When I was little

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When I was little I only wanted a bike. Every year again. Everything which went along with my bike I wanted. New wheels, new whistles, new flags, new bags, drinking bottle etc. I wanted to explore, I couldn’t care less if it was only 1 mile or 10 miles from my house. I wanted and needed to be on an adventure.
And now I’m writing my blog while lying in my hammock somewhere in the jungle. The birds are singing around me and below me a troop of ants are passing by. The sunlights are shining on my face.
This feeling I am experiencing now is breathtaking. I went on this new adventure to explore the world but more importantly to explore myself. Who am I, what am I doing here and actually does it all really matter. When you are on your own in this beautiful environment you are starting to think.
The moment I will upload this post I will be back in a hotel, with AC, WiFi, hot shower etc. It will almost feel like a bubble. When I was little I wanted to take cold baths, cold showers, I wanted to train myself to discomfort and wanted to accept that. I wanted to brace myself for moments when luxury was not around me, or to not take it for granted.
When I was little my goal was to go on an adventure.

Opening the doors

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I remember what for me was my real first adventure. I was 14 and I had the chance to visit my grandma who lived all the way south. The first thing that came to my mind was a Greyhound. I would really be sitting in a Greyhound bus, all by myself.

My parents debated for a long time whether or not I could go on my own, but having two parents working almost everyday and having a grandmother really wanting to see her only child gives little options. The day came when my father told my mother that it was ok and he had enough faith in me to be careful.

And he was right. The moment I waved my dad and mom goodbye an entire new world opened up for me. It was like opening the doors to a new life.

The new John was born, John the Adventurer. Or the name Johnny Quest which I was using back then. It sounds all way cooler then it really was. It was a lot of waiting, transits and eating by myself while being told how cute I was.

But still the moment of seeing my grandmothers house, looking back over my shoulders and seeing the long road which I did all by myself tasted for more. More adventure. More thrill seeking and more Me.

The good old Greyhound buses, I wish we still had them around the way they were built.

Around the world

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I have lived and worked in may countries, for example Japan. This country is crazy in the 90’s when I was there. Living there as an expat is probably very different than these days. I want to let you know that living and working abroad is important for your development. It’s also the point that you will become serious, in case you were a goofy kid like me.

With serious I mean that you cannot play around any longer and have to take responsibility. I used to work for an expat company, they give me limited choices in for example choosing the insurance company, housing etc. Now I’m on my own I noticed time-consuming finding an expat health insurance which fits your ever changing needs. Especially when you are living in Japan this is very important to do as everything there is different than what you are used to.

I was in Japan from 1992 – 1997, 5 years I saw the rise of what they now call the low-rider era. And it was great!

First love

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Unfortunately it’s a cliché but it’s true. My first love with the country was because of an Asian girl. To make it even more cliché, here name was Kim.

Like all those first loves, also this one ended but my love for Asia stayed. I traveled with her to a couple Asian countries and I wanted more. Explore more of Asia. See more about the culture which is so rich and full of wonderful people.

My first real adventure was to Vietnam, Hanoi to be exact. Because of my background I know a fair share of the Vietnam war, adding the dozens of movies and video games to this, the country became very interesting.

I wanted to explore how the people are living now, is it poor or wealthy, is the majority happy and so on.

And Vietnam it was. I was again at the same place where I was when I was fourteen years old, waiving goodbye to my mother and father and taking the first steps into a new terrain.