#50 on the Bucket List aka Watch the Sun Rise

Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a thing for sunsets and sunrises. There is just something magical about them. No matter what is going on in your life, no matter where you are, this is always the one thing you can count on: the sun will set and will rise again. And every sunrise brings a new day filled with possibilities. You just have to look for them, both the sunrises and the opportunities.

If I had to pick one sunrise, though (up until today that is, because I’m sure there’s plenty to follow) it’d have to be this one: somewhere in the middle of our stay in Luxor, Egypt, the five of us somehow all woke up at 5 am and snuck out to see the sun rise over the Nile. We didn’t talk very much, but we sat side by side in our pyjamas and just watched the world wake up. Speechless, I guess.

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So, if there’s anything I would like to wish you, it’s to consciously experience as many sunsets and sunrises as possible.

What’s your favourite sunrise or sunset experience? Let me know!

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:

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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

So my heart is scattered across the globe. Now what?

So my heart is scattered across the globe. Now what?

It’s a question I’ve struggled with ever since I got back from my first exchange in Hungary. It was only six weeks. It was only 1300 km from home. And yet, I found myself changed.

Since then, I’ve left pieces of my heart across all parts of the globe. A big chunk can be found in Australia, where I discovered that home no longer meant my house but rather a collection of people that I couldn’t imagine life without. Another little piece can be found in Egypt, where I did my first volunteering work with Bouworde and where I discovered that life could not only be lived for oneself but could be lived for others too. Then there was my Erasmus exchange in Sweden, which swallowed another piece and where I got inspired to pursue not what is expected but rather what I really desire, even if I don’t know what that means yet.

So yes, I just got back from another Bouworde volunteering trip to Indonesia. 3 weeks in the beautiful Javanese surroundings of Baturraden.

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Indonesia was challenging, mostly physically for me, yet rewarding. The lush rice fields, the hazy mountains, the countless palm trees, the uncountable amounts of waterfalls and never cease to disappoint or amaze.

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Indonesia was overwhelming. The food was exquisite. (Anyone visiting Central Java should pay Santos Home Stay a visit.) The traffic was mental. Something like a survival of the fittest scooter.  The green was the greenest. The people were the friendliest, the most welcoming and most eager to learn.

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Indonesia made time irrelevant. 26 hours on a bus seemed nothing. 4 am suddenly didn’t seem so early if we got a gorgeous sunrise in return. 9 pm suddenly wasn’t so early to go to bed, either. And 3 weeks went by way too quickly.

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Indonesia means tradition. We were lucky enough to experience the Ramadan while we were there. Although it meant daily 4 am wake up calls by the nearby mosque and although it made traffic so stuck it moved slower than any snail, it was also rewarding to see the end of this fasting month, Eid al-Fitr. People were genuinely happy. There were fireworks, a lot of singing in the mosque, lots of cookies, even more family visits and loads of people on the streets. But tradition couldn’t just be found in the people, the mystic temples we visited in Yogyakarta were not too shabby either.

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Indonesia meant work, although it never really felt like it. We built a classroom made out of wood. And I managed to not to hammer myself to one of the walls. We felt content and achieved. We had left our mark, just like I did a piece of my heart.

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Indonesia was greatness. From the size of their animals (yes, cockroaches, I am speaking of you here, may you rest in peace) to the height of its waterfalls, from the kindness of the people to the unfortunate garbage piles we found on the beach. But mostly, we left Indonesia with great hope for the future. With great hope to someday return and do it all again.

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And if you’ve gotten this far into the blog post, you’re probably wondering: who is this ‘we’? Well, it’s the amazing group I got to go on this rollercoaster with. Emilie, Ajka, Lisa, Gwennin, Bruno, Anke, Heleen. Thanks for sharing this experience, for sharing the work load, for making 26 hours in a bus a lot more bearable, for sharing food, for sharing bathroom problems, for making anything discussable, for playing cards during our spare time, for sharing Oreo’s, for making me laugh, for making me cry when it was time to say goodbye. See you soon?

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Needless to say Indonesia took away another piece of my heart. Sometimes I wonder if at some point there might not be more to give of my heart. And then I hope that is not the case, because I like it this way, my heart scattering. My heart expanding. My heart embracing the world. I wouldn’t have it any other way.