vrijdag 13 november 2015

Public transport and meeting new people

I'm a chatty person. I like to talk a lot, and if you know me, that's not a surprise. But apart from speaking, I'm a very good listener. People, the way they behave, why they behave like that; it fascinates me.
Before, I didn't travel by public transport that often. Since I moved to Eindhoven, I'm going by train every week. Today, I realised something; the past couple of months, I've been talking to foreign people quite a lot. And I wanted to share some special moments with you guys.

Let's start with carnaval (festive week in The Netherlands). I celebrated in Eindhoven with my lovely Lizzy and her friends. But the next morning, I had to wake up at 6:30, so I needed to head back in the evening already. On the train, I sat next to a girl and we started talking about her studies, my gap year and my doubts about where and what to study. Then she recommended Industrial Design at the TU Eindhoven - because of what I told her about myself - and voilà; that's exactly what I'm doing now! Thank you for that, girl!

The following memory was on the airplane on my way to Málaga (March 15, this year). I was on my own for the first time and very excited about what was going to happen. The people next to me were so kind, they were Spanish and the woman didn't speak English. So her husband tried to translate our conversation, because my Spanish was really bad at that time. But they taught me some, actually!

I remember being on my way home in Utrecht, when a guy with 4 suitcases entered the bus. I offered to help him, and he was very grateful. Then we had a conversation about where he was from. He told me he moved from Greece to The Netherlands, for a better life. It was so interesting, and I've actually seen him at the supermarket a couple of times.

Another moment was when I was travelling to Eindhoven. A lady sat next to me and I said something about how I love nature (because of the beautiful view), even though I'm a city girl. Together, we appreciated both cities and quiet places. The conversation subject changed to her life, my life, her daughters an how proud she was. They were all settled down, successful and did a lot of interesting things, which were inspiring. I just love to watch parents talk about how happy they are because their children are happy.

Today, a man came to sit next to me on the train. I was reading and listening to music, so not very focused on him. Then he got a phone call and it sounded Scandinavian. When I hear something that sounds like Danish or Swedish, I get really excited. Just love those people, okay? Anyways, I waited until he hung up and asked him where he was from. He was Norwegian - so, not Danish, but still Scandinavian. We had a little chat about languages and my Scandinavian friends, my gap year and his experiences here in The Netherlands. You could really tell that he was positively surprised by the fact that I asked him about his background and everything. It made me smile. Takk for i dag, whoever you may be!

I can come up with a couple more, but I just want to say how grateful I can be for a good conversation with people I don't know. Sometimes, I miss the openness of people in Málaga, how easy it is to meet new people there. I actually made friends on the beach and at a bar, just by approaching them and have a little conversation. But here, in the Netherlands, there are more than enough people who are willing to speak, instead of playing games in their phones, as well. As long as you're kind, polite and relaxed, you'll get that back. I wish I could have moments like those all the time. It gives me so much energy, it makes me feel so good. You can find happiness in the easiest ways. Just pay attention.

XO Josie

woensdag 11 november 2015

Being healthy

This title may get different reactions from different people. Some are really interested in a healthy lifestyle and can't get enough; others would like to throw up if they heard the word 'healthy' (I know some who do). Besides the fact that I'm pretty interested, I'm not particularly talking about working out and food.

I've had times in my life when I was not very happy. I also didn't have a good relationship with the person who I was and my body, for quite a long time. There was always something wrong: my skin, my nose, my hair, my legs, my belly - blah blah blah.
Last year, a lot changed. With the help of some people that I'm eternally grateful for, I gained confidence and started to really like the person who I am. It's not like I loved myself completely and turned into some 'perfect girl' - no, I started to accept things that might be less pretty, my worse sides, bad behaviour and decisions. The focus was more on my good qualities and, for example, my eyes, that I'm happy with. There was so much more positivity in my life, and it was a damn good experience.
Working during my gap year and the Málaga-journey definitely contributed, as well. People actually liked me for who I was and I didn't have to put a lot of effort in that. The whole ambience, the people... I can't really describe it. It makes you feel so much more relaxed! And considering the confidence part, it's not bad to be blonde and blue-eyed, when you live in Spain, haha.

Well, this is more about body insecurities and self-confidence. What I actually wanted to discuss, is that we forget a really important thing, all the time. There are so many fitness accounts on Instagram, blogs, websites, YouTube channels, and so on. The Internet is filled with information about losing weight, getting abs and low-carb-no-gluten-no-lactose-vegan food. It's all okay, as long as we keep in mind that we need to live, as well.
Living in the gym and weighing every gram of peanut butter, when you never go out to relax with some friends (or Netflix and your cat), doesn't really sound like a 'healthy lifestyle' to me. Don't get me wrong, I respect you if you genuinely enjoy working out and cooking yourself some nutritious dishes. But I want people to remember that being healthy is not just that.
With this, I'm referring to 'healthy' as in 'not sick'. As some of you may know, I lost my dear mother because of cancer. At times, I realise how important it is to appreciate the fact that you don't have a disease like that. Or that you're able to walk and do whatever you want.
There are several people I know, who suffer from some kind of chronic disease. You just have to live with that. I'm a person who's got some health-related stuff going on, quite often. Nothing severe, just annoying. And compared to cancer, it's nothing. It can drive you crazy, sometimes, and it makes me think about how good it is to not feel sick, not have problems with your body; just being able to live your life. It decreases the importance of having a 'perfect body', for me. It makes me feel like I need to take care of my body, instead of getting the feeling that I have to work that 10 pounds off.
And to me, that's a very big difference.

Yes, I do sports. Yes, I try to eat healthy. I try not to consume as much alcohol as in Málaga (which is not very hard, let's not do that too often), I try to sleep more, get my vitamins. But taking care of your body also means listening to it. Do I feel okay? What do I need to make myself feel better? Go for a run, or laying down for a while? A little spa at home, chilling in your most comfy outfit, watch some series, read a book, be with a friend. Do you actually want to eat some sugar free raisin biscuits, when there's some salted caramel chocolate to choose, as well?
The thing is, if you really listen to yourself and what you need, you won't eat the whole chocolate bar. You won't lay down in your bed for a whole week, because you'll feel that you need to get out. If you start to know what works, you can trust yourself.
On a higher level, it's very important to know your healthy body, too. Because if you're in contact with yourself, mentally and physically, you'll notice way sooner, when something is wrong. My mother did, when she felt a weird thing in her breast.

It's not something you can do overnight, getting closer to yourself. You have to work on it, every day. At the same time, it's not very hard. What makes you feel good? What people make you happy? What gives you more energy? How do you balance your life? These are questions that your gut feeling can answer, most of the time. With some trial-and-error, you'll get there. It's great not to live with so many restrictions, because you feel like you need to live up to other people's expectations. Surround yourself with people who support you and love you for who you are. Believe me, it will make a huge difference.

With this blog, I'm not trying to day that I've got it all sorted out. Oh no, I'm still looking at my body in the mirror, without being completely happy. I'm not sleeping enough and every now and then, I think about what other people think of me, too much. I'm so freaking imperfect and that's okay. I just wanted to remind you and myself, that it's not all about the outside. That having a 'healthy' body doesn't mean you're healthy. That the person who you are is way more important than the amount of 'gainzzzz'. That you need to appreciate not being sick. Live, people, enjoy your life. Take care of yourself, but don't forget to live.

XO Josie

dinsdag 10 november 2015

Switzerland vlog 6: saying goodbye, being a real tourist & life lesson

Hello lovelies,

Sorry, again I'm a little bit late. It's my last vlog already, I was so sad to leave Switzerland. Will be back soon!

Enjoy & let me know if you did!

XO Josie

maandag 9 november 2015

zondag 8 november 2015

zaterdag 7 november 2015

Switzerland vlog 3: hungover, Olten & Seat Music Sessions

Hello hello,

After this vlog, we're already halfway there! We had a crazy night out in Basel, and in this vlog what I did, the day after. Enjoy!

XO Josie

vrijdag 6 november 2015

Switzerland vlog #2

Hello lovely people,

Today, you can see my second vlog from Switzerland. I went to Aarau with Norah, prepared for the night and then went off to Basel for some fun!

Enjoy! XO

donderdag 5 november 2015

I'm alive! & One week of vlogging

Hello everyone,

I know I just started blogging, but it's already been one month since I wrote my last post. I'm sorry about that. I've had some health issues lately and was really busy with university. The exams are over now, and man, I worked my ass off! Exactly 23 hours after the start of my last exam, my plane to Basel was departing. Yay!
I vlogged during my stay in Switzerland, which I had done in Málaga, as well. Unfortunately, I never did something with these vlogs. Being an Industrial Design student, I would like to do more with videos, blogs, music et cetera. I had to get used to filming in public, but it was definitely a lot of fun to do.

So, follow my Swiss adventures; this is vlog 1!