As soon as I finished high school I went from the city of The Hague to the big capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam! I was 18 years old and felt trapped in my home town, so I needed to spread my wings and fly over to an new adventure. Now, 9 years later I am living in a small village next to the German border and many people found it quite strange that I made this decision. Because it has brought me a lot of things I would like to share with you first of all the reasons why I moved, and second of all what I gained by doing so.
Why I moved from the big city of Amsterdam
Let me try and explain by first telling you about my experience in the jungle of Surinam in December of 2013. I had been staying in the city of Paramaribo for almost two months before I headed over to the jungle to experience sleeping there for three days. As soon as my phone did not have any signal and all I could hear were birds and other animals while I was sitting in a boat for three hours until we reached our destination, I felt extremely comfortable. It felt like coming home after a long journey of constant chaos. There were no more distractions, no constant traffic, noise, people going places, doing things, spending money, wasting time. Heck, time itself was not even a concept anymore. All that was important was the rising and setting of the Sun, and I was incredibly happy and peaceful there.
After this experience coming back to Paramaribo City was something that planted a seed inside of my heart. I came back to the city and the first thing I noticed was the horrible smell and all the noise. The little seed slowly started sprouting when I came back home into the city of Amsterdam. I was working in a nightclub at that time and when I started working there around October 2012 I was in a phase of smoking weed everyday, drinking and partying a lot and having a ”fuck it” mentality. Even in Surinam I was still living that lifestyle, but coming back into that same old story started boring me. I looked at things differently by then, valued other things. Things like food, sleep, nurturing my soul and learning how to love myself.
I decided that to focus and grow as an individual I had to remove myself from all the things that were holding me back. And my lifestyle was a big part in that. I knew in my heart that staying in Amsterdam would mean staying stuck in the same old patterns and so I decided to from from the big city to a small village called Delfzijl.
So what have I gained from moving from the big city to a small village?
I must say it has been a great experience and I am super excited AND most of all thankful that I have listened to my heart and just went for it. People still don’t really understand why I would live in such a ”hole” but thankfully I do not care about others’ opinions like I used to. (IT’S YOUR LIFE AT THE END OF THE DAY, MAKE YOURSELF HAPPY) One of the most obvious and for me important things that I have gained is quiet. It is so peaceful and calm around here, I even have lots of fields and forest next to my house, and for an emotional being like me that is one of the things I need to soothe my mind & soul.
The second best thing I have gained is space. I mean this in the literal and figurative sense. Here in this village is much more physical space than there was in Amsterdam and that is of course something positive. But even more important to me is the figurative space I got when I moved here. I got the space, the time and the rest to evolve myself. I can hear my own thoughts and I am not distracted by the big city and the fast life that comes with it.
There are less distractions over here and for someone like me, who has been struggling with negative patterns such as running away from issues by partying, using alcohol and smoking, impulsive shopping and just being so busy with social activities that I did not have time for my own development anymore, it is amazing!
I can re-invent myself all over again. There is no trap of ”who I am” anymore because I do not have to identify myself with one city and one lifestyle any longer. Right now I am an inhabitant of Delfzijl and who knows where the road of life will take me?
One thing I do know for sure is that this simple easy going life in a small village is very compatible for this current phase of my life. I am happy and I am growing everyday. So where ever you live currently, make sure you feel safe and have enough space and peace to grow and follow your dreams. For me that meant doing a 360, but that does not mean you have to do the same! Try and feel what is good for you and just keep going 🙂