green green green

28 December 2017

after barren mongolia japan's shades of green were like a big slap on the face. seeing so much life impressed me so much. everywhere there was green - plants, trees, moss.. so beautiful and overwhelming..

a hand of love

17 October 2017

happy to have time to finally turn some ideas into reality. it's been a challenge but it feels so good to see ideas come to life.  

bayarlalaa or thank you in mongolian

our plans changed (like all plans do).

we ended up staying longer in russia then we had first thought. my friend dennis was sick and we needed to stay in one place so he could see a doctor. bad news.. but there is always the other side of the coin. we met the most lovely lady on the train and ended up staying with her in irkutsk for two and half weeks. she shared with us her house, her life and one of the most beautiful places, shamanka. we will be forever thankful.

and because we had already booked our flight to japan from mongolia, once we left russia we knew we only had two weeks to enjoy the country. first thing we did was to go on an 8 day adventure with a soviet 4x4 van through central Mongolia. what an adventure!

it was all that i expected and much more. we only saw a paved road on the first and the last day. and there isn't one dirt road either. there are dozens of tracks all over the place and sometimes none. the land is open and the path is free. 

the landscape was mesmerising. rolling hills everywhere you look. and the vastness and emptiness of it all...

we were happy to hike for two days, again with no path or track to follow (just the river so we wouldn't get lost). 

alone in the landscape. 

the ground was covered in bones. from sheep, horses, cows and who knows what else. there was also a lot of dung. all the traces of life and death beneath mongolian skies.

we stayed in yurts along the way. always in what felt to be the middle of nowhere. i had time to contemplate this nomadic lifestyle so connected to the life of the animals that roam this land. 

and on the seventh day we visited Erdene Zuu monastery, build from the ruins of Karakorum - the old capital of Mongolia. 

beautiful old buildings with mongolian landscape as backdrop. i was happy.

the inside, that we were not able to photograph, was stunning... covered in statues, murals, paintings, and also much work with textiles from embroidery to patchwork. what caught my attention and put my mind to work was the golden embroidery. i think it might appear in my work very soon ;)

a journey to remember.


12 October 2017

our trip to baikal was much shorter then expected..  but we still got to see and feel this lake that is more like a sea.

shamanka and autumn

we cross the bridge to the other side

where autumn lives.

it felt like magic. 

all of this was in shamanka, a siberian village we were so lucky to visit. we met it's people during  celebration of the village's 90 years of existence. their smile was warm, welcoming and curious.
we enjoyed a banya (russian sauna) that we prepared: water from the river and burning wood from the forest. we stayed in a wooden cabin straight out of a movie.. and in the last day we hiked to the hill above the village.. autumn was everywhere and the views were just jaw dropping..

shamanka, i will not forget you!

from europe to asia

14 September 2017

we have started our adventure!!

after some days in moscow we embarked on a 3,5 day journey into asia. the trans-siberian. our first stop: irkutsk, 5234 km away from the russian capital.

i must say

that mostly we saw trees

and more trees.

there were little colourful houses with cute vegetable gardens

and to my ignorant surprise there were huge cities with big buildings.

but mostly there were small little houses and trees... lots of trees!

meanwhile inside the train people slept

and ate instant potato puree.

outside, trees continued filling up the horizon...

we also stopped sometimes, babushkas sold dried fish, woollen goods and pastries (yummy!).

we saw the season change.. and autumn signs everywhere.

grass turned yellow and red and the sky turned blue.

and so was our journey from europe to asia on this big train.

much is left to tell. from our gourmet dinners cooked only with hot water, to the conversations with drunken russians (that had to happen, right?), to the warm generosity of strangers.

and just the passing of time looking outside, advancing on our route further into the unknown.

Man and the Sea

8 August 2017

how i missed the ocean.
the cold wavy atlantic of my youth. its overwhelming power. the infinite beauty of its horizon.
i am a sea creature and if i could i would be in water all the time.

ok. maybe i'm exaggerating a bit.. but give me a break. it's 4.25 a.m. and i'm waiting for my flight back to amsterdam.

meanwhile on my headphones...

28 July 2017

Sozinha caminhei no labirinto 
Aproximei meu rosto do silêncio e da treva 
Para buscar a luz dum dia limpo


Alone I walked in the maze
I approached my face from silence and darkness
To seek the light of a clean day

 sophia de mello breyner anderson

in search of the sea

27 July 2017

and walking we did until we found the sea...



14 June 2017

it's been 4 years in the making and for a long time it felt like it couldn't come any sooner. but now, months and weeks are flashing by and very soon we will embark on a big adventure.

coming september we will start a journey through asia. we begin in moscow where we'll take the train to mongolia, then china, after that japan, back to china into south east asia and so on..

we will be on a serious budget and we plan to work/volunteer most of the way. we're planning to stay mostly in the country side, helping with construction and growing food. ''we'' are me, my boyfriend djordje and our friends luana and dennis - so this is an adventure with four!
these last years there's been a mixture of emotions - from fear to extreme happiness and anticipation, but the closer it gets the calmer i get. planning the trip has helped me a lot with dealing with my anxiety. my future is uncertain, i've accepted it and lately i've been even rejoicing in it. 

it's strange to think i'll stop working on trincar uvas jewelry so i've been postponing the day i will close my shop to the very last minute. it's a bag of mixed feelings - on one side it's difficult to stop because i love doing it so much and it's been growing and reaching more and more people; on another side i look forward to liberating my creativity to other mediums and challenging myself in new ways. i also love the idea of learning new techniques along the way and having the time to explore them. of course i am bringing with me a box of supplies (mostly for embroidery) so i'll keep creating in some shape or form!

so for now one more month of working and then two months of saying goodbye to our families and friends. there will be so much to share!


3 June 2017

last week i went to poland with my good friend Nadia. it has been a trip we have been planning for a while now. i wanted to visit her country and get to know where she comes from. being an immigrant myself i know how often you miss that part of the life of your friends. you don't get to know their childhood friends, their family and their hometowns. and what a great thing to share with each other!

we visited warsawa guided by nadia and all her wonderful friends. i saw a city full of life (and lots of vegan restaurants!).
the photos i took are mostly from the old town (the last one is from the gardens of the university, which i loved!) but the real warsawa lies beyond the charming historical center in a dynamic mix of old and new buildings and different generations living side by side. wish i had stayed a bit more!

after warsawa we went to płock. a small town 100 km north of the capital, where Nadia grew up. i feel tempted to say that having lunch with her parents was the highlight of the whole trip. we couldn't really communicate except with smiles, but the warmth was just wonderful and difficult to put in words.

another day another destination. to kraków we went! 85% of warsawa buildings were destroyed during second world war, in kraków on the contrary much is still preserved. we wondered around the city to discover it's beautiful buildings and a very relaxed vibe. my camera's battery was dead most of the time so i couldn't capture the city in images.

it's been difficult starting to write again on this blog. especially when it comes to deeper feelings. and what comes next is just about that. 
one of the reasons we went to kraków for was because it lies one hour away from auschwitz and birkenau. we spent one day visiting both camps. it's quite difficult to put in words the feelings visiting such place provoked. 
i touched the walls, the wood, the floor of a place where more than 1 million people were murdered, starved and tortured with immense coldness and intent. on one side my heart felt numb and i couldn't relate to all the people that once lived and died here. but my head was awake and i thought of the present. of how many atrocities are still being committed. how we treat each other. how fear, ignorance and money command. can it be changed? has it ever changed?

and then i looked a bit further and watched the trees dancing in the wind. there they stood for centuries. and life continued.

i shall continue to live my life practicing empathy. and that remains the most powerful value i live by.