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Welcome, traveller

Wecome to a website I hope will inspire you. We are all travellers because life is a journey. Rather, a pilgrimage - beautiful, ungraspable, and rich beyond words. The purpose of this website to help connect similarly minded people - people in search of a simple lifestyle that respects the earth, respects the individual, and respects the freedom we are all entitled to. It will document simple building techniques allowing anyone to build there own dwelling and live a natural life.

This first page is a blog through which I can share with you my global pilgrimage, the encounters that marked me and the life lessons I gained from them. The map below documents my experiences since the beginning of my spiritual search at the age of 18, when I left for China.

Please don't hesitate to comment on any of the posts below or contact me to share your ideas and questions, you would be more than welcome.

Blessings to you, friend.

- Ben Viatte


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The Beginning is the End

Leaving l'Ane Vert

...and the end is the beginning. Being complete means being at the beginning, yet knowing that the end is not elsewhere, in space or in time.

I migrated there and I migrated back. I made my little loop, I completed a cycle. More specifically, I donated The Hermit Crab to the l'Ane Vert community in Morocco and made my way back to Switzerland pulling a little cart behind me that I built by African standards: rusty iron rods and junk wheels hammered together with scrap wood and nails. I then walked, hitchhiked, took local buses, trains, and a boat to cross morocco, Spain, and France.

By some miracle, my rusty cart held together until 10 minutes before getting to my house, where my tires were so worn that I was rolling on the inner tube, and it punctured. Pretty nice timing.

So here I am, at the starting point, without bike or crab, the same as before it even started. Exactly the same, as far as the material world is concerned. And yet, I have something more, a little more understanding. Understanding of the cyclical nature of life, and the world. Birth and death is the same process. Materially, you end up just where you started, no difference. You may find that despairing, and you would be right. The material world, stripped from it's spiritual essence, is pointless and despairing. That's why we are scared of death, that's why we wear seatbelts. But if we understand that the end is the beginning, yet with the acquired wisdom that the world is cyclical, not linear, we start to touch this underlying spiritual side.

It is not pointless at all, or despairing - it is in fact rich, and beautiful, and deep beyond anything you can imagine. And we must remind ourselves that this world isn't far away and unattainable, it's right here and right now for all of us. Like all of us, I am more than just my body. I am a cycle, and nothing will stop that cycle.

Thank you for listening folks, and may whatever come!

Heidi is in the Kitchen!

Heidi on the Floor!
Oh Heidi, what are you doing again in the kitchen?

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And Spot, it's obvious you're being influenced by Heidi. And possibly something else.

The one with the stoned bus driver


I get to the ticket office of a bus station near Chefchaouen. The man behind the desk pays no more attention to me than to the big joint he was rolling right there.
"Come, friend, smoke with us! Then I'll bring you to your bus"
So a little while later, he brings me to a big luxurious coach and sits at the wheel. "By the way, I'm the one driving!"

As if it wasn't hilarious enough already, 5 minutes after departing, he asks me: "Wanna drive?"

L’Ane Vert

23 - L'Ane Vert
Paradise kidnapped me! I'm living a life-changing story at the green donkey a.k.a. l'Ane Vert. It's one of these rare places where love reigns instead of money. We chill out, we chill in, we build a house, we sleep ontop of eachother, we go surfing, we get high, we fight with Walter the Donkey, we repare shit, we run naked at the beach early in the morning, we even throw eggs sometimes.
In other words, life's good and we're living it!

If only all deserts were sand…

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By the way, my vehicle is in the dead center of the photo

Funny French Guy with his Moroccan Shaman

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This post is about a funny french guy named Damien. He happened to notice me on my bike in some god-lost village near Essaouira. He was walking with his shaman, an old moroccan man full of wisdomness and depthity, and said, “nice bike dude!”.

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Here I am with Ashak, the old shaman, in his home. This is a photo of his whole home, which wasn’t hard to take considering it measures 4 square meters.

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Another picture of where Ashak lives, this time from the outside. This the Mellah, the jewish neighborhood in which they live. Their ceilings are literally falling on their heads, and none of these buildings are abandoned.
Bottom line is, I spent one week in Damien’s house in Essaouira, amazing place of material poverty, inner wealth, and above all compassion.
Life’s good guys!

An Interesting Conversation


-Good evening, this is the police
-Shit (very softly). Good evening.
-Are you intending to spend the night here?
-Uh, well… you see, the night came and uh…
-We can't let you spend the night on this land, there's dangerous people (always the same excuse but it's a lie). Take your bike and move further on.
...
(I start packing my stuff to leave)
...
-Are you alone? No friend?
-My friends are everywhere. They include you as well as the dangerous people you talked about. That's why nothing can happen to me.
(The cops think for a moment)
-Goodbye, we wish you a good night and welcome you to Morocco.

Love always prevails!

What’s That?!

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Don’t worry, it’s a dinosaur!

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And that’s the Windows Vista wallpaper.

Berber Tents

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Berbers live in tents because if you were to build a house, it wouldn't last long before disappearing under the migrating dunes.

Would you like some tea with your sugar?

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That’ll be… half of your teeth, please. Have a nice day, habdulilla!

Busted!

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Crossing villages is loads of fun, especially when they're full of kids goofing around!

Melon Farmers

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These guys have so little they sleep under a tarp. And yet they filled my crab with fresh melons without accepting anything in return! Inner wealth and material poverty seem to go hand in hand.

Sw-sww-switzerland?

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How strange, I got an instant of Switzerland’s scenery before going back to deserty Morocco

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Hallelujah!

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This is the boat I found after going around looking to hitch a boat for almost a week, up and down Sète’s docks. You probably agree this moment seems to be of biblical proportions.