A step closer to happiness!

After the beautiful weeks with my parents I continued my journey to the southern parts of Albania. The weather turned from bad to worse the further I traveled south, which was not very strange as the winter season has started in this area. I concluded I was in need of a place to stay for a longer while until the weather would allow me to travel again. I decided to go to Sarandë and stay there in a hostel called Hasta la Vista.

Shortly after my arrival I caught the flu and was sick for a while. While I was recovering, I spend my time looking for an accomodation where I could stay for a longer time. I started looking for volunteering jobs in Greece for example on a farm or something in this area. In the meantime I got along very well with the host of the hostel Hasta La Vista, Albano. He told me that he was going to build a bar in the basement. The bar would be made out of recycled materials and resources such as: wood, metal, bottles, tires, pallets and more. You name it we probably used it! I got very enthusiastic (which happens pretty easily) and actually found a job and a place to stay at the hostel! We agreed that I could do voluntarily work on ‘the bar project’ and by doing so I could stay in the hostel free of charge.  

These opportunities, unexpected moments, and friendliness happen quite often on my journey. The nature of the adventure of DreamCycle has showed me adapting to the situation works the best. Although my thoughts keep questioning me about my planning, schedule and structure I’ve become more and more aware of the necessity to adapt and keep with the momentum of this travel. The gentle flow and ease of situations and opportunities that make me enjoy, understand and accept life more as it is. Moving along with the pace of the things around me does not allow me to move with a fast, structured and planned or fixed schedule. As my flu and the weather  forced me to slow my travels down , it actually made me enjoy and realize the fact that I am traveling. As I have no idea how I will feel in two days from now, I see no reason to plan ahead of two days from now as beautiful things occur and happen to me in the very moment and time that I am there. So instead of thinking ahead or actually hurrying to meet my schedule, which would actually make me unaware of these beautiful things that are happening around me, I take my time and enjoy all the things coming my way This creates a huge amount of freedom! The freedom to do whatever feels good and whatever makes me happy!

It sounds so easy but in our everyday life it isn’t easy to ‘go with the flow’. Because time is influenced by our work and our social environment of friends and family. Our decisions are made through rational thinking rather than our feelings and need to live life. We are calculating life by numbering, equalizing and dividing our if’s, dont’s and do’s. But life doesn’t work this way, because our calculations become useless every time when even the smallest thing occurs or changes.

Whilst I was traveling in South-America there were a lot of moments where I couldn’t make up my mind. Should I go left or right, stay or move on? My feelings were suppressed by my rational thinking and the many options I could choose from. So I learned to trick myself and find my true feelings for even the smallest issue. I would take a coin and give either side of the coin a direction, point of destination and so on. So for example ‘heads’ is going east and ‘tails’ is going south. I would flip the coin and when it would show ‘tails’ (going south), I would feel a bit of disappointment. This feeling of disappointment would show me what I really wanted, so in this example I would go east instead of south. This trick actually helped me making a lot of decisions based on feelings instead of rational thinking. Nowadays I don’t need the coin anymore and can easily decide what to do based on my feelings.


I believe that everything flows more naturally when you do what you really like and you can learn and trick yourself to find out what you really like! Doing so I am able to move my path from left to right, up and down, without feeling the need to proceed forwards in a straight line. But to actually move and flow along the pathway which allows me to meet people and experience new things. Following this path makes me experience new and good things, but also some negative and sad situations. Although I don’t really believe in bad situations, a bad situation can be perceived as another hard lesson which life shows you. It’s like a seed you can plant, it might grow as big as a tree someday. Starting tomorrow or within a month or a year it doesn’t matter it will grow eventually. So something what looks like a bad thing now can give you maybe a realisation and enlightening later.

I’m grateful for the lessons life has given me, even though some took a very long time to figure out. Nowadays I am still learning from some of these lessons that happened a while ago. By being able to have found out  the true meaning of these hard lessons they have made me appreciate life more. Leukemia was by far the toughest and biggest struggle I had to overcome. At the time I had no idea what happened to me, but my perception of life changed. It took me more than 17 years to realize that.


As a 12 year old boy all my dreams were shattered. From one day to another I was unable to do the things I loved. Unable to go out in public areas (because of risk o infection), go to school and play sports. Physically and mentally I lost all trust in myself. I do realize now that getting that trust back has everything to do with anxiety. The anxiety of the unknown, that voice in the back of my head saying: “what if”. This voice dragged me towards thinking rationally and held me back from the things I cherish and loved to do. To move physically and be moved in an emotional way again, travelling has helped me to accomplish and experience this once again. I do realize now that not only hope is stronger than fear, but faith also wipes away fear.

I wish everyone in the world the same feeling of happiness without fear. Especially those who are fighting for their life, fighting for their dreams in the Princess Máxima Centre (child cancer care centre).
Please DONATE and help them to live their dreams! 


  • Ppp

    Aanbevolen literatuur ” wie is toch die ander” van Thierry Verhelst.

    • Jitse

      Ah daar ga ik eens naar kijken dankjewel voor de tip!

  • Augusta

    Prachtig Jitse, wat weer een mooi verhaal over je reis en jouw ontwikkeling.

  • marianne boot

    wat fijn dat je al zover in je leven bent gekomen dat je je open stelt voor elke ervaring die op je weg komt.
    En dat je niet bang bent voor eventuele slechte ervaringen.
    Dank je wel dat ik jouw levensverhaal mag lezen.
    Ik wens je een goed, vreugdevol verblijf tijdens het bouwen van de bar.

    Hartelijke groeten,
    Marianne Boot

    • Jitse

      Hi Marianne, wat leuk dat je zo mee leeft! Dankjewel


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