Thinking back to the past year, I am overwhelmed by how much has happened in those 12 months. I have done so many things and learned just as much. Just, wow.
To start off with one of the biggest events, I moved to Norway. One year ago, at exactly this time, I was sitting on the airport, waiting for the plane that would take me from Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam to Værnes Airport, Trondheim. I was scared and excited and a bit sad to leave the Netherlands. But I was flying towards a new life. A new country, a new home, new friends, new everything. And if I’m being totally honest, it was tough. The dark and the loneliness and the whole feeling of having absolutely nothing familiar around you, that kind of shakes you up inside.
Of course I met lots of new people, many of whom were very nice. And I soon found my way around the city and created new habits and found new favourite things. But I’m not going to deny that I still felt a bit lonely without my parents and my best friends.
Though at the end of my time in Norway I felt really glad to go back to the Netherlands, now, after half a year, I do miss certain things from my life in Trondheim. The snow, the extremely fresh air, the quietness, the nature, the walks along the river, Sunday afternoons up at the fortress, cosy evenings with my riding group at the stables. I do really miss all that.
I have found out that Norway is not where I’m meant to live all my life, but it will always be a part of me.
Another thing being in Norway taught me, was to take some time off, every now and then. To relax. In the Netherlands, I had been so busy with my studies, my year in the board of the study association, my committees and many other things. With all that going on, I had just forgotten how to do nothing for a while. Every spare minute, I would be wondering what things I still had to do, and feeling that there must be some chores left. I just couldn’t relax any more. In Trondheim, my board and committees were all far away and not my responsibility any more. And finally, after some time, I learned again how to have free time. In the end, I was even able to keep my weekends completely free of work. Without feeling guilty or stressed about it.
Back in the Netherlands, I tried to keep the new found “zen” in me. Which went rather good, I’d say. Of course, when my courses started again in the fall, and I was still busy with the organisation of the Food Film Festival in Wageningen, and I could see all my friends again, I had more things to do. But I think I still succeeded in taking an evening or weekend off, every once in a while.
All of that went along quietly for a while. And then, all of a sudden, there was the other big event of the year. I bought a horse. My darling Emily. I had helped looking after horses for years and years, but now I finally had one of my own. Again it felt a bit scary and slightly unreal but mostly just very exciting. And I have to say, so far it’s only getting better and better. Em and I are growing closer every day and she is on my mind almost all the time. And yes, of course, we still have our problems, we will certainly encounter more hiccups along the way. But I’m sure we will also solve them again. Because we are a team, and we need each other. And I can’t wait to hopefully stay together with her for many more years to come.
And that brings us up to the present. Which is a lovely new year’s morning. I hope this will be the start of another great year, and I am excited to find out.
I wish you all the best for 2016, and hope it will bring you happiness, nature and good food. Have a great day!