9 months later


Singapore, July, 2013. “Cambodia is a room with a view, we look through it from here and think, WTF are we DOING in the West?”

It’s 9 months after my last post. I am AS frustrated. BUT there are two things that are cleared up:
1. My arty escapism is a GOOD thing that I will hold on to FOREVER (because the world is fucked up)
2. It’s not ME (because the world is fucked up)

I was convinced last year that I was the “sick” variable. I mean, I was in Sydney for 8 months, went back and forth to the Netherlands and suddenly felt “crappy” for months. Couldn’t get out of bed. Couldn’t feel happy. Nothing is both countries had changed, so it could only been me and my incapability of handling “life” as a twenty something expat. Oh, oh I needed to check myself, I needed to heal.


This world is crazy. The shit screaming at you everyday is crazy. The rules are crazy. The “civilization” is crazy. These dimensions are crazy. The violence is crazy. The money. The power. Where is the fucking love?

I’m moving again, I’m moving to Cambodia in 2 years. Gotta get out of here.

Joyful, joyful

Yesterday I googled “expat sucks” – it was one of those, unfortunately many, days where I questioned my presence in Sydney, Australia, a.k.a. the other side of the world, far away from the people I love. In my mind exists a constant battle of accepting, dealing and defining certain aspects of expatria life, and I am trying to distinguish these feelings from my extreme sad/happy almost-bi-polar (not my words) personality. I am a passionate woman and I live to love, I can’t help it.

If I haven’t felt like an outsider enough growing up with two totally different cultures in NL, being an expat only emphasizes this feeling of not-belonging-here (“Hey you have a different accent, where are you from?) – yes it’s always a good material for a first convo, but after a year of being a nomad I don’t feel like starting over again and again. I just want to have friends and feel at home.

If I’m here to feel at home and make friends, and if I have a home and if I have friends, why the f-ck am I wandering around here? “It was your own choice to become an expat, no one forced ya.” Yeah. True. So I need to stop whining. But I can’t help it. I’m just not made for this stuff. Do I need to take on a different approach? Act as if it is all a novelty and that I’ll be outta here in no time? This either causes for relentless/reckless living or positive/pro-active living. Both cases sound fucking exhausting to me.

I’m still here despite these feelings because I experience certain bursts of belonging and I enjoy those thoroughly. Sometimes I might feel even more at home here then I would in Europe. That’s pretty contradicting, I know, and I reckon it has to do with my age and how I’ve lived my life before this rollercoaster. I’ve dealt with oppression for about 20 years of my life. Sydney is symbolic to freedom to me. Yeah, all my feelings here are skewed because of a lifelong experience of darkness. See my former post.

Seizing own freedom requires not only courage but also a well thought-out plan backed up by the necessary funds. These funds I have acquired and am acquiring through this job that I have. Going back home and facing Europe’s economic state with 0 opportunities just does not sound that attractive to me in terms gaining funds. But do I really give a fuck about money? ONLY when it becomes an obstacle and it has been for 20 years. I just don’t want to go back to that.

I feel like I’m stuck in a maze.

Home is not home, new home is not home. The only home I’ve trusted is my little cave of arts. In this little fantasy world of mine, anything goes, we live in a grey area where having fun and being on adventure are the most important values of life. I guess when I engage in arts practically and mentally I become extremely happy and comfortable. It is my most close-to-my-heart form of escapism, and I have used it all my life. Throughout primary school, through high school, through university. And now here, through my professional life, through expatria. I don’t know if I should be happy about it or not. Actually, yes, I am. I mean at least it’s not drugs.

And it all becomes clear again. Despite the frustration and the lack of time because of work, I am here to enjoy my freedom, to deal with these demons in my mind, to grow the fuck up. Yesterday I read a quote about maturity: “Maturity is reached when there is a harmonious relationship between a person’s body, mind, emotions and spiritual soul under the guidance of their reason and will.” – That is a pretty awesome definition of maturity, and I believe that I can reach maturity someday. I am working on it, every single day, like there is no tomorrow. I don’t quite have a choice.

Other then all these headspins Sydney is  home to me because the awesome friends that I have, the weird quirky art scene that I am a part of and the rays of sunshine on my face everyday. It’s warm here. I’ll return to Europe, soonish. Just not now.

Takin’ it apart and puttin’ it back in


Circular Quay, Sydney

Your twenties are considered your invincible years – old enough to do everything, young enough to get away with everything. It is the time to challenge, to perform, to experiment. I am using my twenties to challenge myself mentally.

Surely travelling and meeting new people engages with the mind. But like some famous actor once said: “Holidays still suck because I have to bring myself along,” moving around feels like something similar – enter new environment, but also enter yourself and your personal little baggage.

Feelings I have now about new things are based on feelings of similar things from the past, choices I make now are based on experiences of similar choices. I still prefer sweets over green food, I still dislike watching television, I still think cartoons are awesome. But life engages with some multidimensional concepts that require careful consideration when making choices or when dealing with them. How does one adequately deal with failure, success, relationships, friendships and authority? What if the way you’ve learned to deal with it isn’t exactly the correct way to deal with it – let’s say when they are slightly run by fear, anxiety or hostility? From what I’ve learned, it’s worth addressing.

Give yourself a raincheck. And then continue the party.


Elkington Park, Balmain, NSW, Australia

It is a quite a bit early for me to draft up a story about life in Sydney as I’ve only been back for 1 single day but I’ve realized that this first day had been quite a special day. And special days need proper posts.

I wished not to feel lonely…

I had been carrying a backpack full of worries on my shoulder (and I still kind of do) for the past couple of months in Europe, full with concerns of my time here in Sydney, and this included the rhetorical question: “How f-cked will my first day in Syd be?”. One cannot, depending on one’s belief but you know, really determine the outcome of a day. Like an 11 year old wishing her 12th birthday is going to be a total nutcracker, I shared one secret with the gods where I wished I wouldn’t feel lonely on my first day… Only to fake the feeling, if fake was the case, of doing a good deed by leaving my loved ones behind in the Northern Hemisphere.

Do you have my back?

Truth is: it’s really hard to find new friends, if friends tick the following criteria of “having your back regardless”. Another truth is: once you’ve made a new friend there’s really no time for both parties to “prove” the shades of friendship to eachother. I can’t beat the girl with the red hair in kindergarten to let you know that I stick up for you anymore. What the f-ck do grownups do? Especially in expatria life involving a career, finding (and finding common grounds with) people other then your colleages is a pretty daunting task. You’re easily led into the trap of “expatria friends” who hang out with you but don’t stick up  for you at the end of the day. Somewhere, like the rate of showup at a kids birthday party, my reception on the first day was important to me. Especially as I started doubting whether forcefully looking for and making friends in a foreign country by yourself were realistic concepts. I am my own friend-making experiment.

My first day was…

So how was my first day? I went for a walk to the Eastern Suburbs (Paddington) and wandered into a recently re-opened espressobar owned by a lovely American/Oz couple who showed me such hospitality by inviting me to their launch party. I spontaneously met up with a great French friend who took me to her Oz boyfriends’ brothers rugby game at Drummoyne oval with a scenic view over the water, where we continued our afternoon picknicking in a park in Balmain with views over Cockatoo Island with nice Oz Rosé wine, French bread, chilling out and chatting away… Yep… my first day was a total f-cking nutcracker. If you need a moral to be thrown at you: git loose and befriend! Life is beautiful when shared.

This blogpost is dedicated to those who’ve showed their kindness and have reached out for me here in Syd – you know who you are. Thanks guys. I’m happy to be back.