When I told a friend in Indonesia about the last part of my year-long travelling, his reaction was: ‘wow, you live an amazing life!’. I thought to myself: well, yes, it could be worse. But it could be better as well. And this made me think. It made me think about life in general, about my life and about all the (unfair) differences in the world.
What would you think if someone told you that you live an amazing life? Would you agree?
Teaching English in Indonesia for three months was an eye-opener for me in many different ways. It was my first trip to Asia. Before that time I had ‘only’ been to a few countries in Europe and to Australia. I’d never experienced a country like Indonesia before, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I wanted to experience it, because I was curious about their way of living and their culture. So I got there, I made friends, I lived with an amazing Indonesian family and I was teaching English to amazing students. It was difficult, but it taught me my biggest lifelessons so far. And how this opened my eyes? People in Indonesia don’t have much money, don’t have the opportunities to travel, don’t have the chance to see the world and to live their dreams, eventhough they would love to see Europe, to feel snow, to take an air-plane or to just go to a Coldplay-concert. And these are just a few examples of things I have done, that they wish they could do. So when a friend told me that my life is amazing and I thought to myself that it could be worse but it could also be better, it just didn’t make sense at all!
I have travelled to some amazing countries, I have studied, I have been to concerts, I have made amazing memories with friends from all over the world and I’m lucky to have my family back home, who are all healthy, who support me where-ever I go or whatever I do. So how could it be better? For real, why can something always be better?
Sometimes life feels like a competition.
Visiting as many countries as possible, spending a lot of money or earning the most money, working the most hours, being the most perfect girlfriend/boyfriend, being the happiest person, having the best job, getting the most likes or followers…and so on. It doesn’t make sense! Some people have nothing. They never go to the cinema (which costs not even two euro’s) because they don’t have money. Some people don’t wear shoes, because they need the money for food. Some people don’t have any family anymore, because they all got ill and the available healthcare wasn’t able to help them. I am lucky enough to live in a country with a great medical system, I am lucky enough that I grew up in a country with so many opportunities. I am lucky enough that I am able to travel for 14 months, to experience different cultures and to make friends that become family from all around the world.
So am I living an amazing life? Yes, I do!!
At that point I realised that my life is not normal and that I have to be grateful for everything that I have (and that I’ve had). Of course, I have worked hard to get here and to travel for such a long time. It wasn’t always easy, it wasn’t always fun. But it’s never always easy or always fun. Life comes with good and bad times, it’s how you deal with these times. People in Indonesia may not have much, but there is one thing that they have and that a lot of people could use: they are always happy. They sing, they smile, they offer you their food, they share their joy. It’s amazing to see how simple and wonderful life can be. It isn’t a competition, it’s about your own happiness. It’s how you deal with life and everything that happens to you. Do whatever makes you happy, and stop compairing. I don’t care how many countries I have visited, I don’t care how many social media friends or followers I’ve got and I don’t care how much money I earn to spend on things we don’t even need.
I care about the people that I’ve met, the friends that I’ve made and the unforgettable memories that I’ve gained so far. These are all in my heart and will stay there forever. No matter what, this is what makes my life amazing.
Sometimes, being away from my homecountry for more than a year felt like a normal life that everyone lives or could live. Normal to me, because I got used to it. I got used to travelling, meeting new people, learning about new countries, packing my bags again to take an air-plane to the next country. My friend who told me that I live an amazing life, made me realise that it’s not normal to live a life like this. Actually, it is very special that I’m able to do this all by myself. I have lived my dream, I have grown and become wiser. But above all: I live an amazing life. I am grateful for everything that has happened the past 14 months and my biggest wish is that each person can fulfill their own dreams someday. Because everyone deserves to live an amazing life, no matter what. In the meantime I’ll be grateful for what I have and make the most of every situation: I will celebrate life, because it’s amazing!
And by sharing that, sharing my experiences and knowledge, I’ll hopefully be able to make someone elses life a little bit more amazing. And please, don’t stop dreaming: dreams do come true! ❤️