I am finding it harder and harder to write. I guess because I know the end is so close. One more day. Since I didn’t really take any pictures today, I am scanning through my phone. Looking for an old photo. One from the past year that I particularly loved. Memories from blogs are often tied to the photos I post with it. I’ve already asked a friend, to see if we can make some sort of album out of this blog. A collection of stories and pictures, just to keep for myself.

I find an old quote. From a Dutch magazine. And it fits with today, because I just sat on the couch, reading in the latest edition of that same magazine that my mum sent me. And I started reading a book about dreams. It’s an Eleanor Roosevelt quote: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

I think I heard this quote for the first time when I was at camp. Camp. My home. The place that has influenced my being for sure. Today, alumni are together again back at home. I organized the event from a distance, but can’t be there in person. This blog idea arose about a month after my last summer at camp. Probably around the time I realized that it really had been my last summer.

For me looking into the future has everything to do with looking back. Dreaming has to do with believing that something can really happen. Dreaming has to do with hard work, persistence and faith. Dreaming is about praying and breathing. For me dreaming is living.

Honestly, there have been moments in the past year when dreaming was hard. When I was just trying to get through the day. Wake up early, go to work, take a warm bath and sleep. When I missed being at home. When I wanted to be close to people, but I couldn’t. When I was denied access into a country and sent back on the same plane. When plans failed. When friendships slowly faded away. Dreaming is hard, when my everyday to-do lists are too demanding. When energy levels are low and my body is tired.

But I knew these days would come. Because these are days that are part of life. And that is why I made myself that promise on day 2 of this writing adventure. That I would keep my hands open. And that’s the key to dreaming. It’s letting your imagination, creativity and faith take you to new places, while keeping your hands open wide. Ready to receive.

Looking back, my hands have been filled with so much more than ever expected to receive. Like getting a text just now from a bunch of lovely girlfriends just to say ‘hi’. Getting the opportunity to build work experience in a challenging, engaging and dynamic work environment. Making a real difference in the lives of thousands of people. During the last year, I got to live at home for a little while again. I got to live in my favorite Dutch city again and I got to live, am still living, in a new country with the best tropical fruits and most amazing weather. I have a safe place to live. I never have an empty stomach. I have a wonderful support network around me of family, old friends, new friends, and colleagues.

I am on a journey, always thinking about the next steps like I learned on my first pilgrimage during my time in Spain.

I am home in this world because I feel connected.

I have many dreams. I have had many dreams all my life. One of them was to be a writer. Tomorrow I am finishing the first chapter of that dream.