This year is doing that magic thing time does: it goes super-fast, but a lot happens in the meantime. I’ve been in numerous nooks and crannies on four continents. I’ve met a lot of new people but mainly focused on strengthening existing relationships with family, friends and boyfriend.
In amongst the array of experiences – from a beautiful wedding and amazing hikes, to walking through knee-deep mud alongside the bogged tow-truck carrying our Pajero over a narrow mountain ridge in remote Timor Leste – and the effort I’ve had to go to in order to remain grounded, there is a lot of space for learning:
Work has been so slow that (downside) I’ve had to dip into savings and (upside) I’m launching a new phase of my career: life coaching. I’ll start in the next couple of weeks and I am really excited, with a smidge of belly nerves to reassure me that a healthy amount of fear is involved. Because if you’re not a little bit scared, it’s not worth it, right?

Bali bliss
I realised I’ve really let down a friend by being absent in her life when she most needed me. It pains me to admit I really fucked up, but gives me the resolve to be present to dear ones when they are having a tough time even if I’m not in the same time zone. (Note to dear ones: please call me on this)
I’ve experienced how difficult a long-distance relationship is. Here in Bali I’m surrounded by some of my absolute closest friends and enjoying correspondingly brilliant conversations (including but not limited to: plating, the meaning of life, which character we each are in the OC, Melrose Place and Beverly Hills 90210). So when my boyfriend and I discuss the weather, what we ate and our flight schedules, it feels so vapid that I want to squeal. Luckily we’ll meet up in Amsterdam at the end of the month and we can start moving again, rather than hovering in neutral.
I’ve observed that despite my intrinsically introverted nature and need for space, I’m really enjoying this phase of socialness. I’m saying yes when my instincts tell me that, despite my natural penchant for withdrawal, it’s time to connect – and this has been uniquely rewarding. Because by occasionally sneaking outside my comfort zone, I build more confidence and happiness.