where the girls family lives, and arranged things so to make sure that the future for the girl was looking brightly.
Now, this week I suddenly recieved news that Kinga had gotten malaria in Ghana. A grave situation, I could barely believe it, but I was sure she would make it!
She didn’t. I just have recieved news of her early death.
I’m shocked, and can barely grasp the notion. One moment she was dancing under the stars this inspiring person I felt so connected with, and the next moment she has dissappeared entirely.
Her whole life she was following her dreams with an enormous intensity, and she always was inspiring others to follow theirs.
“Every dream is given to us with the power to make it come true.”
In her dead, as in her live she gives this message, one I’m convinced of is the only way to live your life.
Kinga, thanks for the inspiration!
When we pass on the world will judge us for the life we’ve lived. For you there is no doubt – you’ve inspired thousands of people by just being your unique self.