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This year: I will travel

Photo copyright Stéphanie de Geus

This year I want to travel. Travel a lot. Sure I’ve done that the past few years too, but this year it’s different. I am tired of being a tourist, of being some white girl who goes to fancy restaurants in some Asian country. I want to emerge myself in the culture.

When I think of travel this year I see myself going on adventures. Climb outdoor, have a backpack on my back with everything I’m taking with me and camera in hand. I want to document cultures, invoke wanderlust in people and make them dream through my eyes and lens.

Truth be told, I was never an adventurous spirit. I am an introvert who’s perfect afternoon is on the sofa with a book with endless amounts of my favourite tea. Most of my comfort consists of having my favourite things around. The comfort of home is my woollen blanket under which I write this.

That’s exactly why I want to be uncomfortable this year. I tried the comfort zone and it has gotten me as far as the end of the sofa. Ok, and to the UK and back. That’s where my love of the outdoors started. There I started running, started hiking and even climbed my first bit of rock. I got my hiking boots there and my beloved backpack. And then I went back home to the Netherlands.

The outdoors is different here. Flat. And my heart longs for the mountains. It longs for rocks, for forests so old it makes you feel small. For dramatic skies that feel like you’ve left earth and entered a place new to ever human imaginable. I long for outdoors that makes me feel like a new person who can do anything every single day.

For the past five years, I have let myself be ruled by fear. By ‘I can’t do this’, by fear of what others would say, and by financial fear. See that’s the thing about fear. It’s so goddamn easy. “Hey want to go and climb?” “Oh no, I don’t think I can do that, I’m not strong enough.” (true story by the way). It’s often the first response when asked to do something new. No, and some kind of excuse. It’s time to call bullshit on this. Time to let go of the fear. Time to stop letting fear being the first reaction to anything and everything.

It will be hard. And I can tell you there won’t be a day that it will be easy. But I hope that it will get easier.

As I am writing this, I’m writing this I’m setting intentions for 2018. I want to be fearless, take risks and push outside of my comfort zone. I want to things that 18 years old me never dreamed of doing. I want to write about my adventures and make adventure to write about. I want to climb real mountains, hike a part of the Chinese wall, and never let fear stop me.

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