I needed to reinvent myself. I needed to know who I truly am. I wanted to know who I truly am. I guess, that fucking sentence brings other things along with it. I mean, aren’t we always reinventing ourselves? Changing, learning, growing.
But ‘más o menos’ two years ago, it was undeniable. There was no way around it, it was so clear. I mean fuck, I felt so strongly I needed a big bold change. A change of scenery, of people, of daily activities. I couldn’t live the life I was living anymore but I wasn’t exactly sure what it was I wanted. All I knew and felt was the longing for the road. God, I mean thank god that never changed. That turned out to not be a longing but a part of me.
I don’t want to always be surrounded by all I know. I learned traveling is the boldest, scariest and most exciting way I know to learn and I always wanna be learning and growing.
Looking back now I felt like I wanted a challenge, I wanted to challenge myself. But I also now realize I needed it. I wasn’t sure what exactly it was that excited me, what I wanted, what I wanted to focus on and I simply wanted and wanted to allow myself to give myself the space I needed to grow.
So I did.
If there’s anything I feel the strongest about it is simply that. Follow your gut feeling and your fucking heart. I won’t be influenced by the what ifs from anybody and myself. Fuck that bullshit. I want to be able to look in the mirror today, tomorrow and years from now and don’t have any regrets of the stuff I did not do.
I found the magic. All right, all right. I found my magic. I found my cry of joy, my sincerest happy dance, my bravest heart and my most painful tears.
It’s funny. From time to time I wondered how will I look back at this certain moment in time. And now I can be like ‘Hah! I know! Now I know!’ February 2015, If I think back to that time, I remember quitting my boring day job, moving out of our apartment, packing way too fucking much and being extremely excited. Our journey/adventure through Europe as a whole (I am still not quite sure what the right name for it is) was a whole, entire thing on it’s own, as it is this time around.
February 2015 to May 2016, northern Italy, southern Spain and traveling a bit more north, to Budapest, Hungary to southern Italy to northern Spain. I was so liberated, so in awe. Looking back now it was a time where I got to know what I stand for and what I truly find important and what I couldn’t care less about. I changed my diet which turned into a lifestyle, I learned I love the Earth, Mother Earth, I found out I love working on vegetable gardens. Dig your hands in the Earth and tell me you ain’t feeling shit. I won’t believe it. I learned how our fucking food grows. That’s important to me. I learned where we come from. I believe in giving back to others, to our planet. I believe in not having one single right in deciding to kill other species and our own. I learned I do not need much at all. It kinda goes like this; Water, the sun, fresh food, love, sex, heartfelt conversation, alone time (wait, maybe switch those two…) painting, dancing, writing, learning new things and laughing, a lot. The best way I can think of describing myself in that time period is a sponge who was really fucking willing to soak it all up.
When at the end of May we went back to the Netherlands, we already booked our flight to São Paulo, Brazil for the beginning of October and I really needed that. It was what made me not go ‘What the fuck am I doing here?!’ Four whole months back in the Netherlands. A place I still describe to people as ‘a place I don’t hate at all but one I don’t particularly get excited about either.’
Being back wasn’t as horrible as I at times imagined it. It will always be the place I grew up, where my oldest memories are, where my family lives. Where my sister lives. She made it real clear, she wouldn’t be visiting me. You gotta live with your own decisions and that’s part of mine. Missing family. Not being in the same place. Phone calls and video chats for birthdays, new year’s eve, good news, bad news. Ah, all of it.
It might have been 2013 when it started. When quite fiercely my whole entire being knew I needed to go to South America. Funny really how that goes. Again, follow that fucking gut feeling, don’t hesitate and don’t look back.
I cannot quite look at it from a distance yet. But for now I can tell you this; We are all the fucking same, growing up in the Netherlands was a privilege, stop the complaining, be grateful everyday, I found something real special in being on the road, be involved, speak your mind and paint. Fucking paint.