Hi I’m Evelien, 27 years old, blonde and completely clueless. I have a class job as a writer for the biggest newspaper in the country. I get to travel places, interview famous people and my name is always on a guest list somewhere. The life I lead looks incredibly glamourous. On paper. In reality I feel stuck, burnt out, thinking there’s got to be more to life than just … well, this. Call it quarter life, call it growing up, call it whatever. The thing is I have been around for 27 years and only now I feel like I can take matters in to my own hands and finally start living.
I have lived a life in different chapters. Not at all chronologically. By the time I was 19 I had found the love of my life. We ended up living together for over 7 years until I panicked and moved to a foreign city to live in an apartment I could hardly pay for to rethink my life and do some serious soul searching. I dove into adventures I had never thought of diving into. The girl who had never experienced the single life before, discovered things like Tinder, underground night clubs, morning after pills, a world of opportunities but also a world of mistakes, disappointments and heartbreak. To cope with some of those let downs I worked harder than ever. I was making promotion, writing big stories and started cashing in on my future. But a couple of months ago I hit a wall. I hardly had any time for myself, for my friends. And got an outlook on what the rest of my life would be. Sitting behind a desk writing stories. Day after day after day. Ending up an old maid. What if I want to choose a new direction? Is it too late? What if there is some other trade I could be really good at? What if there is a world out there where I could live and experience different things?
I knew I had to get out and quit my job. At least temporarily. Until I find out what it is that really drives me in life. I’m single, have no kids, no pets, no mortgage and I’m approaching thirty. If I want to make something out of my life, if I want to challenge and maybe reinvent myself, I have to do it now before I settle, squeeze out a bunch of kids and apply for a postnatal depression. But what else can I do besides write? If I’m not ‘Evelien from the newspaper’, who am I, besides a complete nobody? I guess you’ll never know until you try. All my life I have this urge to travel, see places, meet new people and cultures, to write books, tell stories, even move to different places but I have never in my life opened a travel guide. I have never taken my backpack to just leave on my own without being on the job or having a secretary take care of my hotel reservations. I even failed geography in high school. But I guess it’s time to discover it for myself. Just take the jump and see where my two feet bring me. Welcome to the backpackers guide for the blonde and the clueless, the most unpractical travel guide you will find. But it’s the inner journey that counts.