Mini pre-Christmas trip to Belgium and The Netherlands. Five days, four cities, three on my own, one with friends. Overnight buses, snow flurries, red brick convents, student cafés, multi-storey bookshops. Long walks, early nights, early mornings, basic hotel rooms with a dispensable TV that really should have been a coffee maker.
Time to explore, breathe, recalibrate. “Who are you going with?” - Travelling alone appears to be an absurd idea for some people. I suspect they are the same people who only feel “complete” when they’re in a relationship, and the same people who would rather give themselves electric shocks than be alone with their thoughts for 15 minutes. Questionable sense of identity and self-worth aside, when do those people *read* (ie, sit in the corner of a bookshop and immerse themselves for several hours)?!
The most beautiful place to do just that: Boekhandel Dominicanen, Maastricht (former monastery church, bike shed, boxing ring, snake house - yes). With any luck, the holidays will leave some time for reading...
Between processing my last trip, planning the next one and building a website for the young company I recently started working for, I felt it was time I updated my own site, reorganised, made room...
Reorganisation has been a recurring theme this year. 2017 started with unemployment and having to make a decision about where I wanted to go professionally. There hadn't been any room for me to grow in my old job. So I decided to create that room, go back to school, learn, develop new skills, refine the ones I already had. The year isn't over yet, and I have the job I've wanted but didn't know existed.
Between finishing school and starting work I had a week to escape and recover from the (internal and external) noise that comes with narrow offices, the demands of others and your own doubts. I rented a cabin in the dunes of North Jutland, Denmark and started packing. When I unlocked the door to my cabin at the end of a 12-hour journey, the setting sun was flooding in through the panorama window, the clouds looked dramatic and the sky seemed bigger somehow than it does down here. See above.
I've made the right decisions this year. Life is good.
This is my first blog post.