Wanderlust

Wanderlust or More?

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Wanderlust or More?
© Free Photo: unsplash-logoLea Böhm

According to the Cambridge Dictionary the meaning of wanderlust is:
The wish to travel far away and to many different places.
According to the Urban Dictionary:
An deep uncontrollable desire to hit the road and travel, by whatever means desired, to explore and enjoy the world.
So, is it wanderlust or more?

Often I asked myself this question.
Karin “Why are you not homesick to the Netherlands?
“You hardly can afford 2 or 3 times vacation a year. Better not go once?”

Why do I have this wanderlust? Is it wanderlust? Is it something completely different?

The one thing I can say is that I never felt at home in the Netherlands.
Not even a bit. Since a very young age, I felt like a stranger in my own country.
The country where my parents, grandparents and other ancestors grew up.

When I got older, it became worse. Everybody telling that the Netherlands is such a great country to grow up.
That I should be happy. The Netherlands is tolerant, don’t know racism, discrimination.
Loves gay people (the first country where gay people could marry worldwide, was indeed the Netherlands).

This might have been the truth at the beginning of the 1960’s (although I do not believe this). My opinion is that the Dutch are very good at hiding their real feelings.
For the outside acting that they have invented tolerance, but within the four walls of their own home acting differently.

When I grew up and needed to choose my profession, at least my first, I decided I wanted to be “something” in tourism. What I was not sure of yet.
Yet all the professions I chose were not allowed. No, I needed to find an education and after that job which would last. Like a policeman, a nurse. This kind of jobs.

I became a nurse. A beautiful profession when it is your own choice.
Very fast after starting working as a nurse I got eczema on my hands. Bad eczema. Didn’t go away and I needed to change my profession.
Even the profession wasn’t my own choice it was hard to find a job I liked.

Started to do many courses. Still not what I really wanted, but rather what was needed.
Computers started to come on the work floor. For that, I followed many IT related courses and finally became application manager from the Hospital Information System (ZIS). At that time.
I worked for 12 years in that hospital.

Wanderlust or More?

Is it Wanderlust or More?

Fast forward 10 years, still working “how I supposed to” and not how I wanted.
Still thinking about wanting to work in the Southern part of Europe.

I took many classes/courses, IT related. For the purpose of personal development.
Had several employers, and although different, most of the jobs where IT related.

When I started to work for a new company, the company that became the last one I worked for in the Netherlands, there was a colleague who also wanted to live and work outside the Netherlands.
She finally did it, because she met someone on her holidays and moved to him after a few months.

At that time I started to search for jobs (first related to IT) outside the Netherlands.
Imagine, the internet existed, but only in the beginning phase. Thus it was mostly looking in newspapers. There were a few vacancy boards, but not as there are now.

What I learned pretty fast, is that all the IT related jobs were concentrated around Dublin & in India.
Me, go to Dublin? I didn’t want to. Too wet, rainy. I wanted more sun. At least in the winter.
India? Too far away. I wasn’t suspecting that I should become homesick. But I was not sure.

I started to find out what employers were looking for in the South of Europe.
Hostesses, guides I learned.
Tourism, yes! Something I wanted to do when I was at a young age but wasn’t allowed.

What I did after I found out what employers were looking for is I searched for a course I could do to make me more attractive for them.
My age was above the average age of a hostess.

Yet after starting the course, I had a new job within a few months.
My new employer didn’t know exactly where I would be placed. They asked me what I wanted. I told them that I love history.
And also that I love culture. That this is important to me.

In the beginning of 2008 I ended up on Malta. The Republic of Malta. A small island in the Mediterranean.

Malta is an island that is named in many ancient stories. It is know for its ancient temples, probably older than the pyramids in Egypt.

Malta

I immediately liked Malta and had a wonderful time here. Loved the island, the culture, the history. I lived more to the north, in Qwara.
As my employer didn’t need more than one person in the Winter on Malta, and there was already a hostess who lived there for a long time, I had to move on.

My second destination was Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands.
In the beginning, it took me some time to get used to this island. To fall in love with it.

The island is salvage, dry. I did not speak Spanish at all. And, on the contrary to what I learned, the people hardly spoke (speak) English or German.

I learned Spanish, I tried. The teacher was French and spoke no English.
For that is was not difficult for me to learn to speak this language. And I fell in love this island.

During all the years I finally lived here, I had different employers.
I started as a hostess at hotels for Dutch customers.

Went back to the Netherlands due to illness in the family.
I could not get used to living in the Netherlands any more. And I was lucky that I found another job there.

Not in the South part of the island where I lived the first time, but in the North part.

Fuerteventura

After being a hostess in hotels/airport again I got a job as “springer” for another German company.
Springer meant that I was working for my colleagues when they were having a vacation. A job with lots of variation.
I worked all over the island. And I loved it. Sadly enough it was not a permanent job.

The Canary Islands are the poorest part of Spain. And Fuerteventura is the poorest of the Canary Islands.
It is hard to get a permanent job. Thus what happens is that many are job hopping.
Some jobs last 3 months. Most 6 or 9 months. And when lucky you get a job that lasts 1 year.

And I must start job hopping again after this time.
You see it all over Fuerteventura. One person finds a new job. Number 5 needs a job because his contract is ending.
He applies for the previous job of number 1. He gets the job. Number 3 will fill in his vacancy.
And so on.

I finally decided, after doing this for a few years, that I needed a more permanent job.
It wasn’t my wanderlust coming up but may need to have a stable job.

I left Fuerteventura in March 2016. After I found a job in Greece.
Now, in July 2018, I have to say… Me leaving Fuerteventura… It is not the best decision I ever made.
Yet it had to be done. But I still regret the fact, that I was not able to stay on the island I love so deeply…

Fuerteventura

All that is gold does not glitter, poem written by J. R. R. Tolkien:
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes, a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crown-less again shall be king.

Wanderlust Or More?

The Sequel 1: Athens Greece & Back at Malta.

Sequel 2: Sofia, Bulgaria.

The Sequel 3: Brno, Czech Republic.


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