Hi everyone! We’re not yet halfway into the year, but oh boy! What a year 2020 has been so far. The world we knew has changed into one characterized by social distancing and self-isolation, and words like “lockdown bangs,” “elbow bumps” and “Whatsapero’s” have been added to our vocabulary. While kissing people on the cheek as a greeting seems to have become an odd tradition “from those pre-corona days,” lounge wear has become more popular than ever, and instead of shopping office wear we’re following the latest trends in “working from home” apparel.
Another Year of “Realising Stuff”
No matter how strange, stressful and challenging these past 3 months have been, they’ve also been very educational. We’re starting to learn how important it is to support small businesses, we’ve redefined our conception of what it means to be a hero, and most of all we’ve learned to stop taking things for granted. Going for brunch with friends, or being able to visit family whenever we want, amongst others. Things that seemed so simple and that used to be part of our everyday lives before have become luxuries, which makes some of us realise how privileged and lucky we are (yes, Kylie, you’re allowed to call 2020 another year of “realising stuff”)!
Apart from the fear that one of my loved ones would become ill, not being being able to move freely and to explore (whether that’s a foreign country, an unknown town or simply a street in Ghent that I haven’t discovered yet) has definitely been the thing I struggled with most. Although we’re slowly returning to our normal lives again, it’ll probably take some time until we can travel again in the same way we used to, and that simply feels weird. That is, without having to wear a protective mask on public transport or on the plane, and most of all not having to check whether you can actually enter the country you’d like to travel to. Strange, isn’t it? Over the years I’ve learned that travelling and the excitement that comes with leaving my comfort zone to move to a new place is the one thing that makes me happiest, the thing that makes me feel most alive.
In a blog post that I wrote for an online fashion boutique called La Eva Store, I already shared some similar thoughts on this topic. I wrote about my time in London, as well as about how I experienced unexpectedly moving back home. Having to stay inside gave me time I didn’t have before, and I decided to use this time to reflect on my time abroad. Did moving abroad and living in a foreign country change me in any way? Did it bring me to new insights? If you understand Dutch, you can read all about that here!
Memories Made Across the Globe, Captured in One Book
Some time ago, Fotofabriek, a Dutch company who produce photo books, wall decoration, calendars and other personalised gifts, asked me whether I would be up for a collaboration. For a long time, I’ve wanted to capture the memories I made during my travels and time abroad, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to combine these in a photo book. I put a lot of effort in the design of the book and its pages, to make it look like one of those coffee table books you’d find in concept stores. And I’m actually very pleased with the result!
I decided to not limit it to pictures of my time spent in England, but rather create a photo diary filled with the most beautiful moments of my favourite city trips and travels. These include my yearly trips to Paris and the South of France, the time I spent in Bali, city trips to Milan and Athens and many more. Browsing through the book’s pages not only makes me feel nostalgic, it also reminds me of my love for travelling and how my travels have made me the person I am today, and how expanding my horizons has given me purpose and a better insight of what I value in life.
Moving to Ghent & Making a New Place Feel Like Home
A month ago, I moved back to Ghent! I have studied and lived in this city for four years, so it’s a place I hold very close to my heart, and it feels good to be back here! No matter how much I loved living in London, being in Ghent always feels a bit like coming home. I am renting an appartement in the beautiful historic city centre, where I’ll enjoy the summer months. The street I’m living in is very quiet, yet close enough to my favourite coffee places, and there’s a second hand bookshop right around the corner! A few weeks after I moved in, my boyfriend came over from England and I really couldn’t be happier to spend the summer with him in Ghent. Exploring the city, going for walks along the river, and trying out aaall the vegan hots pots!
2020, for me, has been quite a hectic year, as this is already the fourth time I am moving places this year! From Belgium to London, from one part of the city (Hoxton) to another (Islington), then back to my hometown. And now back to Belgium’s most charming city, Ghent! I love the excitement that comes with moving to new places and I’ve learned a lot from it. For instance, living out of my suitcase for months has made me become interested in minimalism, and I’m slowly starting to learn how to live with less. It has also taught me to adapt to new situations quicker and easier, and every time I move to a new place I’m surprised how quickly I start to feel at home. What really helps with that is bringing something familiar with me when moving to a new place, city, or country. Something that reminds me of who I am, something that I can hold on to.
A photo book seemed the perfect object. The book I made reminds me of the places I’ve seen, the cities I’ve explored and, most importantly, the memories I’ve made with the people who are important to me. The days we spent in the South of France are perhaps the best memories I have with my family, and isn’t it by experiencing new things together during the unpredictable adventure called travelling that we really get to know our friends?
If you love travelling too and you’d like that passion to be reflected in your interior, I suggest taking the time to make a photo book like this one yourself! It took me a few hours to sort out all the pictures I wanted to include and assemble them in a nice way, but seeing the final result made all those hours of work worth it! I definitely recommend choosing Fotofabriek, as I was very happy with their quick service! The photo book took less than a week to arrive from the Netherlands to Belgium, and it looks very beautiful and professional. The product that I choose was their 30x30cm hardcover photo book, and I first edited the pictures using Photoscape and added some quotes that I like in between the travel photos.
I hope you liked reading this post and maybe felt inspired to capture your favourite travel memories yourself! See you in the next one!