Looking back at a year full of discovery, learning and experience. 2018 was a year with many highs and lows. I was ambitious in order to have a full time job and still doing a journey of a month in the Arctic including making a magazine and a video of it (which is still in the making). After 2017, which was pretty easy going, I wanted another year in which adventure would have a central place. A month of cycling in the snow was part of that. But also other smaller adventures, one in Spain, one in Iran, and some microadventures in the Netherlands.
Cycling In The Arctic
In February of this year I got on my bicycle in St. Petersburg to literally cycle into the Arctic Circle. For a month I putted myself to a test, not only to look for my limits but also for the creation of some space in my head. That may sound strange, camping in -25 degrees Celsius for some space in my head. But for me it’s the best way to get out of my daily routine.
The furthest corners of Russia and Norway seemed a good place for me to do that.
I wanted to challenge myself, experience the beauty of the winter landscapes in the north, take care of myself for a month, experience hospitality and I wanted to cycle in Russia at least once in my life.
My first edition of a book ever became a fact this year. Cycling on Ice came out in ebook. Meanwhile the second printing of the Dutch magazine is sold out, which I’m very happy with. Another ambition was to make a film. I made a lot of shots during the journey. In collaboration with Marktplaats (the Dutch eBay) I made vlog videos (spoken in Dutch).
I am currently working on a self-produced short film of the journey and it will be released sometime in February 2019.
Every Day A Photo For A Year
Every day a photo, published on flickr, for a year. An idea that came from Alastair Humphreys. Alastiar succeeded in this and I did not. I started enthusiastically but quickly lost motivation. The obligation to do something had consequences for my productivity. Everytime taking a picture somewhere? When I was already busy working. The idea just failed.
The result is much less than 365 photographs of an adventurous year.
In recent years I have received a lot from countless hospitable people around the world. Strangers who took care of me out of love and friendliness. Now that I have a permanent place in Rotterdam, I open the door to others.
When struggling to settle after being a year on the road it is wonderful to have people over who are in the middle of an adventure.
My dream is to speak the Spanish language fluently. I love South American cultures very much, and once upon a time I’ll discover these countries by bicycle.
Walking In Spain
Lisa (my girlfriend) and I were in Mallorca in Spain this summer. We walked 150 kilometers from town to town along the Serra de Trumentana. And, I could secretly improve my Spanish on the way.
To Iran With My Father
Iran is a country with a special place in my heart. I went to rediscover the country in October together with my father. I regretted that the sharpened sanctions of America have ensured that the Iranian economy is not doing very well. See here an article that I wrote about my experiences.
Being more in the Outdoors
Being in nature increases well-being. There are facts and figures to be found but they are not necessary for me to prove it. Regular charging periods are essential for introvert people. When I step on my bicycle and am out in the open air for a while, I immediately feel better.
I am going to dwell extensively on this the upcoming week with a microadventure that is all about taking some time to think about 2019. It will be a year in which try to stand for:
- Adventure, challenge, exercise, setting goals to pursue, new experiences and pushing boundaries;
- Nature, to recharge, meditate, going outside for space in my head;
- Love, gratitude, to feel, to have a connection with my girlfriend, family and friends;
- Time, to rest, to do the things I love without obligations imposed by others or society;
- Sobriety, less work, less money, less consumption, more time and more freedom;
- Equality, to help others, to commit to a society with equal rights and equal opportunities for everyone.
I wish you a happy new year and thanks for taking the time to read this blog!