It’s round about a year ago that we left for the other side of the world, my brother and I. It’s a year ago that our parents put us on an airplane from Amsterdam to Kathmandu, after which four other countries followed. A year flew by.
It is incredible how much happens in just 365 days. People have babies (and they weren’t even pregnant when I left). People get married (and they weren’t even engaged when I left). People move to other countries (it was still just a dream when I left). People post pictures of Halloween parties (last year I was in them). Birthdays, promotions, drinks on Friday, girls’ night out, stag and hen parties, movie nights, … I missed it all. Everything is the same and nothing is like it was before.
Because I have been to five new countries. I was a volunteer and a mountaineer. I learned Nepali (danyabad!) and stayed in one of Kathmandu’s top hotels. I went to bed at 8pm on New Year’s Eve. I have been drunk with my brother more times than I care to recall. And on a few of those occasions I introduced him to girls (of which he remembers nothing). I drove a moped across Vietnam. I spotted tigers in India and rhinos in Nepal, bathed with elephants and cuddled a koala. I made my own spring rolls. I saw so many sunsets, but not very many sunrises. I learned to ski in the most unlikely of places. I traveled through the outback in a 4WD. I got my scuba cert. I met my Australian relatives (and I can guarantee they are in fact related to me). I kissed beautiful men and I watched my brother fall in love about a hundred times. I made new friends for life all over the world.
I know there is nothing better than this and I am not about to stop any of it. Someone once said to me: it takes forever to turn 18, but you’re 50 before you know it. Now I am nowhere near 50 – heck, I think I’m gonna go back to being 21 – but gosh, it does only feel like yesterday we stepped aboard that flight to Kathmandu.
I’m sure you all heard the expression ‘today is the first day of the rest of your life’. Every day is a new beginning, but something has ended as well. There is a new year ahead of me – ahead of all of us – and I don’t know what’s coming. But I know it’s going to be good!
In random order:
(Some you’ve seen before, others are brand new!)