Who I am
More than anything I have been formed by the many countries I lived in growing up; making me a Global Nomad at heart. These experiences largely define the way I look at the world and determine the things I’m interested in, the choices I make and the way I connect with people.
The instant click of recognition when in contact with people of similar background tells me there is such a thing as a Third Culture. Where most people grow up feeling comfortable with their nationality, as a matter of course and a distinguishing feature in their identity, to me it has been much more a source of disquiet but also of growing fascination. With this I mean the role of culture in the building of identity.
Conscious of having the Dutch nationality but not in sink with Dutch culture caused a lot of heartache and many headaches trying to figure out how to deal with it all. It was a restless time during which I took up different studies in different countries; but always to return to the country that was supposed to be my home.
Through conscious effort, reading philosophy, psychology and humanities and becoming a yoga initiate of Patanjali’s Raja Yoga, it broadened my views even further and deepened them through years of intuitive development, finally settling into Krija yoga.
Parallel to that I made a career switch; going from working as a freelance interpreter to picking up Art therapy. It was a wonderful experience, enriching in many ways. It brought me into contact with a wide variety of artistic techniques and opened the world of art to me and it’s history as an expression of human consciousness. The therapeutic learning process was very healing to me and was central to integrate bygone experiences and thus freeing me of emotional luggage I had thus far been tagging along.
Through the years my working experiences have helped me understand the ways Dutch society is structured and begun to understand the collective mind that drives it further. More and more I am expressing who I am through the work I do; whether paid or as a volunteer. What I do and how I engage with people define who I am and what I stand for. More and more in line with how I feel and what is of value to me, life feeds my sense of meaning and well-being. It is a bed or roses, thorns and all! And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Married for over 20 years and raising two wonderful kids, I may not travel much these days but living the sedentary bourgeois life is, in mysterious ways, an adventure in itself.
Countries I lived in
I was born in Dordrecht The Netherlands and in later years lived in The Hague, Bussum, Rotterdam and ended up in Leiden these last 25 years.
Furthermore I lived in Lebanon for 2 years, Denmark 2 years, Colombia 3,5 years, Tanzania 3 years, Belgium 2 years, Soviet Union 1 year, United States 2,5 years and South Africa for 1,5 years.
To top it of, India was a country of some importance in my life. As a student I spent time doing research on African students within the theme of education for my master’s in Non-Western Sociology. On my first long stay I was woken to a spiritual reality which allowed space for my experiences and understandings, where they found none within the university walls where the western wise reside. Years later we were married on a wonderful location in New Delhi, my parents residence at the time, where my father performed the marriage ceremony. Unforgettable, just as the group honeymoon that followed and the many wonderful places and peoples I have seen and met through the years in this country. I truly feel blessed by it.
I cannot count the countries I visited …
The World is my Oyster
Wherever I lay my hat is my Home
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