Let me introduce myself.
I am Yolaine.
There is nothing special about me (although I’d like to think otherwise).
Then why do I write a blog? Do I have something of value to tell you?
Well, I will not post videos with crazy tips to do your hair. Nor will I post my recipe of the week, a review of some game, or my opinion on some newspaper article. To be honest, I have become quite an opinionless person! I cannot be bothered anymore to join a discussion about the fate of the lobster (being tastiest cooked alive and all) or the effect of social media on young children (who used to play outside in the olden days). I am sure there is someone out there with exactly the same opinion as I would have, who will write it all down for you. What I will do, is join that group of terribly cliche travellers that cannot shut up about their adventures.
If you’re a fellow traveller, you know exactly what I mean. Remember that feeling, at the hostel, when you meet yet another backpacker, and then you both tell your stories, and you’re never really sure if they’re bragging or just telling a story? That I’ve-done-more-exciting-stuff-then-you-have conversation? And as annoyed as you are by it, you catch yourself doing it as well! “Shame on me!” Well, I will very much try not to do that! I am merely writing these stories to keep myself from going nuts.
You see, the travelling has been a bit on the down low lately. I am now 24 years old, which I reckon is still quite young, but old enough for obligations and responsibilities. You older travellers, who have been discovering every plant bird city mountain river and public transportation for so long you can hardly remember your native language and the name of your home town (or for all I know, even the concept of a hometown): I admire you. However, I could not do what you do. And there is one very simple explanation for that: my family.
I’ve been blessed with amazing parents, lovely grandparents, and a whole bunch of wonderfully crazy uncles, aunties, and cousins. I hate spending Christmas away from the family. I love visiting my granny for the weekend to talk about travelling non-stop (yes, the travel bug runs in our family). I throw all my plans around to be at my cousins’ birthday party and beat everyone at boardgames, wobbling home with once again way too much food and drink in my system.
There’s a word for this where I come from: living life Burgundy-style. The Burgundy people were a Germanic tribe that truly knew what it meant to enjoy life. Imagine medieval banquets with food stacked up on the table reaching all the way up to the ceiling, wine and beer, music and dancing and singing and laughter. No, not a crazy drunken night, but a whole evening day even week of enjoying all the nice things the world has to offer. And no one is as good at Burgundy extravagance as my family.
But back to this blog: what I have to tell you. I am sure there is more of me around: people who love travelling, but crave home while they’re away. And once back home, they can’t wait to hit the road again! But then that moment comes that, for some reason you can no longer recall, you decided it is time to settle. Or at least to stay in one place for longer than a year. Well, that’s where I am at now. I started my first real job (as in, a job where you do not get paid by the hour and have to wear a uniform in some horrendous colour) in October 2014. It was going to be the dream job. The perfect start of a career. (I was going to have a desk! With one of those turning chairs! Imagine that!) Well, it is now March 2015 and I am going mental. My contract runs for another three and a half years. What have I done!
Don’t get me wrong. It is still a wonderful job. But it’s a hard life. Working over 40 hours a week, juggling this with seeing friends and family and doing laundry and cooking and cleaning and paying your bills and why the hell does everyone manage this as if it is no biggy? I cannot be the only one struggling, right? What happened to my walks, or just sitting on a bench outside, or baking some pancakes, or just feeling relaxed? Seriously, where I live now, there is hardly such a thing as a walk to enjoy, a bench to sit on, or friendly neighbours to invite over for pancakes. Life goes so much faster here, and I do not like it one bit! I used to be able to sit. For hours. And do. Nothing. Nothing. At. All. And I loved it.
But this is my life now, reality cought up with me. Time to make this work. And this blog will help me I hope! I will talk about the little joys in life. And about struggling being a Western European citizen. About little weekend trips when I have the time! About the horrendous train rides to work. About the first day of spring when I see my good friend the sun again. About impossible deadlines and scary bosses. About the nostalgia for far away countries. About finding my place as a traveller-on-hold.