Some people love the change of seasons. They love wintertime and shorter days, snow, cold, and all the stuff that comes with it. I am not that person. My life changed for the better when I gave in to that longing for endless summer. Now in my life, it is always summer.
I was born and raised in The Netherlands, a country that has 4 seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Divided equally over 3 months, made that I lived in discontent for nearly 6 months every year. Add to that the summer and wintertime (daylight saving time), I had a kind of jetlag feel every time that happened for nearly a week when the Dutch had to turn their clock backward or forward for an hour. I often wondered why the stork dropped me in The Netherlands, it was such a wrong place for me to be. My winter depression would set in right at the moment the wind started tearing the colored leaves from the trees and storms and rain took over and made everything grey. And when the cold started and daylight time counted less than 6 hours, I would dread every morning. Getting up in the dark, coming home from work in the dark.
I discovered something unusual about myself at the age of 17
I started traveling at the age of 17. At that age, I traveled to and through South America. An amazing trip, but more so because I bloomed. The days were 12/12, 12 hours of daylight, and 12 hours of nighttime, and I loved it. The warm climate helped also. I felt on top of the world. I was happy, cheerful, no physical discomfort, I was energized and could take on the world. Only to return to the Netherlands straight from a sunny Barbados to a snow blizzard in the Netherlands. I sometimes said: I never felt warm again after returning to the Netherlands. Of course, that was in my mind, but I would have moments I would feel so cold it felt like it was in my bones. And when I got older I was on anti-depressives during wintertime, to help me through the dark days towards spring. Why? Why did I live in The Netherlands? I felt so out of place and so unhappy most of the year.
It took many years before I could follow my deepest desire and finally take good care of myself
During the summer months in The Netherlands and most years starting as early as spring, I would rise from my misery and since we people are programmed to forget bad things and recover fast, it took some time before I realized I was generally unhappy and I needed a change to take better care of myself. It took a life-changing moment in my life to be able to do that. I became unemployed. I was struggling every month with my finances to make ends meet, I was feeling depressed even in summer and I was miserable all over. The bank was ready to foreclose my house and I could not get a grip on life anymore so it seemed. I did not have the energy anymore to constantly battle for my position in society, for that is how it felt, like a battle.
I am a sweet summer-child
I am a sweet summer child. And not in the meaning you read about on the internet, for I am far from naive and I have known hardship in my life. Some days I feel hardship is my middle name. No, not that kind of sweet summer child. I am the summer child that likes to feel beach sand between her toes, has the sea as her horizon, that loves a summer breeze on her skin, and likes shells. The one that counts the stars at night when it is too hot to sleep, that sways in a hammock during the hottest hours of the day, and that loves twinkle lights in the trees at nightfall.
Romantic? Yes, maybe. Longing for a more pleasant lifestyle? Definitely!
We all know that it is hard to break free from hat settled captivity we have created for ourselves. The job, the income, the social obligations, and stuff like that. For me, it took the wake-up call from becoming unemployed with no view of a job due to my age. That was the moment I realized that if I did not change my life for the better, the moment would pass and I would probably live to regret it. So I changed my life. I looked deep into myself, analyzing what I really needed to be happy. Using my life experience to really get to know the true me that was buried underneath all the thoughts of impossibilities and limitations of my current life. And I decided to break free. Because I realized I would never be truly deeply happy if I did not.
Now it is always summer in my life
Kudos to those who love snow and ice and dark short days, grey rainy days, and manage to live in those circumstances. Really, kudos to you all. But I am not one of you. So, I moved to the tropics. Where daylight and nighttime are divided more or less equally over 24 hours. Where every night is a stunning sunset and every morning an amazing sunrise. Where sun hours are to the max, including the temperatures. Where hummingbirds live and these amazing shells can be found on the beach. Where the nights are filled with starlight, stars so close I can almost touch them. Where winds bring smells of spices and wild herbs, caressing my skin when I walk stunning white beaches and dip my feet in crystal clear seawater. Where the horizon is beckoning me over the turquoise sea to discover what lies beyond……..
Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites
Currently, she lives in Mexico.
She is an emigration coach and works online.
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