21 June 2006

Out of Place

I really love urban camping.

The first 11-month trip happened by accident and it was not always easy, but when it was over, I appreciated the experience so much that I hoped I could do it again sometime.

Last summer when I told my Mom that I was going to rent out my house for the school year and urban camp again, she said, “Oh no. I remember how stressed out you were the first time you did it!”

To be honest, being constantly out of place is not always good for your concentration or memory.

This year I lost my telephone, my bankcard, my thermos, and 50 euros.

I am grateful to the good people who returned my telephone and bankcard.

The thermos I left on the train and the 50 euros I left sticking out of the cash machine.

My GPA is quite good but it would have been better if I had focused only on my schoolwork.

And sometimes I was tired and thought, “Am I running my life or is it running me?”

But I showed up everyday and I can tell you that the life fatigue I felt last year at this time is gone.

I received closure in a few areas of my life and I’ve been reminded of how much I thrive in a community of kindred spirits.

I think I see a common denominator in my work: “point of view.”

The mosaic realism of my artwork can be about holding onto incomplete viewpoints.

Getting out of my box with urban camping creates shifting viewing points.

My masters degree addresses how to use reason to verbally resolve difference of opinion between parties holding different viewpoints.

I think this theme will continue to be important to me. The joy of discovery is only possible because there are different viewing points.

My surroundings … hmmm … I love my house and can’t wait to settle back in for a while!

I think of my house as an art project where I can hold dinner parties. I have a 3-meter long table where 10 people can sit and share their stories over a meal.

It’s a place where I can create an oasis for me and other travelers.

And I still deeply love living in Europe!

But, although I enjoy living in the harbor, I’m a big city girl and think I should try to migrate to Amsterdam when I can.

Or maybe I will just plan my next nomadic year to be only house-sitting in Amsterdam?

Or maybe there is someone living in Amsterdam that just got a job in Rotterdam and is interested in a house swap?

Or maybe I can share my apartment half the week with a friend in Rotterdam while sharing an apartment with friends in Amsterdam half the week?

There are options. There are always options.

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