It is December now, today, is the day exactly a year after my first visit to Belgium. Exciting. I guess now is the proper time to look back and see all that happened, or didn’t happen, should have happened and so on. In my case, a lot has happened. I have lived the busiest, most exciting, happiest and fastest time of my life.
All of it began with my heart, being stolen. I had to go after it, so I moved to Belgium. That was the first thing leading towards this adventure. Many people were speculating the motivation for this move, since I had met Waffle only a few times before making the decision. But for me, the only motivator was intuition. A nice tingly feeling, that something good was coming up. And the fact that there was love, a lot of it. No matter how deep I dug into this pool of emotions, the only thing I found was love and affection, warmth and fuzziness.
The decision of moving over just might have been the best one I have ever made. The gearbox of my life finally found the 6th, or 7th, gear and this girl was going full speed ahead. So was Waffle, the first person ever to actually keep up with me. Just how wonderful is that?
Before, I did not really travel that much. I had crisscrossed and zigzagged almost the whole Finland, but the rest of Europe, and the world, was largely undiscovered. Since February, a lot of new pins have appeared into my travel map, many parts of Europe have been sniffed, tasted, walked, climbed and explored. My hiking boots now look like they are worn.
The time to travel is now, rather than tomorrow. There are still places untouched by tourism and they are easier to reach than ever before. We, me and Waffle, seem to be in especially happy situation, we live centrally in Europe and flying as well as driving is easy. Also we both have the energy and interest to do this, right now. Horses, houses, gardening and all that shall come later.
The traveling has been one huge part of this new life of mine. But of course, when you get a new home country, a lot of other things change too. I now have new hobbies. Horses and life at the stables have been set a side, for now, and I spend more and more time hiking through all sorts of places, or on the beach, with a kite and a buggy. There is also a small love story being born with a camera and blogging, of course.
I have turned into one of those irritating people, who never have empty weekends to spend with friends. Except when you ask something 2 months in advance. Before, all my weekends were empty, until the last minute. I had time for everyone. The life is now a bit different in that way. I am always somewhere, except home.
The circle of friends naturally went also through a turmoil. There are new faces, old faces that have started to fade away for one reason or the other, and some, who became even closer, even though the distance in between has grown. I am grateful for all of those, who still find the time to stay in touch.
Such a change in life is not just all things new. It is largely loosing, having to let go and replacing. You need to ponder on what you want to keep and which parts of the past are just holding you back. There is also the wistful side to this, you miss things, you wish some things were differently and struggle to adapt into new ways of living. Right this moment I am missing the sound the snow makes under your feet, when it is really really cold. And rice porridge with cinnamon and butter, something that holds the essence of Christmas for me.
The future then, how is that looking now? Well, honestly, not that much have changed. I still nourish the same dreams, wish for the same things. Maybe some are postponed a little, but they might have gotten even a little bit brighter tones in the process. Waffle is someone, with whom I can dream together, and turn those dreams into reality. He doesn’t say that I am being silly, or tell me to get back down to earth from my clouds, he floats there with me, and pulls me higher. It is all so easy with him. I can’t even think of any situation where we would have needed to compromise.
The traveling we are still planning on doing. That is something truly exciting. Next year is going to be busy, with the Dolomites, Azores, Balkan mountains, Finland, France, Wales, Spain and all the rest on the to-do list. After next year? Well, we don’t know yet. The world maybe?
It is a little bit bittersweet, all this. But then again, what do you get out of life, if you never mix the tastes? My stew is only going to get richer. 2016, hold on to your hat. We are coming for you!
The whole year in pictures is here: Flickr!