from bxl to txl

Just a wee life-update. I’ve been back in Europe for just a bit over a month now, and in nothing life looks how it used to be when I left. As I wrote earlier, I moved my stuff out of my Brussels apartment as soon as I came back from my almost five months of travelling. I arrived with my boxes at my parents’ house on a Friday, applied for jobs online on Saturday and Sunday, and had a job on Monday. The week after I came to the island of Texel for a trial at a restaurant at the beach, and I stayed.

So here I am, living on an island, doing exercise on the beach in the mornings and sweating in a kitchen where the temperature rises along with the steaming and puffing oven in the afternoons and evenings, while building salads, sandwiches and plates – and having fun with it. Who would have thought that from hilly Brussels, to the Andean highlands, I would arrive at the outstreched flatlands of Texel. Here and now, life is simple and calm. Nothing spectacular is happening. There’s no breathtaking views whenever I open the curtains, nothing bizarre happening in the streets of the village, no crazy adventures I am accidentally finding myself entangled in. I am meeting no remarkable figures as I would encounter them in the bxls streets. There’s no live music to walk into, no people screaming underneath my window in the dark of night, no clochards or drunk hipsters peeing against my front door. My bike is standing unlocked next to the house. I sometimes see a neighbour passing my window. I hear the wind blow at night and birds sing sing in the morning. I see a church and some small houses as I look out of the window. (When I was recording the video below for a Colombian friend the other day, the level of Dutchness of my current life quite struck me – perhaps I am living more Dutch now than I ever have).

I cannot deny that I often find my mind wondering in places that are yet to be explored, and pausing at far away friends already encountered. I cannot say that I am not dreaming of swimming underneath waterfalls and standing over breathtaking cliffs and canyons, feeling the reward of my stinging legs and out of breath body. But until the day comes that I fly off again, I am grateful for the new friends I am making, for the incredible house where I get to wake up in, for the positive atmosphere in the kitchen and the fun I am having at work, and for the aroma rising up from the glass of wine I am holding after work, surrounded by lovely people who know how to enjoy life. Over the last couple of weeks, more than once I have found a tear of pure joy making it’s way down my cheek, while driving my bike or my Mom’s car between green fields with grazing cows and sheep, contemplating about my life and thinking how incredibly lucky I have been so far.

Who knows what the future holds. Who cares. For now I am genuinely happy.


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