My name is Napha Khothphouthone. I was born and grew up with a peasant family in small village in the middle part of Laos. At that time, I was very happy with my livelihood – went to school on weekday and helped family to work on the weekend – and I believed that my village is the best place in the world. Swimming in the rivers, riding on my buffalo’s back and playing with my close friends was simply fantastic.
I had never thought I would like to leave my village until I graduated from high school. In October 2009, I went to Savannakhet University (in Savannakhet Province southward from my village 2 hours by car), it was the first time for me to leave my family – everything was very strange for me, the distance seems very far, the city seems very big, the traffic seems very crowed. In 2014, I graduated in “Bachelor of Animal Husbandry and Healthcare” and I work in the same university where I studied, Savannakhet became my new home.
“The hero’s journey” is an ancient concept popularised by Joseph Campbell. It is basically what occurs to every lead character in every story ever told. “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”1
I read this in the book named 51 Weapons of the Wise (A Young Person’s Guide to Life, Spirituality and Success) written by Sean Buranahiran. This applied to my life because this is my story.
Stage 1 Home
Stage 2 Call to the adventure
Stage 3 Refusing or Accepting the call
Stage 4 Meeting the mentor
Stage 5 Crossing the adventure
Stage 6 Struggle / Meeting enemies and allies
Stage 7 Death / Rebirth (you become a new person)
Stage 8 Slay The Dragon / Reward
Stage 9 Journey Home
Stage 10 Sharing Treasure (Uplifting your community/friends/family)
The concept is concerning to my life, some stages take days, months and even years. Laos is my comfort zone where I was born, grew up and live, it is called “Home”.
I was selected as a nominee in the Erasmus+ academic exchange program for six months in Karlsruhe University of Education, Germany. Of course, I accepted the call.
Again it is first time for me being in abroad, during living and studying in Germany I have met Prof. Dr. Isabel Martin and Dr. Martin Remmele who teach and tell me everything, both of them are my “Mentor”. According to my background I am from a small and developing country, so being here is like a living in the new world and I would say crossing every step it means “Crossing the adventure”.
After one semester passed, I’ve learnt so many things and gained many experiences that I have never known before, this is my “Rebirth”.
Germany is a very big and high technology; it is the land of idea. There are so many people around the world want to come hence I’ve met a lot of international and local people.
Some people give me food, some give me help, some give ideas, some give experiences, some give knowledge, some give happiness and some give memorable. These things I call “Meeting Allies”.
Moreover, after “Journey Home” I will share, knowledge and experience that I accepted with my community, friends and family.
Thank you for the great concept that makes me feel safe in every step that I take. Thank you every one who support my Life’s Journey. Now I am looking forward to the next mountains.
Text by N. Khothphouthone, editor’s note by I. Martin
Photos by S. Khothphouthone, T. Keokaisone & I. Martin
1 Campbell, Joseph (1949). The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Princeton: Princeton University Press, p. 23.
Illustration (source: Wikipedia) is “public domain (
Buranahiran, Sean (1 June 2018). 51 Weapons of the Wise. N.p.: Thought Leaders, 99 pp. Kindle edition and paperback.
Campbell, Joseph (1949). The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Princeton: Princeton University Press