One year ago I had never seen a hostel from the inside, I had never travelled outside of Europe and I never talked in English because I was too afraid to make mistakes (f*ck that, everyone makes mistakes, even in their first language!). One year ago I couldn’t imagine that I would meet the most amazing people at the other side of the world who would become my best friends. One year ago I was afraid, I was excited, I was happy and I was sad. What I learned these last 12 months abroad? I learned about life, about people, about humanity and about cultures. I learned so many things, but the most important thing is that I learned about myself.
One year ago I was afraid: afraid to talk to strangers, afraid to start a conversation, afraid to meet new people and afraid to go somewhere alone. Why would you do something alone if you have friends who can join you? Right, because doing things by yourself gives you the time and creates the space that you need to learn about yourself. It will show you why you do the things the way you’re doing. It will make you realise what’s important in your life, and what not. It will create the opportunity to meet the most amazing people.
So, here I am, one year later. Talking to strangers, starting conversations (and not being able to shut up anymore) and meeting new people whilst travelling solo. And the best part of all of this: I love it! I’ve had, and still have, some tough times, of course! Travelling is not always fun, but is your daily life always fun? Probably not, everyone will face tough times someday. Missing my family, missing my friends (from friends back home to friends I met at the other side of the world), facing a different culture and lifestyle, not being able to communicate because of a different language.. It’s all part of the deal. It has taught me why I need my friends, that it’s amazing to have family that supports me where-ever I go and most important: that I can do anything as long as I really want it. Travelling solo has made me strong, stronger in my beliefs and stronger in my personality. Travelling showed me that sometimes you have to be vulnerable, because you can’t be strong the whole time. Friends want to help you, no matter what, so ask for help when needed. Be honest about what you want and what you feel. You feel the way you feel because of a reason, it tells you to do something about the situation.
Travelling made me trust my own heart again. It wasn’t easy, I came from far (as you may know if you know me really well) but I did it. I fixed my heart by travelling, exploring and learning. All the people that I have met and everyone who became my friend: it happened for a reason. Every person will teach you something about life, every person has something to offer, every meeting is part of a bigger picture. Nothing is stronger than your own intuition, following this will guide you thru life, it will tell you where to go.
One year later, many years wiser. In three months I will be back in the Netherlands, to celebrate christmas and new years with my family and friends. I am afraid, I am excited, I am happy and I am sad. Afraid of what it will be like to be back in my home country after 14 months. Excited to see my friends and family finally again. Happy that I will be able to speak Dutch again and sad that I won’t see many of my travelfriends and my second and third family someday soon. It’s all part of the game, it’s all part of finding my own way in this beautiful life. There is so much more that I want to see in this world, so I’m pretty sure that this is not my last adventure. I have done the most amazing things the last 12 months and I will make sure that I will keep doing the most amazing things in the next 12 months. I want to see more, I want to learn more, I want to feel alive and I want to be happy. That’s all! Not too much to ask for, right? 🙂
The last thing that I want to say is thank you! Thank you to the people who supported me this year, who were there for me at anytime and thank you to the amazing people I have met during these travels, for welcoming me into your lives. You have made my journey unforgettable. I hope to see you all someday soon!