Manon Ossevoort: Travel through life with an open mind
When I was a child… anything was possible. My life road was not yet cut off by all the choices I made and now it seems the path before me has a decades smaller horizon than the one I started with. Now why is that? If the world is a sphere, my horizon can be as wide as ever! Just imagine the most impossible dream. Something unreal like going to the south pole by tractor… As did Manon Ossevoort a.k.a. Tractor Girl.
She starts with the empowering word ‘Imagine!’ She tells us she learned along the road that real dreams challenge you to become the best version of yourself. Her dream as a girl was a journey to the end of the world. As a child she thought of the south pole and as an adult she thinks the end of the world is a country at war. Both voices said: go!
Everybody around her though, was tryin to prevent her, speaking out their own biggest fears. Her grandma said ‘I’ll die!’ But Manon knew that, if you live, you cannot close yourself shut away from your life. She persisted anyway. She explained to her grandmother that one can also be run over by a tram… in Amsterdam. As my grandmother used to say: you can stay in bed instead of taking action of course, but then your bed will collapse. So Tractor Girl wrapped up her dream and took it with her to travel around the world.
And she didn’t gave up when, only in Belgium, she was taken into custody for driving on the highway at 20 km per hour. She overcame the fears of her environment AND the bureaucracy, and went on!
Manon went to post-war countries and wondered how they would react on this happy Tractor Girl – they were not affronted, but inspired by her. She was talking to youngsters in prison and both they and their guards followed her all the way, curious how she would do and excited by her progress.
When she ended up in Capetown, the most wonderful day of her life (so far), she accidentally drove with her tractor right into a Hollywood film set. The director came upto her with arms risen and she feared the most angry assaults. But he screamed: ‘Wonderful! Marvelous! Do you have your film rights arranged already?’
At this point – still having to finish the last leg from South Africa to the south pole – Manon aims for a child book-like ending and hopes to build a snowman on the south pole with all the dreams of the world in its belly. She finishes with her conviction:
‘I believe if you travel through life with an open mind, you can travel to the end of the world and back – safely!’