Welcome! Today we welcome Xavier Wilders, 15, who’s travelling around the world for a year with his parents, his two smaller brothers, and his 7 years old sister! They’ve left almost everything they owned back in France, including their house, and pooled together all their savings for this once-in-a-lifetime occasion. Today, just over six months have passed since this family began in France, and they’ve gone through South Africa, India, China and Australia to finally arrive in New Zealand! So Xavier, apprehensive to appear on TV?
Relax, that’s nothing out of the ordinary. So tell us… what country did you prefer?
And why, may I ask?
Well… Firstly it’s a rich country, and after India and the such, I have to admit it’s a great relief. Also, in itself it’s a truly beautiful country, with amazing variety: from searing deserts to lush rainforests and everything in between. Thirdly, the Aussies themselves are amazingly open. I guess it’s also the fact that I was born here 15 years ago…
Okay. And what about your worst country, or to put it mildly, the one that you found most difficult?
Definitely India! Already, the contrast is mind-numbing as soon as you arrive, and the chaos, it’s deadly! For example, driving is a very risky business. I’m guessing that were you to take away all the brakes in every Indian vehicle, you wouldn’t change much to the accident rates. I mean as long as you don’t touch the horns… Once we were in a taxi and while we were stopped at the side of the road, a truck bashed into the side of our car and broke the back light, without counting the jolt. But it’s not only the chaos, but the heat as well that make a deadly duo. Also, as soon as you exit your hotel, hundreds of people constantly hassle you, trying to exhort money from you by every means possible, whether it be selling or a crafty trick that is far from legal. I could go on for a long time like this, so I’ll stop here… Still, that´s not to say it was all bad. If only, discovering such a different culture was a treasure of its own.
Wow, that’s quite a monologue, India really seems to have a place in your heart! But you’ve talked of Australia and India, what about the other countries, any you find especially worthy of mention?
All countries are fascinating, but I have to say China really holds a place of its own. It’s a beautiful country, masterfully organized, where people are happy. The Chinese are convinced they’ve got the best country in the world! And events like the Olympic flame just make the Chinese angry against France, in which they see a blow to their pride. No, China is great, really great.
I’ll have to stop you here, as time is unfortunately running short. Let’s move on, will you be glad when you return to France?
Amazingly glad, yes. But then I love this world tour, and am happy it continues. Still, this does nothing to deter the joy I’ll feel at finding again all that I gave up.
That’s a healthy disposition. I’m certainly curious about this though: if there’s one thing you regret from France, what is it?
You know, when I left I expected I’d regret the comfort, and maybe things like Internet which were so convenient. At the same time I was escaping the stress and problems of everyday life. But if I have to say one thing it’s that I’m lonely, lonely! What I miss more than anything else, are my friends. When I see two people together I can’t help sadness from springing up, especially when I’m tired. I think of them this year more than any other year I’ve been with them… ironical. For this year, there was only one planned meeting with a guy of my age, and that was for a few days. It was great but that has already passed. My friends are a part of me, and I can’t live without them.
Wow… surprising! We have time for one or two more questions. In what way do you think this world tour has changed you?
That’s not a very easy question… I’ve certainly doubled my maturity, and am still hoping for more. With this has come, in varying degrees, understanding and patience. Also I’ve improved my humility and modesty, which I most certainly needed and still do. I’ve also started moving about my priorities, and zooming in on the more important matters, although I feel I still have a long way to go. What’s more, I’ve upped my determination and perseverance. To a lesser degree, I’ve also had time to improve my talents in areas such as writing and, more importantly, programming. I’ve realized that in France I missed out the most important step for improving in programming skills, and in any domain: taking a step back, examining and taking the time to think, I’ve increased my skills in coding by over 10!!!
Thank you for all that. This program is coming to a close, so I take my time to thank you for your participation and give you and your family the best of luck for the continuation of your voyage. Until we meet again, goodbye!
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