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→
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.
I feel like sharing the events that led up to my decision to ‘travel the world’, because it wasn’t just a messed up job situation. In fact, the idea is much – much older.
It all started here:
This is the Ronda valley in Andalusia, Southern Spain.
I was 17 years old when I set foot here, and I came so unprepared for the beauty that Spain would bestow on me! This was my first time hiking the plains and mountains. My first time camping abroad. My first time travelling with a backpack.
I remember the exact second I took this picture. I remember the smell of the yellow flowers and the pressuring presence of those clouds in the heat. This image captures the moment where I discovered I am a traveller. Suddenly, my heart realised there is a world out there: a planet waiting to be explored. Continue reading How far I’ll go→
And so I walked the last day of my first Via de la Plata. The clock had switched to daylight savings recently and, with that, walking in darkness became a thing again. I enjoyed the absolute quiet. Staying in an albergue alone also means walking alone, and with the nearest towns over 10km behind and ahead of me I knew I’d have the Camino all to myself. Soon came the sunrise.
I talked out loud to the hazy colours – the blue hue that had enveloped the trees and grass. I talked to the birds singing and to the flowers slowly opening up to a new day. I talked about travelling.
I’ve been working in the same company ever since I graduated ten years ago. It’s a good job with nice colleagues and lot’s of benefits. It’s in the city where I’ve studied and now live for six years. Convenient in every possible way. And yet last week I handed in my three months notice. I quit. I also handed it the notice on my flat a month ago.
From September onwards, I won’t be found wandering familiar cobblestone streets. If all goes well, I’ll instead be on the road with nothing but a backpack and some hard earned savings to spend. Yes, it’s scary. I very well realise this decision has the potential to be either the best or worst choice I’ve ever made…
Things leading up to it include 12 years of dreaming about world travel, a recent burn-out and an unusual flare of bravery. I can write at length about my motivations and obstacles, but won’t in this post (surely there are more entries to come).
For now, this is all I’m willing to share.
I will soon finish the blog-series on my Camino2017 (which was halted last month, because I couldn’t tell that story without giving away my plans of resigning). After that, there is a new series on Scotland to come before I aim for broader horizons.
I’m uncertain yet exited. Scared yet confident. And I probably haven’t done anything this brave/stupid in my entire life.
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.