Column: The battle of two different worlds

Credits: Cindy Van Dyck

It has been more than two weeks since Angelo and I made the big move and decided to move to the Dominican Republic. Today I look back with you about the beginning, the homesickness and the course of our days. Because we got a huge amount of questions, of which one that we want to answer personally!

Change is hard at first,

messy in the middle

and gorgeous at the end.

The most important thing to give away first is that living somewhere, both a country and in another city, is totally different than going there on vacation. It’s like experiencing two different worlds.

I was mostly very aware of this, but that it would stand out so much, I didn’t expect. The first week went smoothly though and because we had to completely focus on work, I thought more about finishing my schedule than effectively finding my home and way here. The reality is that it is no longer carefree enjoyment at the pool, but that you actually have to ensure every day that there is income. And when this grip on things falls away, then you realize you are on unknown territory.

My first homesick moment

About 10 days after arriving, it began to dawn on me that besides two large suitcases, which are hugely overweight by the way, I didn’t have much else to hold on to. We currently have no fixed place to stay and are moving from one AirBnb to another. Not immediately the plan I had in mind. That was rather going to live with the person I had met a few months ago. We saw each other for the first few days, but for some unknown reason, it ended very quickly. It’s life, I totally agree. But it does put all your plans, your vision and what you had in mind completely out of whack for a moment. And that creates a healthy panic. Call it homesickness.

For a moment I had to put the focus back on the essence: I am not here for anyone else, nor for love. I am here primarily for myself, a better quality of life and my own happiness/future. And that I would not do every day what I did on vacation is clear by now. So my mindset after a good cry has changed and I remind myself daily: “You live here now, do what you would do in Belgium. But 100 times better!”

And things have been going much better since then! Together we make plans to do excursions, go shopping, book massages/spas and go out. Because the Dominican Republic may be familiar territory for me: it still has so many unknown places to explore!

What does a weekday look like for us?

This is one of the questions I get every day. How do I operate here? How do I make sure my business keeps running and that I make ends meet. What does a weekday look like for us? Well, let me explain it to you.

I’ll start at the beginning: it’s 6 hours time difference here with Belgium. 6 hours earlier to be exact. That means that when we get up early and start our day, it’s noon at home and for our customers. Indeed, we keep all our customers in Belgium and continue to focus on our theme based articles and the Blogzine Academy. To give you more details: we work here from 6am until around 1 or 2pm, local time. That means that during the busy office hours in Belgium we are also online and can help our Blogzine Academy members and publish the Blogzine articles.

Once we are done working, we have our afternoons and evenings free. No one is online from home, we don’t get emails or last minute emergencies to save and we can fully enjoy our me-time. From going out for a nice dinner to an afternoon at the pool or just Netflix & Chill. You name it, we enjoy and do it.

Working by this schedule does not only ensure that we are productive in the morning and fully focus on the clients. But it also helps us to provide a better quality of life for ourselves. There is no longer any stress about checking your emails in the evening when you get off work. Which often leads to working extra hours. You also no longer have fires to put out, since office hours are over. And all this reduction in stress makes us tremendously happy! It’s like we have two days in 24h. A work day and a leisure day. A-ma-zing!

Stress now lies in the most unexpected corners

Stress-free I always am when I find myself in the Caribbean. But I have to be honest: last weekend I experienced the biggest stress moment of my life: my laptop literally fell into the water. And when you work online it is the end of the world. All my files, information and work were drowned. And this by a very stupid situation: a bottle of water had leaked into my Captain Cork bag. And since cork is water resistant, the water could not run out. My laptop swam in the water for about 30minutes. And the bag? It completely survived. 1-0 for Captain Cork. I can assure you: it is quality!

Fortunately, they have Apple distributors here too, and I was soon able to bring in the laptop. Although it was beyond repair, I could pick up a new one the following Monday and continue working as if nothing had happened. But this proves again that life can challenge you at the most unexpected moments. And it has already taught me to save everything online from now on.

How the next few weeks will go? Well, that is as unknown as the places I still want to discover here. Let me mainly conclude that it has already been an enormous personal challenge here. One that makes me grow enormously and fight for my dreams. A challenge that shows me once again that it is better for me to go through life alone and independently. Because nothing or no one makes me happy than myself. And self-love and being happy with who and where I am will always be a priority. I’ll talk to you again soon!

This article has been written by @CINDY VAN DYCK

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