One month after coming home… Time flies!
Going back 31 days: After I left the hotel on that Sunday, I went for some little shopping in a real Dutch supermarket, so I had something to eat in the train; it felt so home! In the South, in the province of Zealand, Citty (she cared for my flat during my absence, remember) took me from the train; so happy to see eachother after 6 months! And since it was nice weather we went for a meal at the big square in town, enjoying the Dutch sunshine.
Then back home in Ghent, where I had the surprise of finding my living-room decorated with balloons and garlands all around saying “welcome home”! Wow, that was quite a happy way of coming back in my space! For the first few minutes I was just standing there, watching the beauty and joy spreading from them. And I was so grateful for Citty that she had made me such a warm welcome!
The first night was weird, I couldn’t believe that I was really home, that I saw my home and my neighbourhood where I live for the first time after six months again, with so many experiences in my heart. And yet everything was still there, everything was in the same place that I left it in 6 months before… And I wondered: is it really finished now? Am I really going to stay longer than 2 weeks in one place? Huh?
Yet the next day, after one night of sleeping in my very own bed, on my birthday, I felt so at ease, so “normal” in a way, I was just there, at home, with Citty and later on at night with two other very good friends of mine, without even thinking about the week(s) before, I was just there; apparently I could also apply at home what I had learnt during my trip: just to adapt very quickly (without looking back) to new places and circumstances. In the past a part of me always seemed to be left behind in my holiday-place when I would come home, and sometimes it would take days or a week before I would really be back home totally. Nothing of the sort this time… I just was here-now, and I was happy.
In the days after my birthday I had a weird thing coming over me: did I ever really go on this world-trip? Had I really done it? Did this really happen to me? It suddenly seemed so normal, nothing special; OK, I went on a worldtrip, so what? It suddenly became kind of a dream that I just woke up from. OK, I went to sleep in winter and I woke up in summer, but for the rest… I love those weird things going on in one’s mind…
I also put together all the souvenirs that I had collected during my travels and took pictures from them before spreading them out in my appartment; quite an impressive collection, I must say! Grateful I have been able to send a big part of them to Citty from Bali and Kathmandu, otherwise I would never have managed to take them all with me.
A week after I came home I already had a nice family-gathering for a few days at the belgian seaside, enjoying the beach, delicious food and good company; at home again I started to contact some of my local friends and reconnected to my (more or less) normal daily life, went for a few days to the Netherlands and visited my best friends there, and took Marion back home with me for a few wonderful days of being together and sightseeing in Ghent.
Now that one month has passed, I feel that things start tickling again within (oh, by the way: yesterday and today are the first days of real good old Dutch/belgian rain, and I love it… it’s fresh and revitalizing). I’ve taken my first steps of putting myself on the job-market again and applying for unemployment money, starting to get information about what to do to go back to the Netherlands (oh, I long for that one!); so things slowly start rolling. Also I have new ideas about what I could do for a job: either administrative or library work (but that’s old), or a job in tourism (too big of a subject, I know, but need to look around what’s possible), and a very new idea: radio-work!
Lately I had a few people come to me saying that I had such a nice voice to listen to, and two people litterally suggested working at a radio-station. Love it! So there are a lot of possibilities out there waiting for me, but everything slowly slowly; there’s no hurry. Better first see how I can organize my return to the Netherlands, and start from there.
Ànd I decided to translate my travel-blog into Dutch in order to edit it into a book; big work, but I love it, also because in Dutch I of course can put many more nuances and also humor and lightness in it, since Dutch still is my mother-tongue! And once that will be finished, I can translate again into English, or Russian, or Chinese, or Nepalese, or Balinese, or Spanish, or Portuguese, or South-African… Hahaha.
So as you can see I’m full of plans and projects and things to do, so no boredom for me! I just love my life, and I’m so excited about and looking forward to what the future has in store for me! What I also discovered a while ago: I’m not afraid of intensity, I like it when my life is intense and full of wonder, enjoyments, beauty, gratitude, joy, love and through everything inner peace! Not that I succeed all the time, but that’s not what we’re living for anyway, so… And the not-succeeding, the “darker” parts of life are as much part of the intensity of living as the light parts! And they’re all welcome.
Ugh, sachem has spoken! (Oops, that was a past life.)
At this point I’d like to say a few “official” words to thank a few people who made it possible for me to realize my dream of making a worldtrip, and who played a more or less important role in it:
– first I’d like to thank the people of Joker (travel agency) in Ghent, who did the research for the cheapest way of travelling for me (seen my itinerary) and organised my long-distance flights, the train-ride from Beijing to Moscow and my travel insurance;
– thank you Flor and especially Dirk of South America Planet for organising my 2 week trip in Peru
– then I’m very grateful for mister “Admin” behind the Child of the Earth website, who invited me to use space on his site as a guest-blogger and put a lot of time and effort into putting my writings and pictures online;
– I’m also very thankful for my friends who received me in their homes (or organised lodging for me) in several places in the Americas: Ricardo and Marìlia in Rio de Janeiro, Henry in Boca Raton, Isabelle and Daniel in Ottawa, and my friends from the yoga center in Las Vegas;
– I send my gratitude to all the new (Facebook)friends that I made at the different AirBnB addresses where I stayed: Gerhard and Yuri in Durban, Jolanda and her housemates in Cape Town, Joyce and Simon in Willemstad (Curaçao), Rina in Paia (Maui, Hawaii), Andrei in Auckland, Miriam in Christchurch, Yee in Melbourne, and Pratik in Kathmandu;
– Furthermore I’m very grateful to Greg from Sacred Voyages for guiding me during my three day private retreat on Maui, and to Sonya for guiding me at my private tour in Irkutsk and at the Bajkal lake;
– I’d also like to thank all the old and new friends that I met along the way (too many to mention, but I name just a few): Yahya in Cape Town (heart-to-heart, thank you), Guilherme in Rio, Dorien in Curaçao (thanks for the great massage!), Amber in Miami (thanks for the 5 rhythms dancing there!), Marc and Andrea in Ottawa, Jeannie in Las Vegas (thanks for the reading!), Coreena in Paia (Maui, Hawaii; you too, great massage!), Michelle and family on Waiheke Island (New-Zealand), Matthew in Sydney (thanks for your heavenly piano-playing!), Zanna and Kieran (nice to see eachother again after Peru, at lunch in Melbourne!), Michelle in Bali (amazing how (after Peru) we met again at Denpasar airport!), and Kathryn in Kathmandu (delicious food at Bliss!).
– And finally thank you too for myself, who dared to take on this six month trip around the world with me; sometimes I’m really not the nicest or easiest person to deal with, especially in moments of loneliness and despair… But we did it!!!
And with that I say good-bye to you all and thank you for bearing with me during my travels, it meant (and still does) a lot to me. I will keep you posted about my book later on, either via Facebook or e-mail or however possible. And remember: you’re still always welcome to connect with me on firstname.lastname@example.org !
Sending you all the love from my Heart,
Nico – Traveller of Life