The Beauty of Home

Have you ever noticed how it’s so much easier to be happy and amazed when your not Home? And with Home I mean the place where you grew up. Once you have travelled and moved to a new Home, you appreciate the beauty of that new place a thousand times more than the beauty of Home number one.

For example: I can imagine that if you go on holiday to for example Italy, you visit a fair bit of churches. Have you ever visited the one in your hometown? Or, when on holiday, you might go for a morning walk or run around the hotel and find some gorgeous spots that might not be in your travel guide because after all, they are just standard beauty. Have you ever noticed that kind of standard beauty and stopped to admire it when running around your Home?

I’m really trying to. It’s a part of my post-travel-life therapy. Once in a while, I stop and try to look at Home with the eyes of a tourist. This weekend, it went extremely well. Why? Because winter has arrived.

We don’t really get decent winters anymore. The ones with a lot of snow and ice skating on the lakes. But Thursday night, it started snowing. Compared to northern countries, it was nothing. But for us Belgians, it was more than we’d seen in a long time. Coming home from work in the evening, I went straight into the back garden to build a snow man! Biggest one I’ve ever made!

It hasn’t been snowing since, but it’s still cold so when out of the city, it’s winter wonderland. Sunday, me and the boyfriend had a gorgeous walk. Just around the block really, should’ve taken us less than an hour, but it was so pretty we stopped after every corner to take in the view and soak in the sunshine, just like I was craving so badly!

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And even this morning, a Monday morning of all things, I was amazed by Home. While waiting for my train, usually I am browsing Facebook or WordPress. But now, my fingers were too cold so I had to put the phone away. And I noticed an absolutely stunning sunrise.

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I feel inspired by the beauty of home, and I have extra strength now to tackle my post-travel-life this week. Thank you winter, thank you home, you have given me hope!

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The Future of a Traveller, the Worries of a Traveller

For those of you who are new to my blog: I am currently in between travels. I don’t know for how long. Thinking big travels, at least three years. And I do not like it one bit. After coming back from my last adventure, I decided I needed to stay in one place for a while, build up some stability. Because when I travel, it doesn’t matter how much I am enjoying the thrill and excitement of all the new experiences, I still worry about money and my future. So I decided to work on that for a bit, by signing a 4-year contract in my home country.

So now I am working on my future and of course, as you probably guessed, I am having a terrible case of the post-travel-blues. To ease my suffering, I read travel blogs. Of people who are doing what I have to be honest about, seems like just a little bit too scary for me. Traveling the world with no plans for what comes after. Young couples that cycle across the world with no end date set. Students who graduate and leave the nest to travel through Asia but after three years still aren’t back. Families that sell their house, buy a boat and sail the seas, home-schooling their kids, earning the bare minimum by taking along the occasional well-earning holidayers.

Am I really the only traveller that worries about the future? Does that make me different from all you adventurers without worries? Does that make me not a real traveller?

I’ll give you some examples of what goes on in my mind, right.

Firstly, I do not own anything except for the things in the apartment I’m currently renting. I’m sure I can figure out a way to get rid of all of it if I were to start travelling again, but then what happens when the money runs out and it is time for me to go home? I have no place to stay, nothing of my own, and rely completely on the goodness of my parents and the hope they will not sell the house to buy a smaller place that does not have a bedroom for me and my partner.

Now suppose miraculously I do find a way to make some money on the road, just enough to stay on the road for a good amount of time and even to come back and start over. I will definitely not be earning enough to both enjoy travel life and save up for for example my retirement. Neither will my home country, since I am not paying taxes there. Same goes for government funded health insurance. Or any other benefits.

What happens if you need to go home for a longer period of time because you need to help out your family, what happens if you or your partner get seriously ill, what happens if you would like to start a family and offer your future kids basic financial security and a stable home to grow up in.

It all kind of comes down to the same issues: how to go “home”, whenever, wherever, whatever “home” may be. How to get just that little bit of stability and ease of mind to know that, once on the road, there is a way back. And if you do decide to settle down in that “back”, or anywhere else, to have a future. Doesn’t it all come down to (no matter how much everyone claims to be on a shoestring budget) having a fair amount of money stacked away, or some regular income of some property or other assets?

Please tell me how you see your future as a traveller! What are your long term worries and how do you deal with them?

Hello, home!

My goodness, have I got fun news for you! I moved! No no, let me rephrase that. WE moved!

About a week ago, me and the boyfriend moved in together in a spacious apartment that we’ll be renting for the next three years. The time scares the hell out of me, when are we gonna go adventuring when we are stuck in this place until the end of my contract at work in just over three years? But oh my, is it nice to have our own place!

Although I have to admit, moving was a lot more work than I had thought. I have moved before, a little bit bigger every time. It started with my first year at boarding school. I bought a few trinkets to cheer up my room. A pillow here and there, some lights, a kettle, and a few tea cups.

The year after, I went back to boarding school with all of that plus the things I collected during the year. A picture to put on the wall, a plant.

The year after, I had to move back home for university. So all my stuff went back home, and my parents took me to ikea to get the room study ready.

Two years after, I went on erasmus to Finland. My parents decided to come see me off, so we drove there and I could stock up the car with the pillows lights kettle tea cups pictures plants study stuff, and I bought some more kitchen things and bathroom accessories. After one year, load up the car again with my things and the extra free stuff I got through the year from leaving erasmus students.

Then one year in Ireland. I could only bring one suitcase. Whoaaaat! I brought two back. Some travel books, a hot water bottle, woollen socks.

And then one more year of university, a few new cooking things should do the trick.

Australia of course only needed a backpack with the essentials, my stuff stocked up at the parents’ house.

Then there was my studio. Ikea again. And some secondhand furniture from the previous owner of the studio.

So now, I have an insane mismatch of stuff. INSANE! And oh my, to get it all together in boxes, deciding what to bring and what to throw away, or what to store on mom and dad’s attic. At first I thought that was the craziest part. I was wrong. The unpacking was even more mental. You simply do not need more than six coffee cups. Let alone ten different kind of trays.

And the ikea stuff. Ugh. Never again! One ikea piece is okay, but bloody hell where did the times go it was all dead simple? It took the whole family (thanks for the help, mom and dad) two days to get the bed together! We slept on a matras in the living room (no curtains no lights) the first night. Camping in our new place, it had its charm 🙂 It took us two trips to ikea as well, one with a rental van, one with the car. Knocked off a mirror of the van while we were at it. Stressy days.

But it is starting to look like a home now. We still need to put up some pictures, but we are both to scared to damage the walls. When you are used to leaving a place before the year is over, you try to not leave a mark. But I guess since we will be here for a while, we can drill some holes. We put up curtains before. In the wall. Booyah wall, take that!

Tonight we went for our first walk in the area. It was starting to get dark. There are so many houses, it’s a very built up area, but it was so peaceful! No matter what hour of the day, it’s always quiet around here. It is amazing, even weird and creepy sometimes, but I am not complaining! And then when we came home, … well, … we came home! Home! I can’t get enough of that 🙂 With all the rushing here and there and moving this and that, this short evening walk finally made me feel like I came home.

Hello home, we’re gonna have a good time.