16 Jan Lifestyle design poster (january 2016)
Steven and I share a lot of dreams and try to incorporate them into our daily lives as often as we can. Every year, before we start our 8 months leg in travel we sit together, share our ideas and dreams and needs for that travel leg. We do the same right before we travel to The Netherlands for the annual 4 month break of travel. We put those ideas, needs and dreams on a poster which we have called our lifestyle design poster. In this way we sort of ‘make dreams aware‘. Funnily enough, many of those dreams actually really happened over the years.
In the early years of our travel, it has happened that the awesome opportunities of travel overrule individual needs a bit. It is like living your bucketlist for too long haha. And for a while this is no problem. There are just so many awesome things to see and experience, we are swept away and going with the flow. Beautiful. But then the day comes that the individual needs have been on hold for too long. Things to learn, space to sit in silence, sports to do, friends to meet and many more things that have nothing to do with travel persé. If we wanted to create a life in which those individual needs have a place while also traveling, we needed to go back to the drawing board: the lifestyle design poster.
Early 2016 our daugther was just born and we were going to The Netherlands to spend seven months there. We would travel there in the middle of the winter (january 15th, 2016) to join both our parents in their celebration of 40 years marriage in January and May. Diana’s parents would take the entire family to a great Alpine house in Austria in the snow. In May we would go on a trip to Berlin with the family of Steven.
In January when we travel home we go from tropical Mexico to below freezing Austria with a 2,5 months old baby. The easiest decision would be to stay in Mexico and learn to be a family of three right then and there. However, it has never been an option really to not join in the celebration of the marriages of our parents. These are such milestones and important events in the lives of our parents that our gift was to join, however difficult and challenging this would be with a (very lightweight) newborn. We were very much looking forward to this, as well as introducing little Isa to all the family:
The outlook and intensity of this trip alone, made us sit and think beforehand what we would need as a new family after returning from Austria. On the practical side there was the need to have our own space for a while during these seven months. At this point in time we had been traveling for 5 years and when we would be back in the Netherlands we had been housesitting and moved house every few weeks or so. With a newborn this is not something we would like to do too many times. We needed our space and peace. So we put on the poster: our own space.
We managed to secure such a place for a few months by making an exchange trade: building a website in exchange for a few months in an apartment in the city of Nijmegen. This apartment came available as of May 2016. Before that time we needed a place to stay and the parents of Steven welcomed us in their home for about two months. A very intense time with a newborn baby as you can imagine. After staying with Stevens’ parents we also spend a month in the home of Stevens’ aunt in Glanerbrug. Finally it was time to move to Nijmegen and we loved having our own space again. A place to unpack our bags and not thinking of moving for a while. An important insight from this particular lifestyle design exercise: when we are in the Netherlands we need our own place. From that moment in time we started the search of a place that fitted our own terms. As you might have read on the blog: we moved into our very own mobile home in the pastures of Holland in the summer of 2018! And we loved it 🙂
One of the dreams on this poster has been to tell the story of living a different kind of life. To make a film about making conscious choices what to do with our time, what to spend it on, how to work, on what to work, where to work from, where to live, how to live etc. We are not film makers and don’t have any experience in this field, so this dream has been on our poster for years. Until we met Marnix and Martijn. Two filmmakers in the summer of 2016. If you have been following this blog, you know what happened next over that same year: we decided to jointly shoot a documentary film crossing Central America. We raised money for it and the film premiered in the summer of 2017 in a cinema in Holland. And all of this after ‘brining the dream into the universe’ via a lifestyle design poster. We have never stopped creating those posters and every time something on that poster, comes into reality. A beautiful way, for us, to bring dreams into reality.