Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Here at last...




Here at last (06/04/2015), 

I'll start with a picture right away this time...


Above: XTC Dive Center Peer, the peer to paradise.

Well here we are again... been a while, I know, but that's mainly because a lot of things had to be done for my departure.  It was all a huge hassle, and I can assure you, there was a lot of planning to do in terms of everything. The decision I made came with all kinds of arrangements to make.

I don't know where to find the inspiration at the moment ... because I am so overwhelmed with all kinds of new experiences. These experiences are totally new. A new environment, a new weather to threat with, new people, a new...everything really. So I'll just continue this when I feel like it I guess.

Ok well, I think I'm going to write some more. (09/04/2015)

So what happened once I got on the plane? I flew from Brussels to Munich and from there to Cancun. Once arrived I got my luggage and got a taxi towards Tulum around 2100h. Initially I didn't want to take a taxi because they are way more expensive than the busses but I hurt my back that bad when taking my luggage from the carrousel that I didn't feel like spending two or three hours on a bus and stopping several times along the way. I just wanted to check into my Hotel Latino in Tulum City Center and relax and get a good sleep. I got there around 11 o'clock in the evening.

My back was killing me so I didn't do anything else than settle in and lie on my bed. Bit sad to be honest, I was so hungry to see the town at night and have a walk to check it out but that didn't happen.
The day after I got a physiotherapist at the hotel, Julian, who gave me a one hour massage to loosen all my muscles. The problem according to him was stress and probably overloaded lower back muscles. I thought I had a nerve stuck somewhere like a hernia. But according to him I was stressed and seen I had done so much hard work to get the apartment ready for selling, getting all furniture out, amongst other things. Basically it all stressed out the muscles that much that I had an inflamed lower back. Great hotel by the way, in the center of Tulum, Hotel Latino.




Above: Hotel Latino outside room view and the pool.

The pool at Hotel Latino, pretty good for a quick refresh and with my back inflamed and muscles all stressed out I did get some water therapy. I love the 'BE FREE' tile writing in the pool. That's entirely what I am trying to achieve... some form of freedom. And above all, doing what I want to do.


Above: Tulum City Hall

Some more Tulum stories first (15/04/2015)


Above: This Mayan Circle is close to Tulum's City Hall, a lot of people gather here for encounters - A lot of people see the Mayan Culture as beeing dead, but that is entirely incorrect!
I met these two Canadian girls (Meagan and Morgan to the left) at the Hotel Latino and we did go for supper in the evening, since they had been there for a few days allready they knew where to go and where there was great foods.
To be honest the food in Tulum was awesome. It's a pure Mexican city, where commercial tourism hopefully will never come. I really enjoyed the city of Tulum.
Taco's with seafood, porc or veal, quesadillas, tortillas, ....everything was super delicious and yes, very cheap indeed. I also had a delicious Mayan meal, picture below. This one really impressed me, so simple but soooo much taste. Nice and spicy but that's the way I like it. I think when food is used with the appropriate spices, nothing can be too spicy.
I always say: Well at least you feel your mouth is alive - after a good spicy meal!
Traditional Mayan dish: Pozole with porcmeat. 



It didn't feel comfortable for anything I was wanting to get to do in Tulum.
Luckily the massage helped enough to be able to have the two dives I planned at the Cenotes. So on sunday I dove two Cenotes: Dos Ojos (Two Eyes) and The Pit. Both of them were amazing and I never dove in a cavern before.  Finaly diving again! And look where at.

 

Cenotes are freshwater pools connected with each other through underground rivers, finaly ending up in the sea. So a lot of them have fresh water on the upper side and salt water deeper down. This combo of two waters creates a halocline, a cloud between the two different waters that actually don't mix. It's amazing to see.
The Pit has it since it goes down to 65 meters more or less, and somewhere inbetween at 25-30m the salt water meets the fresh water and a halocline cloud is visible. Sublime! I have a video that I will upload showing this cloud formation. The link will follow. The picture above is not me, it's taken from Goolge Pictures, Cenote The Pit. 

Nothing could beat these two dives at that particular moment. It felt as a total relief from all work and sorrow I had gone through for the past few weeks, maybe months really. I don't have any pictures from the diving, but I do have a movie wich I haven't uploaded to Youtube.

Anyways, happy to be where I need to be for my Divemaster formation. In Mexico, Quintana Roo, Xcalak
I passed my EFR (Emergency First Responder), and at the moment I am doing my Resque Diver. Once I'll be done with that I will start my 3 months internship for DiveMaster.
 
One more picture for you all...


PS
You should see the stars at night here... I mean in Belgium, you could easily find the Pole Star and the two Bears but outhere, it's a different game... very hard to locate any of the systems I mentionned. I still haven't worked it out to be honest. :-)



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

According to plan




The way is long and I feel at times impatient, but everything is going according to plan! The stuff I'm selling is slowly but surely getting sold. I informed myself with the Mexican Embassy and the Italian Consulate and know what to do when I leave. Everything is set.
My ticket is bought for 3rd of April 2015. The dive center I am going to is also set, and I might allready have an interesting side-job we talked about. 

Tips for booking a cheap (intercontinental) flight: (also part of the plan)

Start by googling 'cheap flights' and google will give you some options, in the form of gathering sites who look up the best deal for you. After you have tried some you will see that prices differ from one gathering site to the other.
These gathering sites probably have good deals for intercontinental flights but longer flights seem to be a lot cheaper when you book them directly with the company itself. So now you know where you will take off and you have the plane details, you also know what companies will be flying you over.
Make your reservation with the company itself, call them to see if everything is settled. Make use of the extra services such as seat reservation, food packages, special extra luggage/sport articles (upto 30kg) are for example much cheaper than an extra suitcase (upto 20kg).

If  you are taking 2 flights, because you have to change over, it may be that you'll have to contact the other flight company aswell to check in your possible extra bag and to see if they have room but once your flight partially booked with the main company (long flight) you will have the details needed to round up your reservation with the other company taking you to the main flight.
I saved about € 280 booking my flight. I did the simulation again on the cheapest gather site to check the difference and usually didn't have the special options I got booking directly with the main company. So yes it's totally worth the extra work and will save you a good amount of money.

Ow yeah, for those who don't know where I'm going yet: I'm going to Mexico. Swell different from Malta I know, but so much more adventurous right? Hehe yes yes, I'm very happy with my new decision. The dive center I am in contact with has given me a lot of trust and I can't wait to meet them. The region has a lot of at hand diving grounds with a maximum of beatifull paradise all around.

Last week, on friday I received the diving gear order I made. I felt like a kid in a candy store for a bit. My first diving gear is a fact, untill now I only had a diving computer but I am all set now and have my own gear. Oh yes, proud as hell. Can't wait to baptise it.

Ok well 1,5 month to go till the final countdown before the actual departure. Time that will be well spent and enjoyed. It will probably all get more difficult the 3 last weeks, when I will have finished my resignation period half March. At the moment, I am counting down for that day in particular. Once that day will be reached, the actual final countdown will emerge and will probably come along with more accentuated emotional changes.
Step by step, everything is comming along according to plan. But I know I am about to start dreading the day of departure. At some point of the countdown, that day will be hard to imagine emotionally.  

I am also planning on starting a new blog, with a new title, once I move to Mexico and at the same time when the real adventure starts. I think this blog will have served it's purpose.

First of all I hope it will have given people a good read and that it may give others a boost when they are looking in doing the same thing more or less as I am doing. Change your world, change your life, boost your overall hapiness.

Secondly it served me as an agenda in some way, every time a chapter needed to be closed in my head, I would do it here to let it go.  Or vice-versa. 

Thirdly I learned a lot blogging, I am very fond of writing and will take on my new blog differently. There will be a lot more pictures involved for sure. 


Above all benefits I got, one of the other benefit is still actaully reading others blogs, they really help me with a lot of stuff I might be wondering about in my course or line of life.

Evolving is the way of doing things in life, living up to improving yourself, all the time. Well that's what keeps me happy really. It does work.

Some more blogs I liked during the past time:

The 20 best jobs for people who love to travel 

5 Travel quotes to live by 

10 minutes A day: Meditation for Beginners

What I learned from writing every day

10 Things that the people who love their lives are doing differently

 


  


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Time to sell








I don't know but it sure is time now. Hence I 'll spend the next days putting my stuff on the net. I have a few canditates allready for some stuff, but all needs to go.
In about 2 months, I'll have a plane to take. The day is comming closer and I can feel it every day growing. 

Btw I am not going towards Malta. Where I'm going is not yet completly decided but I'm growing closer towards a decision. I have two great options. I hope I can decide soon. I'll save the occasion of posting my destination till after my decision, in my next post.
For the curious ones: Yes, there will be white sandy beaches, and palm trees and above all a blue magnificant underwater paradise aswell.

Rest me some work to do now, away with the materials that don't mean much to me and have some one else enjoy them, I won't be needing them anymore.
For a while I guess. Where I am going, there is no room nor time for this kind of comfort. And there doens't need to be, does there? 

No no, where I 'm going, there will be plenty of different things attracting my mind, so much new things to explore, so much that I it's totaly impossible to even start missing the comfort zone stuff and that for quite some time. That's without a doubt. 

My resignation time will be over in less than six weeks, you know how fast this is going? Well I'm realizing it more and more. I'll be having a good after work drink with the collegues for sure.
And also I'll have to start setting up my last beers in Belgium party aswell. For both family and good friends.Well it's not goodbye, it's supposed to be a see you later... :-)

I shouldn't think of this too much, and I'm also glad that I am taking this step, so it won't be that difficult, ... is what comes to my mind at times. For now, right? 

Anyways, so much for heads up. 







Some interesting blogs I 've come across this month: 


Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. 

The best travel apps for iphone & android. 







Friday, December 26, 2014

Time to Quit








Yes, ...yes, ...it's almost 'that day'. I will have worked in this cubicle environment for exactly 3 years now. It was an experience, yes, and also a good one. But, ...it's time to quit!

And I won't miss it for a second when I think of where I will be working next. My office will be the sea starting somewhere in April 2015. I am so looking forward to it, but you all know that. I'm sure I'll miss a few people from the floor though. But they can visit me any time. Malta is not far. :-)

My blog will most probably (hopefully hehe) start to get more interesting from that month on, with ofcourse more pictures and personal experiences from abroad, starting with Malta. Bare with me!  


So, on tuesday I will resign from my current job. My resignation time will overlap 2,5 months, making me jobless around half March. Not a big deal ofcourse, because after all another real change is being brought to reality. The best change ever, and one I need so much.

Almost all my collegues and especially the managment and the team coaches have been notified a few months ago around August/September about my plans. Even if not all of them really believed in the fact that I would persue my dream, they were alerted in time.
A few days ago I had a conversation with my TC and HR to inform them I will be asking for my resignation next week, on tuesday more precisly, since I'm off for a few days till after New Year.


Hence, my resignation period will kick off the 5th of January. I must say at this point of the day, a few days before I send it in, it feels quite weird. It feels like there will be no turning back anymore.
And to be honest, that's exactly what I want and need. Again, this action will put me in a whole different level of preparation, if it were only mentaly.


There are days that I still have doubts about my adventure, but these thoughts are only short moments and get quickly voted in my mind as: You've been there, forget the doubts. You 've gone through everything needed in order to feel comfortable with your decision. Note that it's good to have these unsure thoughts, just because they often make you dig that little bit deeper in that internet in order to find the information you need to boost your moral in the right direction. 
When it's needed, it's needed, but I need those mental boosters less and less. :-)

Time to embrace something new, as a matter of fact I start to realize it as if that dream has always been there. 

These last months I have been reading a lot of stuff concerning my future and I stumbled upon some very intersting blogs and sites.

Here's a few of them I have enjoyed a lot. All of these helped me form myself a picture about what to expect. Both from a positive as well as from a negative approach. You can get tramendous information when reading up on all kinds of blogs concerning the travel bug. And I can tell you, there's a lot of interesting people out there trying to do be a good expat, and also a lot of them are living it. They do live their dream. 

For me, it all started when I started reading Rika's Cubicle Throwdown shortly after my first Malta vacation, when I started thinking about living abroad and wondering what to do with my life.

Here's another few good reads that I've come across and all helped me, partially giving me the strength to continue with my the dream plan:

Travel stuff
Turner Bar
12 Characteristics of an Expat
Expat Guide: Is Expat life for me? 

Diving stuff
Steve Prior 
Dive Careers
Alex Brylske





Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My last winter


Another great thing to be looking forward to is the lack of wintertime in my new world. I can't tell you how relieved I allready feel. Just the idea is something else to look forward to. A nice add to the package I would say.
If all goes well, apart from this winter I probably won't be seeing any more snow for quite a while. Will I miss it?

According to me our winters here in Belgium never really have been that strong. It's not like we had snow lying around for more than 4-5 months in a row for example.
Most of the time here it will just get cold, or not cold enough and when snow comes down, it usually only leaves an ugly brown gew along the streets because the temperature is too high meaning it will melt pretty fast and turn into this ugly sticky brown gew.
It does seem to clean the streets though seen the color when it melts down, wich is a good thing I guess.

But when the snow does mannage to lie around long enough on the occassional harder winter, I must say I enjoy it. Especially when you can take a few good walks in the fields with everything covered in snow, like a big white blancket. A very beautiful landscape indeed!


Ofcourse I made snowmans and snowballs when I was younger and enjoyed it, when you are a kid you don't feel the cold as you do when you are older, your body forgets the cold because you are young and it's easier for it to choose for fun instead of cold.

But will I miss it? Will I miss the cold, the snow,
the dark ...partially because of the winter hour... as I do miss the sun when it's not there? 

There the answer most likely is: No ...and yes, ...a little bit ...probably. 
And the re-anwser would be: Well hopefully I will get used to working in these very hot environements where I am going to, otherwise I might miss winters more quickly hehe.

No, I have no doubt, I like summer more than winter, for sure!

For long I have been unconsciously striving to live somewhere where there is no winter but only sun, or at least no snow or cold as 0° Celsius or less. And now, starting in April 2015, the hot adventure begins. Hell yeah, I'm sure I'll be getting my beloved sun.

From that point on, I'll wear slippers every day, I'll walk around in shorts & t-shirts most of the time, I'll dive almost every day and that ...all year round.
I call it a blessing. 

And who knows I'll be whishing for winter some day again. Quite possible really. 

Will I enjoy this winter more than others because it will be my last one? I don't know yet, I'll keep you informed on that one, winter still has to take shape. I guess autumn is a good warmup, let me try to enjoy this first. 

In the mean time, keep it warm! :-) 






Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Get ready





Well here I am, with my decision made now for 99.999%, heh, you never know what can happen right. Realism is important. Even if it's only 0.001%.
I can now start concentrating towards the big move. The day of departure will be somewhere around April 2015, somewhere in that month or maybe just before April. Adventure calls harder than ever now. 

I can't wait to get started really, with this new life but during the time that I'll still be here, my time will be wellspent to settle everything and to save up the money I want to take on my journey.
At ease though, I have time. Things like work, extra work and going to the gym are things that I'll be doing constantly but there's other breaking things that will need my attention and they will be determining and the right step towards my new life. 

On my list and more or less in that order:

- 1 & 2 November 2014: 2 day course for my boatlicence
- 8/11: my birthday, 43 - finaly. -sigh-
- 15/11: boatlicence exam
- 22 november: sailing for the practical part of the licence
- putting my appartment up for rent
- selling my car
- working two jobs to get the money needed
- selling my furniture and other stuff
- choosing where I will do my DM and IDC (dive courses and instructor exams)
- arranging a party for my closests family and friends just a bit before I leave
- going to the gym to get in better shape (this already started again)

Hehe yes, it's all starting to roll in the right direction now, this weekend I will have 2 days of theoretical courses on saturday and sunday to learn how to sail a boat. I'll test my new knowledge on the exam that comes with it on the 15th November. After the exam, and on the 22nd I will have my practical testhours (6h total) to gain the experience needed in order to get the final licence sent to me after completion of these practical courses. This boatlicense will come in handy when I'll be in my new line of business. 

It's a good thing that I am doing these courses now, this way afterwards I can fully concentrate on the other practical stuff before moving abroad, beginning around 2015. It will be a good hassle for sure.

Putting my appartment for rent shouldn't be too much of a problem, hopefully it will get rented fast. This will generate a nice extra monthly income even if there's only half of the morgue left over. In 8 years it will be mine and I can benefit the full amount.

Selling my car, hopefully I get a good price for it, we'll see. But this is the major cash right here so getting a good price for it is important as hell. 

As I was offered a job at my last diving club from my vacation in Malta, I will surely consider this as soon as I get my response mail concerning the whole idea. I guess feeling good somewhere is a good plus, even if it's not directly in a paradise-like location like CuraƧao or Thailand. Malta is good enough to get started, it's a facinating island imho.

When following FaceBook and having some of my instructors in my friends list, I get thrilled by the locations they all go to work at. I can't wait to be working in those same estonnishing locations. Also I got told that languages are by far the most important thing in this business, which is totaly me, I do speak 6 and will learn others while I'm abroad, I'm sure. Russian or Japanese are high on my list. One of these 2 could open even more doors. 

It's funny how a dive vacation can change your life just because you notice that you could perfectly function in this new life due to the life-experience you have accumulated over the years. I love to teach people the things I like to do, I can be patient, I am very social, intersted, and I love diving, that much I 'm wanting to make it my job.
Even if this job will pay me less money than what I am used to. It's a choice really, it's not because of the money, not because of the diving, it's the whole concept all together that is attracting me so much.

Getting ready for the rest also means getting my head ready to leave, it will be a big step, for sure. Leaving my comfort zone, leaving my closest friends and family behind.  But when I think of the adventures that await me, it's all worth the decision. 

I'm not troubled by the idea of leaving my personal belongings behind, at all. 'Stuff' never meant much to me, and seen where I'm going and the life I want to lead, I can't carry it with me anyways. So yea, stuff don't mean much at this time. 

I'll be ready! 





Saturday, October 18, 2014

Follow me





Blogs are here for you to enjoy, read, learn, share and also to comment on where ever you feel like it. In this chapter I won't be talking about my plans, instead I want to explain the benefits of following and commenting the blogs you read.


"Where was this blog again from that guy who's changing his worlds, for a better life, worth living?"

I have been writing this blog for quite some time now, and I love it! Even if I see a lot of women writing blogs, less men are doing it as I investigated.

I like this and it will also be my way to keep in touch with the people who I have shared my life with for so long when I leave my home country. This way they can follow my adventures if they want.
I would like you to ask you readers to follow me in any kind of way after reading my blog, if you liked it ofcourse.

My blog can be followed with Google+, with Twitter, via e-mail subscription and above all with Bloglovin. For those who don't know Bloglovin, it's a gatherer for the blogs you are interested in and a blogwriter can claim his blogs here and mannage some related basic features.
Later on I may add Facebook and some others but this is where it starts with this blog.
You can find the follow buttons/links all around my blog.

If you follow me, with any of those listed above, you will get a notification when I post new chapters. Easier than just searching for the link that I once sent you. 
Preferably you should follow me in all the ways possible, that way you won't miss any new notifications. Or you just follow me with something you are very familiar with and that you use frequently.

"That's interesting, or...crap, I sure want to know more about this or share something that might enhance his posts." 

Feel free to give your opinions or to get in discussion with me. Share whatever comes to your mind really. Comment, and also like posts if you did, disklike when you didn't. This way, it may open conversations and allow for both the reader and the writer to get more out of the blog phenomena.

Thanks for reading.
Happy reading wished to all of you!
Happy writing to all the bloggers!