It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update on how far I’ve come with my bucket list. It’s changed quite a bit, I’ve added things, deleted some, but kept the numbers to leave room for new challenges. There’s still plenty to do and experience out there :-)
One of the things I recently completed was donating my hair to ThinkPink. I’d been growing my hair out for a good two years, when finally (!) I got to go to the hairdresser. I’ve never been happier to have it chopped, but knowing that it all went to a good cause made the visit even better.
The hairdresser told me she wasn’t sure whether my hair was going to be long enough, but I told her to go ahead anyways and so got chopped off quite a bit. Eventually, the pony tails she had cut off were 25 centimetres (!), well over the necessary 20.
If you want to donate your hair, you can do it anytime and at any salon. Just make sure that your hair is long enough (20 cm is the requirement) and that you get it cut off dry.
For anyone interested in Belgium, here‘s where you can order your envelope to send your hair travelling.
- I am forever afraid of being bored, which is why I pretty much always have a book with me. I can never just sit still and do nothing, much to the annoyance of my boyfriend. At least let me read!
- Although I’m all about sharing photos on Instagram, I’m old school when it comes to travel photos: I have them all printed out and put them in proper albums
- I hate people that clip their nails in public. The sound makes me go up the walls. Seriously, stop it.
- I love to sing. I need a belting out all of my favourites session at least once a month.
- My favourite TV series of all time is McLeod’s Daughters. It’s one of the reasons I am so fascinated with Australia.
- I have a slight obsession with tea. Any flavour, any time of the day, anywhere.
- I hate people who are obsessed with themselves. (Or does this blog post classify me as one of those people?)
- I have lived in three different countries: Belgium (in my home town and now in Brussels), Australia (Gold Coast, for 10 months) and Sweden (for 6 months)
- I love lipsticks and blushes, because I am convinced they can completely transform someone’s look
- I need a little space from time to time: solo travel, a few hours of people watching in a park, a couple of hours with a good book, a solo shopping spree.
- I dread the idea of having to fold laundry, but when I’m doing it, it sort of relaxes me.
- I sometimes think I function on photosynthesis. The sunnier the weather, the better my mood.
- I hate the smell of lavender.
- I have major FOMO. Especially when it comes to travel.
- As a consequence of 14. I am severely impatient with life. I’d rather have done something yesterday than tomorrow.
- I have 4 pet fish named after my 3 best friends and boyfriend
© Elise Gravel
- I envy people who know exactly what they want and just go for it
- I once entered a poetry competition and managed to get two of my poems published. Still one of the proudest moments of my life.
- I believe ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ can make a world of difference to someone. I honestly believe that being nice often gets your further. What you give to the world comes back to you in a certain way.
- I can be moved to tears by something I read or listen to.
- I collect stickers of cities and countries I visit.
- My favourite singer of all time is Gabrielle Aplin.
- I love people watching and making up stories that I think would suit them. I’m also incredibly talented at eavesdropping on conversations on public transport.
© Kate Pugsley
- My favourite colour is blue
- I will never, ever, skip a sunset or sunrise if I have the option to
- I’ve always wanted to dye a piece of my hair purple to be a little edgy
- I love getting handwritten postcards or mail in general. Emptying the mail box used to be my task at home and it still is in my new home.
- I miss Ghent and its flower market from time to time.
- I know exactly what I want my future house to be like. Not look like, be like.
- I love writing.
- I hate taking planes, despite loving to travel
- I always assume the best in people until proven otherwise. I don’t forgive easily.
- My friends and family will probably be able to testify that I get incredibly hangry if I don’t get food in my stomach on time. I really can’t help it. So, I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry.
- I love trees. Especially when the sun shines through their leaves. Autumn is a magical season.
- I hate being cold, though I am a huge fan of Scandinavia.
- As a consequence of 35. I love taking baths. Preferably with a LUSH bath bomb dropped in there.
- I love pictures of jungle homes filled with big-leafed plants and cacti.
© Iker Ayestaran
Let me know something I didn’t know about you yet! I’m curious to find out :-)
Ik kijk naar buiten en zie de wereld aan mij voorbijgaan. Letterlijk. De gebouwen schuiven van links naar rechts. Paleizen, dronkemanshuisjes, bakkerszaken, kleine kruidenierswinkels, gigantische herenhuizen. De stad is van iedereen. Mijn ogen voelen zwaar, en als ik niet oplet knijp ik de gebouwen plat tot spleetjes. Er wordt in mijn arm gepord. Een klein vingertje duwt putjes in mijn arm. Twee kleine grote bruine ogen turen me aan. “Tu sais parler?” Of ik praten kan. Het meisje heeft wat weg van een indiaantje, met haar twee vlechtjes en roze bolle wangetjes. Ze kirt van opwinding. “Tu sais parleeeer?”, vraagt ze opnieuw, deze keer met nadruk, en ze blijft me met nieuwsgierige ogen aankijken. “Oui” is alles dat ik uitkraam. Mijn Frans is niet zo goed. En toch, ja, ik kan praten. Als ik kon zou ik een grapje maken, maar mijn glimlach en éénwoordig antwoord lijken voldoende. De twee vlechtjes zijn tevreden. Ze port haar broertje aan, voor wie het niet zoveel lijkt uit te maken of ik dan wel kan praten of niet. Maar wanneer het meisje met de vlechtjes bevestigend knikt naar de jongen en zegt “Elle sait parler”, glimlacht hij stilletjes en opgelucht. Ik kan praten, en toch kijk ik soms liever de kat uit de boom. Ik observeer, leer mensen kennen voor ze weten wie ik ben. Ik zwijg en luister. En soms word je dan al snel “die stille”, ofzoiets gelabeld. Maar ik kan praten. Ik gebruik mijn woorden zuinig, ik verspil geen zuurstof . Ondertussen raast de tram verder, en duikt hij de grond in. Het wordt donker. Door het raam zie ik nog net een ander metrostel. Het stijgt op. Of zo lijkt het toch, want in de donker zijn de sporen en de lucht nauwelijks te onderscheiden. Alleen het metrostel steekt felgeel af. Even waan ik me in een scene uit Harry Potter. Ik glimlach. Ik kan praten, maar soms doe ik dat gewoon liever op papier.
© Illustration: Mali Fischer
“Choosing is losing.” It’s what I always presumed to be the truth. A truth that seemed to be reaffirmed by the fast-track society we live in nowadays. We are confronted with decision-making daily, all in order to achieve a richer life, where “more” equals “better”. From the clothes we wear tot he things we eat and the programs we decide to watch on TV, choosing has become an identity determining full-time job. And as if this decision-making isn’t arduous enough, society expects us to do it fast. There is no room for doubt or reconsideration; we’d have to decide yesterday rather than today. This leaves us bewildered as to whether there are still choices to make at all. Really, hasn’t the decision been made for us?
Careful consideration has become an ancient concept that people no longer choose to apply. Society expects us to know precisely what we want and who we would like to become, yet many of us are left behind, clueless. There is no time to be unsure or cautious because time is money. If we don’t make up our mind soon enough, we are left behind, doomed to become the outcasts of our society and communities.
Don’t get me wrong, having choice is a luxury, but when both ends of the choosing feel like losing, with FOMO chasing us down every path we choose to take, it often doesn’t feel like it. So, society tells us: choosing is losing. I used to be the person afraid to miss out everywhere. I’d want to be at different places at the same time. I’d want to meet different people at the same time. All this to the point where I’d be unhappy either way.
What I’ve realised is that it is not, though. When fruit famers grow fruit, they choose which branches to keep and let go of other pieces in order to maintain the quality of those that they chose to keep. To choose one thing and lose another means knowing what you want. It’s choosing quality over quantity. It’s choosing time over money. It’s choosing happiness over resurfacing doubt. Sometimes saying no to someone means saying yes to yourself. So choosing isn’t losing, it’s winning.