Coincidence? I prefer to call it confirmation of desire.
The turning point in my life was triggered by a friend’s question who asked me to dream. Immediately I could visualize: “I want to be with people, see them, at an equal level, travel and share stories. I want to connect people to learn from and inspire each other.” So, there it is! I said it.
And wow, not even two months later a volunteering project presented itself to join a – for me till then unknown – Dutch NGO. As reporters we went into Kenyan communities to interview local volunteers and beneficiaries of the projects. By sharing the survival stories of the most inhuman situations encountered in life, they felt heard and seen. Coincidence that this job came on my path? I prefer to call it confirmation of desire. Not an easy job to really understand the situation when coming from a completely different background. It felt as a ‘taster’ for me how to deal with such stories. I mainly saw the strength of the people and anything but victimisation.
Staying in the office means every day the same faces
When I returned to the office after two weeks of immersion in amazing stories, I knew directly ‘this is not the right place for me anymore.’ I have to go out there, meet the unseen and share their stories. Staying in the office would mean every day the same (though also beautiful and very kind) faces everyday. The opposite of that inspires me.
So, I left my job in summer 2018 and a one-way ticket brought me into the wild from where I let my intuition take the lead. Learning about lives, cultures and rituals, needs and people’s drive or purpose in life. I experienced that the local people not only have their own inspiring story, but so many ‘local change makers’, as I like to call them, have started initiatives to bring a positive impact to the community, the country or even the world.