Who would have ever thought that my last trip would change my life so much? Of course, it had been clear for several years that I would leave for the Caribbean at some point, but never so unexpectedly. I used to say: someday. But someday often becomes never and therefore now is the time to put on my daring shoes and go for it: let’s go live that dream!
It all started two months ago. As die-hard travel bloggers we were able to pick up our travels again and together with the Tourist Office of the Domincan Republic we flew to Santo Domingo. A two-week trip was planned, with a full itinerary through the South and East of the island. That it was an adventure is certain! But the next adventure is one that will bring about even more.
How it all started
Ever since I immersed myself in Reggae music a few years ago, the Caribbean already held a special place in my heart. Especially Jamaica of course, and it was with that first connection that I made my first trip to the Caribbean, Jamaica, in 2018. As soon as I arrived I felt at home, a feeling I cannot describe. Three years later, it still doesn’t. You have to be there, experience it and discover it to understand it. A few months later I learned about the Dominican Republic, an island North-West of Jamaica and where they dance Salsa in the streets late into the night.
The two islands are totally unlike each other. One culture is not the other, nor is the lifestyle. But they both have a few things in common: beautiful nature, breathtaking beaches, the openness and positivity with which they live life, and a sunset that gives you energy time and time again.
Having discovered both islands, I returned every other month until early 2020. The time when everyone’s life stood still. In total, I did the round trip between the islands 8 times in a year and a half. And today is the day I’m less likely to return….
Living life to the fullest
Once you feel at home somewhere, you are happy and can be yourself, you want to stay there. Falling in love with a place, city or country is perfectly possible. I am living proof of that. In fact, I have fallen in love with the Caribbean faster than I have with a man. There is a reason why “Catch flights, not feelings” is tattooed on my body. And no, I did not have a partner in those islands in all those years, as many of you asked me. I often went there alone, for myself and for my own happiness.
With each trip, I came up with another idea to stay there longer, looked for solutions and always said “one day I will stay there and not come back”. And then there was the pandemic that kept me at home. For months, I told myself not to give up on my dream, to make up for lost time as soon as travel was possible again.
And even though many laughed off the idea, thinking I would just take a short trip, I was dead serious. For several years now (especially after my diagnosis with Fibromyalgia), I’ve been telling myself to make the most of life, every day. The question “What if” is extremely painful to leave unanswered. What if it doesn’t work out? But honestly, what if it does work out? Then it will be the best thing that ever happened to me! And I just have to take that risk.
What about work?
I started blogging in 2009 and there are probably some who are going to read this today and say “Girl! I was following you back then!”. Until 2017 I put blogging partially aside for a full-time job at Zara Inditex. But the adventurer in me wasn’t about to let go. After my diagnosis and some setbacks at work, I decided to go for my passion: writing stories, sharing and inspiring people.
For years I traveled around the world. And yet I missed a more creative touch. Creating images, including photography and video, had triggered me for years. Sharing stories of only myself was also no longer my goal. So I started focusing on a new concept: the online magazine on which you are reading this column today. Started in the middle of the corona crisis, we have already been able to put dozens of Belgian companies in the spotlight and share their stories. We have so many talented and inspiring entrepreneurs that they deserve all the attention! And that is what Blogzine is committed to.
Since February 2021 we have also launched the Blogzine Academy. A platform for entrepreneurs, personal brands and individuals who would like to get coaching on any digital area. Angelo and I have been guiding, supporting and coaching about 20 members every day since the launch to make their own brand or business successful. And this with all the knowledge and tools we have at our disposal. We have become a family of inspiring entrepreneurs who together share one goal: help each other, support each other and grow!
Since both projects are digital, I can work anywhere in the world as a digital nomad. So prepare yourselves for tropical content, zoom-calls with amazing views and don’t forget that soon, as a member of the Blogzine Academy, you can also travel to the Dominican Republic. Not a member yet? Then you can become one today by clicking here. Lucky you!
During my adventure I will keep you updated regularly. But I especially like to hear how you realize your dreams! Have you recently gone abroad for a long trip? Or did you start a new project? Tell me all about it in the comments!