2017 in hindsight

This year has been a year of change, both on personal and professional grounds. Not only did I move to a different city that was entirely new to me, Brussels, but I also moved into a new apartment with my boyfriend Gillian. Only a few days later, I started my first ever ‘real’ job. It’s been a year of finding balance between visiting family, catching up with friends and spending enough time with each other (because living together doesn’t automatically mean you get to talk or see each other a lot) as well as work obligations and finding time for myself (aka blogging).

It’s been a year of learning and growing from both positive and negative experiences, but I guess that’s what makes life so interesting. I’m pretty sure I’ll  learn even more in the year to come, and that makes me both excited and a little bit scared. But most things that are worth it, are a little bit scary. We already have an exciting trip planned and I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Whenever I look back on a certain amount of time – a month, a year – I feel very blessed and full. When you’re so busy and very much in the moment, it’s nice to reflect and come to realise that you’ve experienced A LOT. It’s magnificent. Here’s some of my favourite moments from 2017. Let’s toast to many more…

In January I spent my last time solo travelling (for now) in Vienna (more photos over here) and realised that once you’ve found your partner in crime, travel buddy aka love of your life, it’ll never be the same. It’s also the month we moved into our first apartment together. I can’t describe it anything but chaotic bliss.

15894463_10209866054661681_6459688970674923309_n15895473_10209882669597044_4921963867967505556_o

In February, I spent the first full month working and really enjoying all the different office views. We also spent a wonderful weekend in Paris for Valentine’s day (more photos here).

dsc09964

img_13921

In March, I was reunited with my little sister, Pia, from Uruguay. We met when on exchange in Australia, where she became my host sister and have been friends ever since. Whenever we meet, no matter how long since the last time, it’s like we see each other every day. It was also the month Gillian and I bought our first car together.

img_1942

img_1523

In April, I was surrounded by flowers and friends, a good combo. We took on swimming as a new hobby and it was also the month I donated over 20 centimetres of my hair to the Think Pink foundation, a change to say the least!

screen-shot-2017-05-01-at-20-05-40.png

screen-shot-2017-05-01-at-20-05-111.png

screen-shot-2017-05-01-at-20-05-55.png

May was all about taking it easy and exploring Brussels, which was exactly what I needed. We also took a little holiday to Lisbon in Portugal (more photos here) and life was simply perfect and perfectly simple.

screen-shot-2017-06-11-at-10-58-57.png

screen-shot-2017-06-11-at-10-57-59

18766796_10211188622445049_7512225371794524035_o

In June we took a weekent trip to the Belgian coast and we enjoyed everything from my birthday to the little things, and everything in between.

19264692_10211460640805338_5794656127139928599_o

img_20170617_142626

In July I visited Pia during her exchange in Valencia and got a taste of real summer. More photos here.

Screen Shot 2017-12-24 at 23.52.34.png

Screen Shot 2017-12-24 at 23.54.05.png

August was a busy month, but we managed to squeeze in a little weekend getaway to the Dutch regions, Zeeland and breathe in some of that salty sea air. More photos here.

dsc01056-copy

September was so busy that I focused most of my spare time on friends and family and didn’t have the proper time to record any of it.

Screen Shot 2017-12-25 at 00.00.33.png

In October I spent a weekend with my girlfriends in the Ardennes and the weather was a-ma-zing.  Golden hour has never been so golden as that weekend. More photos here.

Screen Shot 2017-12-25 at 00.02.26.png

In November my boyfriend and I took a long awaited vacation and spent our time travelling through two fantastic countries, Peru and Bolivia. You can read more about the trip by clicking on both countries.

Screen Shot 2017-12-25 at 00.08.59.png

Screen Shot 2017-12-25 at 00.08.46

The final month of 2017 was spent in cozy corners with good company and great food, the way life should be. We enjoyed the warmth and comfort of our home and created our own bit of hygge.

Screen Shot 2017-12-25 at 00.11.09.png

See you in the next year? :-)

Love,

Silke

October 15

I don’t always have a lot to say about my daily life. Not a lot happens most days. But every month I end up with a collection of photo’s, memories, that are not worth mentioning on their own, but that have somehow added up. So I thought, why not share them? The idea is to start a new series, where I share my monthly favourites (sort of like those people on YouTube), but rather than material things, they will be snapshots of small things that I’ve enjoyed over the past month. Today marks my first of those posts. Let’s discover October! My favourite moments:

12200571_10206497424728038_777157522_n
Introducing my new pet to the household. Cozy, right?
12188784_10206497424568034_1566664230_n
Talking to other (future) globetrotters at the Go Strange information fair with Gwennin, one of my fellow volunteers in Indonesia.
IMG_2019
Seeing these guys on a random Sunday afternoon stroll in my city. Notice how the guy is beckoning me to get in. I politely declined this request.
IMG_2011
Finding millions of buttons in a shop that same afternoon.
IMG_1999
Ending a sunny afternoon talking to a friend until the sun goes down.
IMG_2283
Reminiscing over this moment with my Aussie friend Hannah. Probably one of my favourite photos ever taken. We skype whenever I miss her. So a lot.
IMG_2199
Half succeeding to do a fishtail braid with my short(er) hair.
IMG_2217
When you’re trying to study for an exam, but your folder just refuses to cooperate. No, just no.
IMG_2264
Meeting Alexander Skarsgård with Seya. Better believe it, bitches.
IMG_2155
Visiting family and watching the sun set as we drive home.
IMG_2296
Playing board games with my best friends. I’m a huge board game fan. Things get competitive.
DSC02894
Fall. Autumn. Herfst. Höst. Beautiful in every language.

DSC02886

IMG_2331
Experimenting with new vegetables. Butternut and spaghetti pumpkin.
IMG_2304
Discovering new places. Het Pand, Ghent.
IMG_2309
Evening strolls in the city centre

Love,

Silke

The Quizard of Oz

It all started out quite innocently. Once or twice a month my dad, a few uncles and aunts and some of their friends would go to a local quiz. Their group was called ‘The Natural Born Losers’. The name was anything but descriptive as they would often win these local competitions. Years passed and whereas some of the members lost interest, my dad became a hardcore quizzer and consequently a professional list maker. The day after a quiz he would make a complete review: questions they had missed, questions they aced, background information, pictures, puzzles,…

My mum, my brother and I weren’t worried. We thought it was great my dad had found a hobby he thoroughly enjoyed. When eventually the group split up, my dad started looking to join a new team. Online he found a quiz forum, called the Los Flippos. The name I don’t get, trying to make something sound cool when really it is anything but, I guess, but what I do know is that it is an online website that all Belgian quizzers seem to be very fond off. There he found a new team and the quizzing became more regular.

As it turns out, there’s a fine line between hobby and obsession. Not only did he change, the house did too. Our house was piled under by books, DVDs, magazines, multiple newspapers (in case one said something the other didn’t ) ,… And that is when the lists started.

Anything my dad found note-worthy, he jotted down on a piece of paper. However, due to his unorganised manner of working, there were lists all over the house. I would come across those lists everywhere: in the kitchen, in the living room, the study,… I even found lists near the toilet. Awkward. But I digress. From Olympic medal winners to Grammy winning films, from latest top-rated movies or CDs to worst performing artists; he had it all written down. Much to the displeasure of my mum, who likes things tidy.

This was the other issue. Since the list occurred everywhere, there was no way of knowing if something could be thrown out or not. One time my mum threw away some paper that, at first glance, seemed very unlikely to contain essential information. Days after this, my dad frantically started looking around the house. “What’s wrong?”, we asked. “I can’t find my bloody note. I’m sure I had it written down somewhere!” My mum and I glanced at eachother, because we both knew who could be charged ‘guilty’. She’d have to confess. After the incident my dad went back into his bubble, muttering a little, and eventually he continued scribbling his millions of other lists, disappointed having lost a crucial other one. My mum has never dared to toss anything anymore. Lesson learned.

Now, a couple of years later, my dad is still in the quizzing “business”. He even takes part in national competitions. Sometimes he takes the day off just to study for a major competition. I have denounced him crazy many times. I have made fun of him. The lists are still everywhere. I still find collages with things like ‘Kinds of pasta’ on the toilet. The lists have become part of our lives. I have even caught myself making lists. And liking it. Maybe it’s genetic… I hope so. Because behind all the lists my dad himself is just a really long list of great qualities himself.

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 21.03.09