We go together.

A number of years ago, I joined seven others for dinner at a table in a hostel in Belgium. At the other end of the table, a beautiful girl was telling about her house in the mountains in Portugal. Everyone was invited to come.

“..and you can come too!” she said to me, a stranger. Seven months later, we were living in Portugal.

Bottom right: me
Bottom left: the girl

When everything is clear, there are no decisions to make.

After travelling back and forth between my country and hers every two weeks, we moved together to Lisbon. There was never a moment of realization or reflection on our choices. We never expressed a strong desire to live together, rather it was clear that we couldn’t imagine any other way to live.

She amazed me with her drive. Frustration with her work drove her into science. While she worked at the same place as me, she wouldn’t let me help her get in. Within weeks she changed fields and was doing things with ease that others needed months to master.

We challenged each other. Both incredibly stubborn and convinced of own strength (although she might be less inclined to admit to that than I), we rarely let go of a difference in opinion. She was always fair, and usually right.

We gave ourselves an extra challenge.


I changed my mind, left science, failed a startup and started other ventures. She didn’t even flinch, argue or complain. She was always strong, focused, hard working.

Today, we are in the Netherlands. Every day, we work really hard. We are overly ambitious, perpetually unsatisfied with our accomplishments. Tomorrow, we might want something else, work on something bigger and better. We will move to other countries, change our opinions and occupations. We will do so naturally, as we please and want.

So far, we have made one decision: we do it all together.

March 13, 2015, we’ll make that decision official. I’m a lucky man.