Scotland in Love

I feel slightly guilty saying this, but I went on a holiday and I didn’t blog! To be honest, I even forgot about the blog. You see, this holiday was going to be an “away from everything” one. We were staying in a cabin by Loch Ken close to Galloway Forrest Park in the south west of Scotland. There were no plugs, no phone service, no appliances. The whole cabin operated purely on solar energy and some gas for the cooker and the hot water. So it didn’t really make much sense to bring our electronics as we wouldn’t be able to charge them anyways, and as we really wanted to get away from it all!

I can’t tell you how amazing it’s been to be away from all emails and social media! I really haven’t missed it for a second. And now that we’re back home, I really notice how different my day is when I forget about social media for a while! It’s amazing! For the Boyfriend as well, since he is always checking his emails for work and is a mad social media fan. His phone was out of power for a few days and it really changed our days! Sadly, his camera was out of juice as well, so there went his planned past time. But I secretly may have liked it. At least for that big hike we did. 21kms! Booyah! Longest hike we’ve done so far. And there was NO camera, NO phone, just us two and the forest and the sea and the birds and the sun. A whole day of each others company with nothing intervening. Fun fun fun!

Especially because at that point, we had something to celebrate…

Ladies and Gentleman! The Boyfriend is now the Fiancé! He proposed at the shore of Loch Ken at sunset, with the sky all purple and pink and the most perfect peace and quiet and oh man it was SO romantic! And spontaneous! Apparently he’d had the ring for a while and planned to do it in Scotland, and that night he just felt like it was the right moment. It really was. It was perfect! I have never been so happy before in my life, blahdeeblah cliché I know, but I really don’t know how else to say it. I felt a rush of emotions I had never felt before, I was crying and laughing and jumping up and down and kissing him and felt like there were fireworks of fluffiness exploding in my chest. (My  brand new Fitbit put my heart rate at 120bpm! Madness!) I am so happy that I am going to marry this most extroardinary person who makes me smile and giggle and burst with laughter every single day! Who gives the bestest cuddles and makes me feel so comfortable and at home. Who still makes me feel so insanely in love and fluttery just by smiling one of his thousand different amazing smiles of me. And now I don’t only get to tell everyone about how perfect he is for me and how I want to share my world with him, we’ll get to show everyone by marrying each other! I AM SERIOUSLY BURSTING WITH JOY!!!!

I was going to write a whole post about our holiday and what we’ve been upto but oh well, I got distracted again. I might just leave it at this and go cuddle my FIANCÉ 😀

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A Book of Dreams, and a Lifetime of Dreaming Them

I think I’m gonna start making a little dream book. You know, a little note book with all sorts of ideas of things I want to do at some point in my life. Ugh I know, sounds awfully girly and cliché, it seems like the fast track to a “my-10-year-plan-scrapbook”. But it won’t be. It’ll just be a way to feel a bit less restless.

For all you fellow used-to-be-travellers, I’m sure you know what I mean. You don’t particularly feel stuck, but you just feel stuck right now. Like, you know you still have tons of time to do a lot of the stuff you dream about, but you wonder when and you have basically no patience. So, if I start writing down all my genius ideas and insane plans, maybe my wanderlustfilled mind will chill out a bit. And I can browse through my little book realising I really don’t have it that bad.

I used to do a similar thing when I was a bit younger. I don’t know where the book is right now, I probably threw it out in one of the many moves, but I remember it had things like “swim with dolphins” (check) and “get a tattoo” (check) and I should really be more proud of the things I’ve done rather than panic about all the things I haven’t done yet, like learn how to dive or take drawing classes so I can draw my travels. Seriously, I’m only 25.

The boyfriend has moved over to Belgium exactly one year ago today, and this morning I was thinking about how far we’ve come. Most of the time I wonder about how far I still want to go, but my oh my we’ve done so much already! Exactly one year ago, we packed up as much of his stuff as we could take on the plane with us, and started moving in to our apartment. One year later, our apartment feels so homely! Last addition: we bought an awesome big new couch. Seriously, how much more settled can you get?! We’ve moved away from what we need to get by to what we want just because, and it’s a wonderful life. In the mean time, my job is progressing nicely I think, and the boyfriend found an amazing job as well, with fun colleagues who trust him and his skills, and a lot of possibilities for the future. Tonight, we’re meeting up with friends in town for some live music on the market squares, as happens in summer in Leuven. I can imagine none of this sounds very exciting, but to us it really is. I really think we can be proud of what we’ve accomplished. And what we’ve accomplished is… happiness.

So now, rather than ruining that happiness with my crazy ideas and restlessness, I’ll keep good track of all my dreams and make sure they come true. And I’ll be okay with that not happening today, or even tomorrow, or even in the next years.

Bring it on dreams, we’ll have a good run together.

How Happiness is Easy, Because it’s Possible

I am really quite happy. And I’ve been so for a while. And I’m planning to stay so for even longer.

I once read somewhere that happiness isn’t a destination, it’s the road trip there. I think I’m finally on the right track to whatever may be my destination.

traintracks

Basically, I can think of a thousand things I would like to change in my life. I’d like my body to be more healthy. I’d like to spend less time on watching crappy tv-shows and more time on other stuff (although I have to admit I’m not doing so bad there, the New Year’s Resolution is still going and still not a disaster). Like gardening and crafts and guitar and hiking and cooking. I’d like to have more money. Because I’d like to go traveling again. And also have some sort of financial security for when I’d get back. I don’t particularly love my job…

But I really am happy. You see, all those things are okay. I’m working on them. None of them are impossible. I’m going to the gym as much as I can and try to get back into an active lifestyle, also minding what I eat without going on a crazy diet. The tv time I have been working on for a while, and although I can still cut down more, I don’t think it’s as bad as it used to be and I don’t feel as frustrated anymore because the binging has gone down massively. I try to spend a lot of time in the garden because being outdoors makes me happy, and I love to take my time cooking when I get back from work. And now that summer is just behind the corner, hiking a few days a month shouldn’t be a problem. We have some wonderful friends that like to come out with us and it just gives us extra motivation to do so. The same goes for my crafts, for which I meet up with some friends to spend both quality time with each other and do something new.

The boyfriend and I both have a job now, and we are almost all sorted for the stuff we need in our apartment. (The only thing I still want is a freezer, he still wants a full computer set up, but I guess we can spread that out over the years?) So we really can start saving properly now. It’ll still be tricky to do everything we want, but at least I don’t feel like it’ll get us stuck. We’ve got options. The traveling might not happen straight away, but I know for sure one day we’ll be adventuring again. And I’m okay with it taking a few years.

Now, the job was always the tricky part. But I don’t mind it anymore. It’s tough. And I’m not doing so well. But the boyfriend is so insanely supportive that he gives me that last bit of motivation. Without that, I’d crash completely. But he keeps me going. He keeps me wanting to impress. My colleagues aren’t bad either. Not that we have great fun at work, but everyone is nice and it creates a very open work environment. Even though I don’t feel like I am doing a good job, once in a while I do get a compliment (today someone told me I got quite far really fast) and that’s just the best feeling and it makes me try harder again for a while. I still don’t think this job is it for me, but I’ve made peace with it and I think I found a way to keep going and keep happy. I even leave for work with a smile on  my face.

But really, that has nothing to do with work. That has everything to do with the boyfriend. Since he has a job, we get up at the same time in the morning and have some cuddles before we leave. He waves me goodbye out of the door. And I can’t help but smiling for the first half of the day. The second half of the day, I’m looking forward to being home again so more smiles it is.

Our lives are surprisingly uneventful, but I feel like I’ve got it all. We made our apartment into such a lovely home, with nice decorations on the walls and the cupboards, o many pillows for us to still fit on the couch, and little lights everywhere to liven up the place. Our garden is the perfect escape, even though it is far from private. We live in such a quiet neighbourhood we really can pretend it is our little piece of paradise. We talk about all sorts of rubbish all night and watch some youtube stuff together (lately I’ve become a big fan of Casey Neistat’s daily vlogs, you should check it out!) or I watch him play a playstation game and order him around 😉 Sometimes we go out for an evening walk, or we head down to the gym, or into town for a drink with friends, or he does his thing and I do mine.

I do still want to change a thousand things in my life, sometimes it makes me sad or frustrated. But only ever so briefly. What keeps me going is knowing that it’s possible. And I’m working on it. And in the meantime, I’ll just be happy. Because really, it’s easy now.

 

My eye candy world wonder ♥

(Before I start, this will be the second soppy love post on this blog. I usually write about work and travel, but now I am inspired by love. So do skip this one if this is not your thing, and don’t worry, I have a travel post coming up soon.)

This weekend, me and the boyfriend were invited to a wedding in Bruges. The wedding was absolutely beautiful. It was the first wedding I had been to since I’m older than 6 I think, and I was impressed.

The couple looked so happy. More than happy really. Radiating hapiness and love. And in such a gorgeous dress, that bride! I would describe you the dress, but quite simply, I lack the words for all the different kinds of fabrics and shapes. So I’ll keep it at, she looked beautiful, classy, and perfect.

The priest said some really touching words as well. About the journey of love. For example, how it’s okay to have misunderstandings. Even, how it’s good! Because it makes you grow as people and it makes you grow as a couple. And that’s what love is all about. Making eachother grow and standing by each other no matter what. And how nowadays we can be so lucky if we find someone we feel so comfortabe with, that we want to spend all the moments, good and bad, funny and embarassing, impressive and plain boring, with just this one person. I was well impressed. The weather was beautiful again, the decorations so colourful, I just cannot describe the cheerfulness and utter contentness amazement hapiness that day in every person present.

I also have to admit, here comes the corny bit (yes, I do admit to being soppy and openly very in love), I could not keep my eyes off my boyfriend. He was looking more than handsome in his suit. Light brown shoes and belt, dark blue pants, light blue shirt, dark blue tie. And stunning dreamy blue eyes with a cheeky smile. Sighdreamdriftaway. I absolutely love going to places as a couple. I love his company. But for this wedding, dammit he wasn’t just my company, soulmate, and love. He was my armpiece. Everyone’s eye candy. Eye candy that was mine. And eye candy that was telling the perfect jokes to entertain the crowd. Haha I am so objectifying my own boyfriend, but really, I was just so proud and amazed by having him by my side. He makes me feel like the most beautiful girl just with one look. And I felt more than beautiful standing beside him on that wedding. He is a world wonder. My world wonder.

Bye bye long distance!

I’m at the airport!

Not to go on holiday again, nope, even better! I’m about to pick up my boyfriend! No more airport goodbyes, no more late night Skype sessions resulting in sleepy mornings at work, no more missing him for the stupidest reasons (such as hearing someone open a can of soda). No more long distance relationship! This time, I’m taking my fella home with me!

It’s been a crazy ride, having met on the road in Australia and travelled for four months, to then do one year of long distance. The distance wasn’t too long, a one hour flight (with a three hour trip to the airport that is, damn you public transport). But long enough to make us suffer.

We’ve worked hard and saved loads during t the past year and now lots will change for us. More for him than for me. As much as I would love another abroad adventure, my work has me stuck for another three years. And as amazing as he is, the boyfriend has decided to quit his job and relocate to me! I found an apartment for us close to the train station so I can get to work easily but we don’t have to live in the capital. It’s painted and cleaned. Can’t wait to show him! In one week, we’ll be living in OUR apartment starting OUR lives together! 😀 I’m so bloody excited!

Everything will be so different, no adventuring like in Australia, or forgetting about the world around us like we did when visiting each other the past year. No sleeping in tiny tents or stealing each other’s blankets because we’re not used to sharing our bed anymore. It’ll be real life. With work stress and shopping cleaning laundry that needs doing. But we will be stressing shopping cleaning laundrying together and as weird as this may sound: I’m so looking forward to all that 😀

The last year has been an inbetween year. I missed the adventuring so badly, and my baby even more. Now, with my baby by my side again, I’m sure I can find the adventure in everyday life! Bring it on, home-based adventure, WE are ready for you!

A Desert Love Story

If you’re not interested in matters of the heart, and hate sentimental corny posts, do skip this one. Because today, I will tell you about my love.

You might have picked up on this in my previous post. I am in a long distance relationship. How did I end up in one? Well, let me tell you our story.

This time last year, I arrived in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia. I had travelled and worked in Western Australia for five months, and just finished a one month roadtrip from Sydney to Melbourne and Adelaide, visiting the Snowy Mountains, Wilson’s Promontory, Wilpena Pound, the Great Ocean Road, and many more spectacular places, 4WD’ed straight through the red centre on the Oodnadatta track past lake Eyre to Uluru and finally to Alice Springs. What a crazy half year it had been. And in Alice Springs, I was back to the start: I had to come up with a new plan, again. Had to find a job, again. Had to make new friends, again. I bet you all agree, after a while, it gets tiring. But not for long. Because I had only been in Alice Springs for one day when I met the most amazing person. I had no idea at the time, but it became clear to me pretty soon.

You see, I was 23 years old, and I had never been in love. No no, let’s be honest. I had never even been in a relationship. I wasn’t looking for love. I didn’t know what it looked like. I was perfectly happy exploring on my own. Except for the tiring part. The part where you have to make new friends: where are you from how long have you been on the road for where have you been so far oooh that’s so cool yeah me too awesome. Same conversation. Every day. With everyone you meet. But with this fella, it was different.

We met in the hostel, just started talking, as you do. I noticed him before making calls applying for jobs. Ah, I thought, a likeminded traveller (and a rather handsome one, at that!) He was sitting next to the tap. As I went over to get some water, he asked me, not much to do here in Alice Springs, is there? And that’s it. That’s how we met. Not immediately the start of the greatest hollywood love story, I hear you think. I agree. Our story is so much better.

So we started hanging out 24/7, saw all there is to see in Alice Springs (not much, believe you me, but we kept finding fun stuff such as cycling through the desert to the telegraph station we never found, visiting the completely barren botanic gardens, going up Anzac Hill (which we keep calling Aznac Hill) for a pretty neat but scorching hot view of the city, enjoying the absolutely mental desert town party night life, and I can keep going). And we didn’t just have the usual conversations. We talked hours and hours, got each other laughing from the second we met, made wonderful friends together. Me and him, we were a “we” almost instantly. A package deal. And what a package it is.

It all went really fast. And so insanely easy. Nothing has ever been so easy in my life! None of the drama the hollywood movies and love songs had taught me! No “defining the relationship”. No playing games or being too scared to be honest about our feelings. No trying to make each other jealous. No hopelessly trying to impress each other. Seriously, who came up with that stuff?! Why did no one tell me movies are so unrealistic?

If there is one thing I have learned (and here comes the corny bit), it’s that loving each other is the easiest thing on earth. If it’s not easy, it’s not love. And to be fair, our situation isn’t easy. We’re not from the same countries. When our visas expired and the money ran out, we each had to go home. I was starting a job here, he was getting back into his old job there. And that’s where we still are now. But even though our lives have changed so drastically since we met, nothing has changed in the way I feel about him. Loving him is still as easy as pie. And I love him more every day. I have never been so happy in my life. Everything I do is so much better when he is around. I love talking to him, I love laughing with him, I love the stories he tells me and the jokes he makes, and the smile he smiles when he notices I’m not getting the joke, or not getting it’s a joke (I need some sort of a Bazinga alert, really). He has a thousand single smiles, and I know every single one of them. Corny again: his smiles makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Yup. Fuzzy.

Happy anniversary my sweet sweet baby!