No I am not ….

No, I am not eating more

Unfortunately, was it that easy. That I started eating more and by eating less I could regain my normal figure. I even eat less than before, because I am quite afraid of gaining even more weight. It seems that every time I eat something I gain a kilo.

No, I don’t exercise less

I certainly do not exercise less. I walk an average of three long walks a week (17 km or more at a time) and a few shorter 1-hour walks at speed. I still do this during Corona era. Outside of Corona I also swam once a week. But the pounds are from before Corona.

No, I do not eat less healthier

At least I eat like you if you don’t count not eating rice, because I don’t eat that. I eat quite a few vegetables and a lot of fruit. I love fruit. I’m not such a bread eater so it often becomes a salad, soup or fruit. I also don’t eat a lot out or on the road, because I find it expensive in the Netherlands.

Then what?

I take medication that makes you fatter as a side effect. Yes really! Since 2017 I started taking antipsychotics (Risperidone, 1 mg) again and saw with my own eyes how my body changed without being able to do anything about it. Now 80 kilos and I was 56 kilos !!!!

Then why do you keep swallowing?

Yes, I already take the lowest dose in which this medication comes. The tapering went off overnight last time. And therefore went wrong in my opinion. There is little study on how to reduce this medication, because people used to think that you have to take this medication your whole life. I would like to phase out this medication gradually. Maybe swallow 1 pill less in a week in 3 months and then the next 3 months 2 days less in a week, and so on. Whether this could work? No idea? But being so fat is not an option for me either! I refuse to buy new clothes (read 2 sizes bigger; from small to large; 34/36 to 38/40), because this is not my size.

You don’t believe me?

I would say take this medication for six months yourself and then we will talk again. As your belly grows and the rest stays muscular. Yes as if you are pregnant. I am not the only one with this problem with antipsychotic medicine.

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Nerves for my trip

Nerves for my trip

In February 2013, I board the plane for a three-week solo tour of Cuba. I am more nervous than usual. Since the fatal journey in 2010 with the Trans Siberia Express (by train from Moscow to Beijing) I have not made long journeys alone.

The flight

I watch a movie and talk to my neighbor on the plane. The conversation makes me even more nervous, because she is going to stay in a resort and does not dare to travel alone in Cuba. Just what I’m going to do! I used to have no problem with it, but the one trip that went wrong still plays through my mind. I sleep a bit and think I have already bought all guesthouses and buses so the route is fixed so it can’t be that difficult.

Cuba

We land in the middle of the night, my transfer to Havana is ready. After an hour’s drive I arrive at a super nice hotel in one of the old historical building. I check in and get ready to go to sleep. I shift the time to local time and fall asleep.

Havana

The next day I wake up early and have an extensive breakfast. I get into conversation with a Dutch couple who have just traveled through Cuba for three weeks by car. I get some tips and check my clock. It’s time to meet my local agent to receive my hotel and transfer vouchers.

Something goes wrong

I take a seat downstairs in the salon. A little later, a woman approaches me, the agent. She says I’m late. I made a mistake in the clock setting and now she has to go to another appointment first. Oh well something is already going wrong! Breathe in and out!

It will be fine

I can go with her to the other two hotels she has to go to and while she is talking to them I can explore the area and afterwards she will give me my vouchers and explain some little things to me. Great deal, I come along and explore a part of Havana where I probably wouldn’t have been otherwise. At the end of the afternoon I am dropped off at my hotel with my vouchers and some tips by the agent. The next day I explore Havana a bit more. And then the adventure really starts, because then I will take the bus through Cuba to the other end of the island.

The rest of the trip

The transfers are going well and the guesthouses are cool and I get in touch with locals everywhere. My confidence is growing again. When on the bus from Santiago to Baracoa a tire blows on the way, we all have to get off. I get into conversation with 2 Italian sisters who have just started their journey. I meet with them to have a cocktail after dinner. It results in 3 dinners and a friendship with one of the sisters.

Baracoa

We are not only talking about Cuba, but also about life. We review that we have few vacation days to see everything we want to see in the world. This is the place that is starting a change for me and one of the sisters, because at the end of 2013 we both quit our jobs and went on a journey.  We have a correspondence blog for 6 months together, parts of which can still be read on my website, she from South America and I from Oceania. We did not know all this at the time in Baracoa during the dinners and cocktails.

New adventure with confidence

Back on the plane, I was able to look back with satisfaction on a beautiful journey. My fatal trip in 2010 where I ended up in a local hospital in Mongolia and psychosis was diagnosed no longer arouses fear of traveling. There is even talk of my travel addiction again. On November 18, 2013 I left for Australia as a digital nomad, with new adventures in mind.

I wrote this blog for the assignment, describe a fiercely or special moment in your travels for the Instagram course Writing Travel Stories. It is a series of three assignments. The 2 other assignments can be read here: Assignment 1 who inspire you with travel stories and assignment 2 describe your environment.

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The ButterflyEffect

My life has been a rollercoaster for a while after I had a psychotic episode in 2010 during a vacation. It wasn’t all bad what happened. It helped me realize that I shouldn’t be dreaming only of doing something in the future. But that the future is now.

I started making small changes in my life. The first thing I looked at were how can I live the life I want without being concerned about what others think and how are the relationships in my life? This was the hardest part and took a lot of time and therapy to change into what I wanted, but it was worthwhile.

The second change in my life was that I finally had the courage to start my own business. Thru doing this a whole new world opened up for me. The world of entrepreneurs mostly people following their dream and working with passion on something.

The last thing I did that was part of the ButterflyEffect leading to my choice to travel the world as an entrepreneur, was to go to Cuba alone at the start of 2013. This was my first long trip alone again after falling ill in 2010.  It turned out to be one of the best presents I could have given myself. I got inspired by the country, the locals and two travelers I met there Marc and Claudia. I loved the way they looked at the world. Back home I decided to do something with the inspiration but in a manner that suits me and not just copying them.

The rest is history and now I am in Singapore combining working and exploring my surroundings. I must say the first glance at this lifestyle feels good.

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