When people’s travels transform into journeys, the impact can be undoubtedly life-changing. Whether it be epiphany of one experience or the cumulative impact in a series of experiences, travel enriches people’s thoughts and perspectives.
In what was an opportunity to relocate to Surry, Britain, for long-term teaching positions, Zac Adraneia used his new location as a platform to travel throughout the European continent- whether on weekends or school holidays. Residing twelve months in England, Zac was able to travel to fifteen countries.
Questioning matters and searching meaning in life throughout his growing up, Zac enjoyed his study and readings on philosophy at university. With this background, Zac enjoyed the fine detail in his observations of the different countries he visited and the people he met.
“What I enjoyed with travelling was stepping back and observing different lifestyles and cultures. Everything was drastically different and I was trying to find new meaning to life. In the process, I was understanding how the world works,” points out Zac.
One country that immediately drew Zac’s attention was Russia, as its vastness, over two continents, captured the stark contrasts among the different cultures between Europe and Asia which make the country itself.
“I travelled on the Tran Siberian railway and embarked at Vladivostok, so I was travelling westward; while Vladivostok is an Asiatic city, the further west I travelled, the more westernised Russia became. Whether it was people’s physical appearance, mannerisms and attitudes, they changed as I met people along the way to European Russia,” recounts Zac.
Incidentally, Zac admits one of the major adversities when travelling alone in a new country is one’s inability to speak the native language, and subsequently, communicate with local people, “For three days, I did not utter one word to anyone because no-one in my carriage could speak English. In hindsight, this lonely experience turned out to be positive because it motivated me to learn Russian. I can say today my Russian is better than my Greek (laughs)!”
As a consequence to all his travelling and absorbing so many different experiences, Zac was able to re-evaluate his life up to that point, “As I saw the difference in the human experience from the places i lived and travelled, I realised that life was different from what I had been taught. I learnt to look at life more objectively rather than being tied down to social expectations and ideological beliefs from my upbringing.”
The result of all this travelling was for Zac to sit down with his close friend, Alexander ‘Gibo’ Gibson, who has travelled extensively throughout the world, and they exchanged ideas and experiences and how they impacted their thought processes and perspectives. What they quickly realised was an inability to disseminate the immeasurable amount of information in the world, as there was no effective filtering to do so.
In their attempt to developing a map of reality for the age of information, Zac and ‘Gibo’ came up with System 333 where they break down the information into the three areas: the objective world, the subjective world and human experience.
As Zac points out, ‘All three areas are interconnected and work in a feedback loop. All work equally and in equilibrium. Essentially, our human experiences are continually changing with every new place we visit and every new person we meet. We are living, and subsequently changing in the moment.’
One place which had a profound impact on Zac was his three-day stay in Mount Athos, as he fondly recounts how he felt as though he had been transported back in time, in another era, and life seemed to be passing at ‘Byzantine time.’ Applying System 333 to his experience(s) in Mount Athos, Zac explains, “My stay in Mount Athos pointed the drastically different value system that existed in comparison to the city. It was then obvious that even though the value system (subjective world) and human experience was different, they managed to survive and function perfectly with the basics (the objective basis for physiology and survival). There is no ultimately right or wrong way to live.”
All these thoughts and experiences have culminated in Zac’s recent book, System 333 Beginning, which was launched in November 2018. His friend, ‘Gibo’ is a contributor to the book, as he briefly explains the System 333, but Zac have written the narrative of the book, as he recounts his travels and how patterns in people and began compiling ideas as to how people were behaving and why.