Time and relative dimension on earth: thoughts from the Khiva desert

After having spent 2,5 days in beautiful Khiva, today I’ve journeyed on towards Bukhara, my second stop in Uzbekistan. I’m writing this entry while sitting in a shared taxi, in the sweet company of Dominique and Françoise, a French couple I’ve met yesterday while on a tour to the desert’s castle ruins.

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Charming streets of Khiva

The little town of Khiva has been a wonderful introduction to Uzbekistan. Continue reading Time and relative dimension on earth: thoughts from the Khiva desert

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A quick story on Russian to Uzbek border control

I’m always pretty stressed about border control – for no particular reason really. So far (knock on wood) I’ve never had a troublesome experience. Yes, I’ve been questioned at length in Japan (probably because I happened to be the only white person to get of the boat from Korea) and in Istanbul (for no obvious reason), but other than that – nothing has ever gone wrong. And yet – my heart is always beating a bit faster, no matter how hard I try to look like the innocent backpacker I am.

There are few sounds as relieving as the clicking stomp of an immigration stamp on passport paper. Continue reading A quick story on Russian to Uzbek border control

Marvellous Moscow

Let me start this writing by stating my surprise with the punctuality of Russian everything. I suppose I had a stereotypical idea of Russian strictness, in a rather negative or bureaucratic way. But so far I am happy to say that I’ve only experienced the benefits of it (let’s keep it that way!)

Saint Basil's Cathedral
Saint Basil’s Cathedral

A good example is my journey from Saint Petersburg to Moscow. Continue reading Marvellous Moscow

And so it begins: Saint Petersburg

And so it begins.
Russia.
The biggest country in the world.

While the plane prepared for landing I looked East and realised that vast, cloud clad horizon went on and on, all the way to Japan. It’s hard to grasp the size of this country, especially when you only visit two places. Here I am in the first: Saint Petersburg.

Sturdy immigration officers in outdated uniforms. A strange and incomprehensible language. Helpful people with sullen faces. Continue reading And so it begins: Saint Petersburg

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

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

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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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