Of Finding a New Home

You know what they say about how love can move mountains? Well, I guess its more than just mountains, as I found myself sitting in an almost 30 hour plane ride heading north.

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A few months back, I finally moved to Tromsø, to be physically connected with my then fiance, now called husband. It was a long journey finding home and I’m just glad I made it.

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Tromsø is a city located in the northernmost part of Norway. It is considered to be the Paris of the North because of how people are surprisingly fashionably conscious here, as per told by the southerners visiting back in the days.

Tromsø houses the northernmost university of Scandinavia which constitutes greatly to the city’s growing population. It’s not only the population that is growing here though, as landscapes and natural attractions are huge here too. Talk about lakes, forests, mountains and fjords; name it, Tromsø has it. It is certainly a haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers. It is as well; not to mention, one of the perfect places to see the amazing Northern Lights. It is by far the most beautiful phenomenon I have ever encountered and I graciously thank God for it.

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Tromsø is geographically located in the Arctic Circle which only means that the weather condition here is extreme. We have the round the clock sun in the summer to which we call the midnight sun and there is this thing called the polar nights, wherein we only get to see a glimpse of light a few hours a day.

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So, Yes!! This is where I found my new home. Well, home is basically where the heart is, of which I have a number of places to call home BUT, this here is my new physical home.

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Why choosing to be in a LDR is such a BIG RISK but satisfying one?

“Why love someone from afar when you can even have anyone nearby?”

This is the usual question you get out of people who doesn’t understand or never been in a Long Distance Relationship. This is something acceptable to hear too since, really WHY?

Back when I was a kid, I’ve always known my preference… white guy with a blue eyes and definitely, that is not something you’ll normally see in a tropical country like Philippines. Growing up, I had a few flings with Filipino guys but my old time preference still existed until I meet a guy online and decided to be in a relationship. We met and got a long well but that was me being young and free spirited thus the  relationship didn’t work. Back then, I’ve already known how difficult it was to be in such situation and have started to question my preference in life. But I was open to friendship with the whities…atleast!

Then, the opportunity to travel in Europe came. I was 23 then; young, innocent, curious but anxious about whats going to happen in a foreign country. I made a lot of friends with the people, shared a few drinks here and there and solicited a lot of stories about love and life. As I’ve always said, living in Europe was one of the most adventurous trip of my life; not to mention life changing. It made me know who I am as person, as a woman, a friend and a lover. I sure had made a lot crazy stories to share. I fell in love, felt out of love, got my heart broken and learned to love again. Such a whirlwind adventure, that was.

Staying from one country to another and the idea of eventually leaving someone behind got me asking myself: Why be in a relationship? It wouldn’t be worth it anyway. Tears would fall, hatred would develop and a lot of negative things would only happen if I push into a relationship not knowing where it would go afterwards.

I was then so certain that I didn’t want to be in a long distance relationship anymore. But then, I met this man whom I got the chance to call mine.

His heart was pure. His intentions were real. His life goals fitted to mine. He was almost the perfect kind of person I wanted to be with. But there was something, He lived far away from me. Despite having the great distance in between, he proved me that a long distance relationship could be worth it… and why would I say that?

Because loving him made me patient to wait for the right time, to even make time for what is important and to value the person before it gets too late. His love made me feel like that of a princess, his respect for me and my culture and values showed impeccable deal to who I was in his life. His patience to me was beyond stars could reach and how we chose to be together despite of time difference and million miles in between could make the Goddess of Love be proud of.

Sure, there is a BIG risk to being in a Long Distance Relationship. What if the other person cheats? What if the other person is not serious? What if he/she’s just playing games? WHAT IFs would always come to mind every now and then. But the answer to what ifs would determine how well do you know your partner and how well do you trust him/her to take full control in the situation. What if there is no goal in the LDR? How will it end? My dear, a Long Distance Relationship will never succeed without goal. Both parties need to make a deal to be physically together at one point of life to answer a lot of different questions AND if you have none, then, don’t bother to be in one.

…and Why do I say it is satisfying?

Because I still got to enjoy myself and learn more about myself while being in a relationship. Being in a LDR has its ups and downs and even if people say, its mostly downs, I’d say there are few good factors about it too. One example is me being both introvert and extrovert. There are days of my life that I would enjoy being alone and doing things on my own. I love it when those days come to play in my life and because I’m on a LDR, I get to enjoy it more than the usual. I do a lot of things while my partner is still sleeping on the other side of the world, or when I get to enjoy the company of friends while he is there working/studying. We both enjoy our own world and yet having the assurance that there is someone out there waiting for us. My partner would not agree to this example though, but WTH! haha 

…and since we are in this type of situation, the joys and thrills of meeting each other again give us that euphoric feeling. We always have something to look forward to in our everyday undertakings.. AND we count days, weeks,months until we get to kiss each other again.

I’d like to say that loving while being in a Long Distance Relationship gives you more courage than that of a normal one. Everything is intense in LDR. You exert more effort in loving, in showing you care, in proving that you’re honest and sincere and effort makes a great deal in this situation. Communication is a big factor, as well. I don’t think there is ever a successful Long Distance Relationship without being a good communicator. This though, is a challenge that I’m still trying to overcome. I’m not a big talker myself and somehow that frustrates my partner. He does most of the talking and I do most of the listening and God knows I’ve been working mad on that department now. Ever found the same situation like me? Better try to talk to your partner or show him/her in a different manner.

Loving, for me, is choosing your partner everyday of your life. The moment I decided to be in a Long Distance Relationship is the same moment I chose to love him, honor him, and trust him to do the same until we come to another level of our lives.

 

 

Of finding LOVE 

Love, one of the many things that interests me. I love LOVE. I love that feeling of having a crush. It just gives me tingling  emotions once that person talks to me or interacts with me. I love having someone as an inspiration, even if that person doesnt really know about it. I love thinking about random ideas with someone, even crazy ones. 

I remember back in grade school,  I used to read novels such as Stephanie and/or St. Valley High. Those were the kinds that tackle about highschool life and puppy love. Ohhh Young love, how beautiful you could be!❤️ 

Moving on to my high school  years, I learned to love the works of Nicholas Sparks; A Walk to Remember, the Notebook, Message in a Bottle, etc. Name it, I’ve read it. I was such a big fan of his works and Ive always imagined myself into one of the characters. But really? Who wouldn’t want to have a happily ever after? No one, right? 

And then I started living…of which means sacrifcing, understading, and even hurting also came to terms. But I never stopped loving and never stopped believing that love is love and it has its own magic nobody ever knows.

In my 27 years of existence, I sure have my fairshare of  favorite love stories. One best example is this, 
He was a gamer, somebody whose face is always infront of a computer, talking gebberish to friends who do the same. 

She was complex. She had alot on her plate. One day she does this, the next day she won’t. 

They were miles apart. Distance and time separated them. Continents blocked them. Circumstances challenged them. But LOVE nurtured them. 

They talked for hours, never minding the gap in between. They shared stories of the past and dreams of the future. They talked nonsense too. They believe there were something and then there was not. They were closed to meeting and finally saying “hi” to each other. But she had shaking knees and he had a disappointed heart. They were gone, literally separated from the world they used to start building. It was when time and distance were a bit helpful and one continent opened up its doors, yet circumstances still never allowed them. It was when they thought things could be easier but turned out to be the opposite. There were walls, physical and emotionl gaps between two hearts. There were aggressive minds and sober feelings. There were nothing but ending to yet what they ought was a beautiful beginning. Six years to an end….but NOT really.

Love moves in mysterious ways, as a song goes. Everything that came to an end was actually a start of a beautiful beginning. Her knees weren’t shaking anymore. His heart was already welcoming. 

It was winter when she came. Everything was white except a blue guy on a coat and a trembling red heart of hers…and there it was, finally giving answers to those two minds wondering and two hearts longing. Although as pretty as a winters night with snow flakes flowing, things weren’t easy going on. Snow storm came, like that of the time when they had to be separated again. 

Six years..and while they were enjoying and starting a new chapter of their lives together, they have yet to go back on that first year of their lives; when time and distance were a struggle, continents were a hindrance but circumstances became an inspiration to work on a progressive beginning. 


This is a personal favorite despite not having a climax nor an ending. But like those happily ever after stories ever read and watched, I hope this certain story has its phenomenal ending too, like every person hopes for. 

Mijn Lieve Amsterdam 

Life is as beautiful as you sees it to be and as for me, it has never been amazing. 

I’ve spent the last three years of my life; conquering countries, learning languages, understanding cultures, comparing personalities and exploring old beautiful cities in Europe. Thanks to being an au pair. I got to experience all these and more with easy access and limited budget. 

One of the cities I’ve been to is AMSTERDAM.  I haven’t really lived in Amsterdam and I wish I did however, I have spent good quality times exploring and loving this city with the help of my good friends.

Amsterdam is commonly known as the Venice of the North because of its numbered and beautiful canals. I’ve walked around this city for hours and it seemed like canals are really just everywhere. Big,old cobbled buildings are also very prominent and I guess, this is what first drawn me to keep coming back to Amsterdam. (Aside from spending time with friends, OFC) Its structure and architecture just stunned the heck of me. Walking around the city is already a delight to me. I also loved the fact that Amsterdam is a bike city. You’d see bikes everywhere, even on secluded areas. Teens going to school,  adults going to work, tourists exploring and even parents bringing their kids to kindergartens are on bikes. Sure, biking has been a way of life in this city. Aside from this, Amsterdam is also the home to legal prostitution and that addicting green thing called cannabis. I remember the first time I went to the Red Light District, it shocked the hell out of me seeing women of different age groups standing on a glass covered room with only bikinis on. AND mind you when you go to coffee shops because these coffee shops are designed for those who want to be HIGH in the form of coffee and cakes. If you want the legit types though,  rather go to cafes. People say that tourists come to Amsterdam to taste mjs and that could be true since I’ve met a few who were just crazy about their stay.

 As for me, I keep coming back to Amsterdam mainly because of my friends living there. But of course, I got a lot of other reasons why I love being there. Another reason is that, dutch people are one if not the friendliest nationalities I came across in Europe. Dutchies give a smile to you even on the streets, they greet you well in the restaurants or shopping centers, entertain you in the pubs, and even share a chitchat on the trains. Now, that’s one of a trait. 

In the streets of Amsterdam, fries stalls are evitable. Friet special is a personal favorite. It is made of fries, freshly sliced onions and curry sauce and I believe, thats  a must try when in Amsterdam. Crockets and other delicacies are easily available along as well. 

Architecture – check, People – check, Food – check, now whats next? Ambience.

 Generally, I feel that the city of Amsterdam is love.  Every component of this daring city harmonizes each other in such a pretty way. I love how people interact with each other and how they bring about their culture to the world in such a way that you remember it too well. 

Amsterdam has sure alot to offer; from the Red Light District, to musuems and architectures,  up until to large green parks with dikes and windmills and alot more. Truly, something worth loving and appreciating by the World. 

Mijn Lieve Amsterdam, 

Ik hou erg van je. Ik vind het altijd leuk als ik daar bent. Als ik in Europe kan nog komen, ik wil natuurlijk naar jou gaan en misschien heel even blijven. 


Veel Liefst,

Brie❤️

Memories of that 3 year life in the West

To travel is to live, isn’t it? At least, that’s what my friend HC Andersen shared to me. Some 3 years ago, I left my place and moved to a different country with barely a few facts waiting for me to unfold.
First of all, I was an au pair and the only certain thing I was sure of was that I’m going to live with a particular family, take care of cute little girls and do some chores, and learn the country’s language. What came next was the history of my European life.
So, I left everything behind and travelled some 18hours flight down to the city of sin called Amsterdam. Apparently, John Green was right; Amsterdam is a city of freedom and in freedom we tend to make a sin.
The moment I step foot, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t ready to face a new life but ready or not, I knew I had too. This was a different life, for sure. So much different from what I used to and had nothing else to do but take up the challenge. It was after all, a decision I made on my own; disregarding the advices from my own family.
Luckily, I adopted very well. I lived with a beautiful family in a small village some 3 hours away from Amsterdam. I could say, I was culture shocked but who wouldn’t, anyway? Here I was, living in the countryside away from the lights and glamour of city life, doing definitely new things on an everyday basis. Something I no longer used to after living in Cebu city for almost 10 years. My weekdays were patterned and weekends were almost spent with long hours on skype or movies and such. Not to sound it boring, but that’s how it started.
Later on, I learned to travel and explore. First stop? Amsterdam! And damn, how I loved this city so much. The people, the sceneries, the ambience, it was everything I wanted to be in. For some moments, I wouldn’t want to go home to my host family and would have rather stayed there. But that’s not how life goes.
In my stay in the Netherlands, I’ve travelled to different cities and countries in Europe. I visited my cousin’s place in Antwerpen, Belgium, travelled with the host family in Dusseldorf, Duisburg and other border cities in Germany, even went to a summer holiday in Norway to visit some family members and spent a good getaway to Milan and Venice in Italy with my dear cozie. Such was a life of an au pair; patterned weekdays and exciting weekends.
Money talks don’t involve much. Being an au pair, I got to experience a lot of frees even if living in a foreign country. Free lodge and boarding, free fries and beers, (haha) free language school and some free weekend getaways sponsored by the host. I spent my money on clothes fitted for each season; but most of it was spent on a weekend travel to Amsterdam to meet friends (and party, Oooppps!).
Time flew fast and the next thing I know was for me to leave. One year has passed and while I was enjoying my stay, I needed to make another decision of my life, of which was to move forward to another European country. Denmark, that was!
The au pair journey continued to the Venice of Scandinavia – Copenhagen. Sure, it was indeed beautiful.
I was able to live in an upscale part of the region where beaches are nearby, a forest on the side, and parks and castles are everywhere AND the city is just a bus ride away (even a bike away, if you dare to in the cold). To me, it was a perfect location. I could easily turn from a party girl in the city and timid babe in the beach in just a snap of a finger.
But contrary to my love for the Dutchies, I didn’t fall in love with the Danes. Their personalities didn’t fit to mine. While Amsterdam felt home to me, Copenhagen became the opposite. I can’t quite explain the difference, but to me, because I got used to the brutal honesty yet sweet smiles of the Dutchies, I didn’t know how to react of the blandly gesture of the Danes. But, hey! I survived the 2 year stay.
Danish language is interesting. You don’t need to read every letter in a word and like other languages; one word could mean two different things. I sure have enjoyed my stay in Denmark. I appreciated a lot about life, love and arts. Danish people sure know who to live their lives, artistically.
While staying there, I continued my quest to explore other cities. Such as the German capital – Berlin, Barcelona in Spain, even got lost in the neighbouring city of Malmo in Sweden, went back and forth in Amsterdam to meet dear friends, and went up north of Norway – Tromso to catch a glimpse of the beautiful northern lights. Unluckily, I wasn’t able to catch it which makes it a reason for me to come back one day!
Had I gotten the chance to move forward to another Scandinavian city after the 2 year stay in Denmark? YES! I did and could have lived another 2 year stay in Oslo, Norway. But au pair-ing was enough for me. I have found enough reasons to leave Europe and come home to a loving family and sweet friends.
So here I am, trying to live a life back in Cebu while missing everyday my European life! But no regrets, just LOVE.