2016 – the round up

Last year, I did a blog post on my favourite parts of 2015. This year, I’d like to do the same, but this year, I’ve been keeping score. This year has been one of change and evolvement. It’s been a year of decision-making and growing up. It’s been a tough year, but a good one. My eyes light up as I look at the next year, a bright, bright 2017.

This year, my blog has grown. I’ve gotten over 1700 visitors, who have viewed over 3200 items. People have clicked “like” on my blog posts over 220 times and commented over 20 times. I’ve written 87 blogposts. My most popular blog post were the following:

  1. What I Wore – New Years Eve 
  2. Ik ben boos.
  3. Floraliën Gent 2016 – a photo report
  4. Heldinnen van vandaag
  5. My top 5 favourite YouTubers

My blog has been read by people from all over the globe, in over 58 countries, which is what I am probably most proud of. I want it to be and remain a platform that is there for EVERYONE. Most of my readers come from Belgium, the USA and Australia.

But enough about my blog, what did I achieve this year? What have I been up to, really?

I’ve watched 29 films, I’ve watched 33 different TV series, I’ve been to 21 different museum or exhibitions, I’ve been to only 2 parties (apparently all I do is sit at home and watch TV series?), I’ve been to 13 concerts, plays, comedy or dance performances, I’ve read the poor number of 7 books.

I’ve been to 6 countries other than my own. I’ve been to Edinburgh, Scotland, travelled through 4 provinces in Canada, been to one state in the USA, saw the new Harry Potter play in London, took weekend trips to Eindhoven, the Netherlands and Berlin, Germany as well as a day trip to Köln, Germany.

Writing these down now, having kept track of all those things for a year, I feel that my most important accomplishments are not listed here. Simply because they cannot be measured in numbers. And simply because numbers don’t tell us anything about the quality of things.

So, rewind. What did I achieve this year? What have I been up to, really?

In January, I posted my first fashion related blog post, something entirely out of my comfort zone, and it turned out to be my most popular blog post. It is also the month I received my Bachelor degree and took off on a solo trip to Edinburgh, Scotland.

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In February, I spent a weekend with my girlfriends at the Belgian coast, and we all came back with lots of energy. It’s strange how people can lift each other up. I got a surprise gift from my host sister from Uruguay and realised that some bonds really are unbreakable, no matter the time, distance or language barriers.

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In March, I found someone that I love and cherish and I swear I am never letting go of your hand ever again. What happened later that month only strengthened my belief that love is what we need, more than anything, today. I spent the rest of that month with family and friends, because what else is there?

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In April, I spent numerous hours thinking about the future.

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In May, I finally finished my Master thesis after hard hard hard work. As a reward, it seems I had lots and lots of ice cream that month. I said goodbye to Ghent as a student, because that month contained the last days of classes.

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In June, I finished school, did my final round of exams and after that, spent all my time doing all the things that I wanted to. I celebrated my 23rd birthday.

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In July, I went off on a 6 week journey through Canada and for the first time in forever, didn’t enjoy the whole travelling solo thing. And what I first saw as a disappointment to myself because I’d lost my independence, I now realise was finding company worth sharing with.

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In August, I came back home, worked and.. moved into my new apartment in Ghent.

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In September, I went to London with an old friend and realised that true friendship doesn’t fade. Only time and distance does.  I started a new study program in Bruges and after day 1, gathered all my courage and admitted that it wasn’t for me and started applying for jobs.  It is also the month I added some new life to the family: my friends gave me 4 fish for my new apartment (and they’re still alive!). In September, I graduated and my parents came to see me. A shiver of pride went through my spine as they called out my name.

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In October, I spent a lot of time between Brussels and Ghent, enjoying the best of what both cities have to offer. I took lots of walks in the forest and went to Eindhoven for the weekend. Generally, I enjoyed life.

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In November, I went to numerous job interviews, was disappointed an almost equal amount of times. I tried to stay positive by looking on the bright side and enjoyed where all those interviews took me. I took a break from it all by going to Berlin and my itchy feet have been itchy ever since.

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In December, I visited a German Christmas Market, celebrated the holidays with those that I love and the future looked brighter than ever.

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Being the very organised person that I am, I love lists. Maybe a little bit too much even, where it’s come to the point where I sometimes feel angry or sad with myself for not being able to do everything all the time. So rather than committing to resolutions for the new year, I would like to express what I hope will happen in 2017, with the freedom to roam free, the freedom to change my list, the freedom to add and delete, the freedom to leave things un-ticked, the freedom to do nothing if I so well damn want to.

I hope to continue growing and learning. I hope to make new friends and cherish my old ones. I hope to live a healthier life. I hope to read more. I hope to do absolutely nothing from time to time. I hope to move to Brussels. I hope to find my future job fulfilling. I hope  to continue writing this blog. I hope to only put energy into those (things) that make me happy. I hope to do yoga at least once a week. I hope to spend as much time as I can with loved ones. I hope to be as happy, or happier if that is possible, as I was this year. I hope to travel often. I hope to be less envious of other people and look more at my own achievements.

In 2017, I want to be less of a list maker and more of a life maker.

See you then,

Silke

 

March ’16

My favourite snippets from this month. It’s been a GREAT one.

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Seeing Years&Years in concert at Forest National with Sophie and Emma
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Dusk and my favourite tree in Ghent
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Some surprisingly strange and colourful breakfast
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Watching Malala Yousafzai’s inspring journey
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Eating some oliebollen with Emma before watching De Mol
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Seeing one of the best movie’s I’ve seen in a while with Inneke. Movie review here.
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My mum and I spoiling ourselves with some flowers
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Cooking my family some Thai curry
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Seeing this cutiepie on Sunday (She’s my uncle’s dog)
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Soaking up some sun behind the window in my new linnen shirt
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My Aussie friend Hannah sending me this. I didn’t know peanut butter Tim Tams were a thing until now. I’ve been missing out: someone send me more, now, please!
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Some of that first spring sunshine
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The most beautiful and vibrant sunset. Making waiting for the train all that much more bearable.
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My new watch. And getting to 10 000 words on my thesis. Nearly halfway, yesss
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Taking part in Ghent’s Student Written Spelling Contest (what is the word for this, peepz?)
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Seeing so much love after the attacks in Brussels. It lifts my heart.
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Discovering more castles in Ghent
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Seeing a dance performance in this gorgeous place
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Ghent. Never fails to disappoint.
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I mean, come on.
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Dressing up to go to our faculty’s ball.
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After Crazy Cat Lady, our newest revelation: Crazy Plant Lady, hoarding plants like there’s no tomorrow, aka Gwennin at IKEA.
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Seeing Matt Corby live at Le Botanique in Brussels with my brother
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Brussels at its finest.
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Daydreaming of my trip to Canada
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Celebrating Easter Monday with my favourite people

 

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:

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Introducing my new pet to the household. Cozy, right?
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Talking to other (future) globetrotters at the Go Strange information fair with Gwennin, one of my fellow volunteers in Indonesia.
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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.
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Finding millions of buttons in a shop that same afternoon.
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Ending a sunny afternoon talking to a friend until the sun goes down.
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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.
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Half succeeding to do a fishtail braid with my short(er) hair.
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When you’re trying to study for an exam, but your folder just refuses to cooperate. No, just no.
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Meeting Alexander Skarsgård with Seya. Better believe it, bitches.
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Visiting family and watching the sun set as we drive home.
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Playing board games with my best friends. I’m a huge board game fan. Things get competitive.
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Fall. Autumn. Herfst. Höst. Beautiful in every language.

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

Love,

Silke