Update: the road to freedom (and … where’s Anto?)

muelle-de-alma

It has been awfully quiet on We12travel lately but that wasn’t without reason. The upcoming couple of months are going to be all about some major changes I’m making to my life and the first one actually took place yesterday, when I moved out of my apartment in the city center. I’ve lived here with a lot of joy over the past six months but it was time to go. This was my first step on the road freedom!
 
Moving did not quite go as planned. Normally I tend to prepare well for these kind of things but unfortunately, things didn’t quite turn out like that. About a week and a half ago I started feeling a little unwell and had all kind of physical issues, so I forced myself to step back and take it easy. I did some cleaning and packing, but never really got into the mood as I had planned. The past week I had actually scheduled each night off so I could dedicate all my time to sorting out my stuff, but unfortunately I got a nasty food poisoning on Wednesday evening, forcing me stay in bed (and bathroom) for nearly 48 hours. I can’t even remember when I last felt this sick, so just imagine. I actually promised myself to never east pasta again, most definitely not from Happy Italy restaurant. And so I made it through moving out on just a few crackers and a croissant. Not your typical energy source but okay, I managed. However I would not have been able to do it without the help of my movers Remy and Raymond, who made sure everything went smooth and well.
 
The past couple of months I’ve been thinking a lot about how I want to live my new life. My round the world trip will be a big part of that, but that once has to come to an end, plus eventually I will also reach the bottom of my bank account at some point. And so I decided to not drastically get rid of all my stuff right now, because most likely I will come back at some point, maybe for a short while only or maybe for a longer period of time. Fortunately my brother offered me a room in his home where I can store my stuff for the time being. Although it felt too uncomfortable to get rid of everything, I did get rid of a lot. I mostly threw things away but also donated to charity and sold some things. I know that for some digital nomads it’s liberating to get rid of everything but for me, this would most definitely not be the case. There are just certain items (such as a few books, photo albums and such) that I do not feel ready about throwing away. And so I decided not to.
 
The liberating feeling that many people who choose being a digital nomad has not appeared in my life yet though. Yesterday was basically very emotional when I turned the key of my front door for one of the last times. Chaos took over my mind because my stuff is spread out over various places, I will have to carefully choose what things I put where (I currently have things in four different homes …) because I can’t just drive back to one place when I want to wear that one dress. This morning I realized I actually forgot my Macbook charger somewhere, so I really need to sort things out well and I also seriously need to reduce the amount of things I’m dragging from one place to the other. However the worst feeling that hit me yesterday was loneliness. Just fucking loneliness. Of course I know it’s just a bit of crap and that there’s no reason to be lonely. I have a great bunch of family members and friends supporting me but it’s just the idea of not having a place to yourself for a while. I can not be 100% me in someone else’s place, I cannot feel comfortable just crying out loud whenever I feel like it nor run around bare naked if I feel the urge to do so, for whatever reason. I won’t have a place to hide whenever I feel crap or where I can play ‘Time to Say Goodbye’ by Andrea Bocelli 100 times because that’s the song we played on my father’s funeral.
 
Before I move over to the good news (because yes, of course there is some good news too) I should take a moment to say thank you to all my friends all over the country who have offered to welcome me into their homes. I’ve received invites from many places, from Amsterdam to Rotterdam and anywhere in between and the feeling of knowing there are so many people offering me a bed is just simply heartwarming.
 
Okay so let’s ditch the negative thoughts and move over to some happier news. Okay well it’s not really news but … I do have a few very cool trips coming up over the next two months. It has been quite a while since I last traveled (back in April when I went to see a friend in Göteborg, Sweden) and with that, my passion for writing and wanderlust seem to have faded a bit. However once I opened up my laptop this morning and started typing, I realized how much I actually missed writing and blogging. And about that wanderlust, I’m sure that will come back in a while. Once I’m in those mountains again next week I’m sure I’ll realize once again how amazing fresh mountain air feels like, how liberating it is to be outdoors all day long and basically how happy traveling makes me.
 
This Thursday morning very early I will get into my car and drive to my beloved Austria. This is the place where I fell in love with the mountains and where I traveled to ever since I was little. I try to go back once at least every year every since I’ve moved out of the house, being it in summer or in winter. First up I’m going to the Achensee region, which is where I spent many hours of my childhood. When I ran into someone from Achensee Tourismus we figured it would be nice for me to return to the place where I spent my summers and haven’t been to in some 20 years. The plan is that I will do stand up paddleboarding, will climb a mountain on a Ferrata and will learn to kitesurf, which is something I’ve never done before and I’m really excited about. From Tirol I will drive to Vorarlberg in the west of Austria, where I’ll spend some days hiking and mountainbiking exploring the region.
 
wildekaiser-chapel
After that I’ll drive back to The Netherlands, with my ancient Opel Agila. It’s my dad’s old car and I seriously hope it will take me home again because, like I said, it’s ancient. I heard some disturbing sounds that past weeks but I had it checked at a garage and they fixed it, so all should go well. And besides, I think I’ve already had my share of bad luck the past months so this should just go well, I trust.
 
Then I’ll be here for two nights, before boarding a plane to Bologna for a blogtrip to San Marino and the surrounding area. I don’t know a whole lot about it yet, just that it’s going to be an amazing campaign. Note to self: check if you can eat pasta again before actually going here. I truly hope so because it’s in fact my favorite meal (together with burgers and sushi) and I really couldn’t imagine life without pasta. But ok, we’ll see.
 
After my San Marino trip I will be in The Netherlands for another week and a half. I will work the last couple of days in my office job and then I’ll head to the USA and … ALASKA! Most of you have probably seen it on social media already but in case you missed it: I decided to add a week to my trip. I rebooked my returnflight from Seattle (thanks Icelandair) and booked a ticket from Seattle to Anchorage for a week. Although at first I said I wasn’t going to do it, I now know that it was the best decision ever. Martijn is currently in Alaska and he sends me pics on whatsapp every day, making me really jealous. When an Alaskan friend asked me if I’d still visit this summer I just couldn’t resist. Hitting the ‘book it’ button made my heart skip a beat and I realized that my love for Alaska is too deep. We will always have some unfinished business, no matter how many times I travel there. So Alaska, here I come!
 
Then I’ll be back in The Netherlands for another couple of days and next up will be a nice trip to Sweden for We12travel. I’m going to spend a couple of days outdooring, canoeing, camping in the wild and just being out there. It will be my third trip to Sweden in a year and I’m really happy to get this opportunity because over the past couple of years I’ve really come to love this country a lot!
 
By then it will be August and that’s too far ahead to really plan. I’ll spend at least a month at home (wherever that may be by then), writing my stories of the summer and preparing for my next trip. I can’t and won’t share any details about that yet because there is still a lot to be taken care of. Some things have been fixed such as a flight from Kathmandu to Auckland because it’s in high season. However, a planeticket to Bali, my first stop, can be arranged at any time and there for I feel no rush booking now. The major thing still keeping me here is the fact that my father’s gravestone cannot be placed earlier than September and I will simply not leave before then. Living in freedom allows me to make last minute decisions which is scary but amazing at the same time. For someone who had fully booked her agenda for weeks in advance just a year ago, this is already a big step forward. Nowhere near I want to be, but I’m getting there. Trust me on that!
 
This turned out to become quite a long post. Writing it in less than an hour made me realize my passion for writing has not left me yet. I look forward to sharing my travelstories with you this summer and virtually take you along on all my adventures!
 
Want to read more? You may also enjoy these posts:
I’m going to travel to the world on a one-way ticket!
Why I won’t be hiking the Pacific Crest Trail this year
How to create more time for (travel) blogging
 
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