Fifteen Months of Travelling

Things I learned about myself:

  • I don’t send postcards.
  • I send hearts on WhatsApp.
  • Dancing is my drug, my energy, my first love always.
  • My friends and family are part of who I am.
  • I am independent and strong.
  • I have principles; that’s okay. I live by them but sometimes I break them (that’s okay too).
  • I am both intimidated and infatuated by hippies.
  • I may have some hippie tendencies myself.
  • I am curious. For just about everything.
  • I love people. They are kind, warm, wonderful creatures. (Unfortunately some of them make a mess of the world.)

Things I lost:

  • My debit card.
  • My photo camera, on the last day of the 15 months.
  • Lots of unimportant things: towels, chargers, money.

Things I missed out on:

  • Hugging my sister when she told me she was pregnant.
  • Birthdays.
  • Big and small moments in my friends’ lives.
  • Three Meijer babies being born.
  • The death of my 20 year-old cat Dummeltje.
  • Easter, Sinterklaas, Christmas, and then Easter again. That’s two eitje-tik competitions I could have won.

Things I gained:

  • A million moments that made me stronger, wiser and happier.
  • Trust.
  • Photos.
  • Memories that are more beautiful and plentiful than the photos.
  • Knowing the joy of living life without a plan. (Random adventures!)
  • New family in Seattle, Fort Collins and Karatara. I love you.
  • Gratitude. For my life and everybody in it.

What surprised me:

  • The depth and intensity of my love for South Africa.
  • How the universe will always find a way to make things work out just perfectly.
  • How breath-taking nature is all around the world.
  • How deep the marks of history run, right into my life.
  • That I dared to travel around the world for so long.
  • That it took thirteen months before I started missing home.
  • How you can feel such strong connections to people you have just met.
  • How easy it is to say yes. (Just say yes!)

I must not forget:

  • The beautiful people I met along the way.
  • The mountains I have climbed.
  • To just say yes.
  • To trust the universe (and myself).
  • To regard going home as an adventure in its own right.