Gratefulness and emptiness

I made this drawing to say thank you to my colleagues whom I’m leaving after 10 years. Yesterday was my last day in the office… I think I still need a moment to process it all: the sadness of goodbyes and the excitement of a new beginning, the waves of kind attention and gifts, the gratefulness and emptiness.

It’s always been my goal on this blog to write from honesty. I don’t believe the world is served by false portrayals of perfection or happiness: there are two sides to every coin and travel is no exception. Continue reading Gratefulness and emptiness

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Roots

Exactly one month before the start of my big adventure, my friends took me to this marvellous exhibition in Ghent’s Caermersklooster. It’s about the roots of Flanders and the heritage of our homeland that we carry inside us. With unusual local artwork, a stunning setting and the best company, it is a moment that I will continue to cherish during my journey – because as much as I believe in the importance of travel, I also believe in the importance of home, and as my departure comes nearer and goodbyes become plentiful​, I realize more than ever how I am rooted among the people I love ❤

Or as Lin Manuel Miranda sings in Moana: We keep our island in our minds, and when it’s time to find home, we know the way.

 

Hobbelige wegen

Ik ben spullen aan het inpakken. Dozen en dozen vol boeken, kleren en schriftjes. Het appartement dat ik de laatste jaren langzaam maar zeker tot een thuis ombouwde, wordt nu weer leger en leger. En zo vond ik, verstopt in een vergeten notitieboekje, onderstaand tekstje terug. Het deed me even stilstaan bij de tijd. Bij het tempo van het leven, en hoe sommige dingen traag, maar dan weer onverwacht snel gaan. Ik keek door het open raam naar 2017 en vroeg me af wat ik in december zal schrijven, wanneer zij om de hoek verdwijnt. En ik ben ontroerd, maar niet ontevreden. Continue reading Hobbelige wegen

How to obtain a tourist visa to Uzbekistan (in Brussels)

Obtaining my tourist visa for Uzbekistan was a remarkably swift experience.

First of all, at the time of writing, Belgian citizens don’t need a letter of invitation (LOI) to apply for a visa. This makes the procedure not only faster, but also a little less expensive.

Secondly, it’s possible to apply for the visa through a web-form and e-mail, so you only need to go to the embassy once (to collect the actual visa in your passport). This is a big win, since the Uzbek consulate is located  outside central Brussels and getting there without a car is time consuming (although not impossible).

Here’s how things go down:
Continue reading How to obtain a tourist visa to Uzbekistan (in Brussels)

Inverness to Skye: a road of monsters and castles

My dad’s alarm clock sounds like a military trumpet, and it’s rather remarkable how someone can maintain a good mood after being scared out of bed by such horror. However we had a full Scottish breakfast, an early start and plenty of good things waiting, as we drove West to Isle of Skye.

Inverness Castle Road
The sun was still out when we arrived in Inverness.

Our first stop en route was Inverness, where we briefly walked along the river and popped inside the small but cosy cathedral. We also spotted our first kilt clad Scotsman! Indeed, the day would offer a lot of clichés: rain, sheep, castles and monsters. Continue reading Inverness to Skye: a road of monsters and castles

Why the Cairngorms should be your first stop in Scotland

It’s well known that, by popular vote, the West of Scotland is far more popular than the East… and there’s a good reason for it. In terms of road trip splendour and easy-access vistas, nothing quite beats Glen Coe or Isle of Skye and truth be told, the multi-day tracking is probably better there, too.

Compared to Scotland’s most famous tourist draws, Cairngorms National Park in the North East might feel like a bleak, monotone or even boring affair. And yet, it’s none of those things – at all! Continue reading Why the Cairngorms should be your first stop in Scotland

We call it a mountain

The first real hike we did on our Scotland trip was the very unpronounceable Meall a’ Bhuachaille circuit in the Cairgorms National Park.

The trail starts at beautiful Loch Morlich: an impressive lake, surrounded by snow caped mountains and pine forests. The track makes a great starter route because it is easy to follow throughout, not too hard on the legs and yet rewardingly beautiful.

Loch Morlich
Beautiful colours at Loch Morlich

Continue reading We call it a mountain

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My take on the world and the things I love. Prominently among them: travel, art and the ordinary. I share my discovery of our beautiful world, my self and the arts I'm trying to develop (photography, sketching and writing) in a way that is both honest and poetic. Please join my journey.

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