Day 131 – Eat, Pray, Love. For Real.


I’m not a political writer, and I usually stay away from writing opinionated pieces – some rare exceptions to be found on these very pages.

I read the news, but only to be updated on worldly events. Although I’m an empathic person, I try to keep my mind calm, my heart open. Although the news is – more often than not – saddening and horrific, I try to not to get sucked into a negative spiral.

But then Paris got attacked and there I was, having a hard time ripping my eyes from the screen, craving every bit of information, my head loaded with a million of questions – how? Who? What? Why?

Luring from behind the corner of my loving, forgiving, spiritual being is man & love’s worst enemy: crippling fear.

Don’t get me wrong: I booked a flight to LA without hesitating. I step on the Subway without thinking twice. I typically avoid Times Square because, you know… tourists – but when there’s no other option than crossing it, I will do so with my head held freaking high.

What I do fear most is people’s reactions. The Facebook posts fueling hatred and anxiety. The articles emphasizing on Islam as a whole and not on extremism as a smaller part. The boasting words, the raised fists, the promises for revenge – and then, very contrary – the shutting down, the paranoia, the inflicted panic attacks.

I have come to realize that there’s a very thin line between loving Paris, and turning against a group of people who have nothing to do with any of this.

The true danger is not in a – let’s be real here – very small group of people who is on a mission to divide the world and spread terror as easily as if it were dust carried on the wind. The true danger, my friends, is that we forget who we are, forget our humanity and what it stands for and forget that it is equally easy to spread love.

If there was ever any moment in time to stand up and be brave: it has come. Brave to love ourselves and others. Brave to not bow our heads for fear. Brave to continue living, shopping, dancing and laughing. Brave to go out. Brave to travel. Brave to look beyond color and religion and see a person, not a threat. Brave to be joyous and kind. Brave to stand up against the bullies of the world, goddamit! Brave to believe in liberté, égalité and fraternité. Brave to absolutely, fiercely believe in Love. Capital letter and everything.

Agreed, there’s plenty to be scared of, but this more to live for. Find your…


Day 130 – The Sum of All The Little Things.


When I was little and the currency in Belgium was still the Belgian Frank, and 1 Belgian frank is the equivalent of about 3 dollar cents – my parents used to say that many of those coins, would once make a million.

I’m still trying to add all the little things up, but I started realizing how true a statement that actually is: you can long for the big thing, but it won’t come until all the little things have been added up.

You can try to see the bigger picture, but you can’t expand your vision if you’re looking over the…

photo 2-4

That is my wise lesson, with 205 more days to go.

Day 128 – Milestone.


Today marks the 7th anniversary of the very first time I set foot on New York soil. That day, in those first hours strolling from the Upper East Side to Times Square, I knew this city would be my home. Heck, I know this city was my home. I had never been more certain of anything, I had never felt such intense sense of belonging.

It would a little over three years to see that dream’s fulfillment. There was nothing I could do – America isn’t the easiest country to move to – but hold on to a dream that many people thought was just a fantasy.

I struggled through those years, I must admit. I had lost a lot and then I lost some more. Opinions and events trying to convince me to let go, to give up, to just be happy where I was. Not that I wasn’t happy, but I sure as hell couldn’t let go, nor give up.

This day reminds me of how possible the impossible is. The experience thought me all about patience and persistence, and there’s not a more difficult balancing exercise ever. But above all, it thought me about the strength of…


… and that, today, is something that I wish upon the world and all good souls in it.