Five years ago this time, I arrived in Ghana. Not knowing what life would bring me. I already knew for a while that I wanted to live abroad. I loved living in Belgium and I tried to make the best out of it. I lived in Brussels and I had a lovely job where I was coaching teachers & principals and giving training sessions. I loved working with school teams, trying to bring some change. In the late afternoon, I would come home, cook something and maybe hang out with some friends later in the streets.
We would go to a bar to drink something, or go to a concert. I attended certain events in the Brussels activist scene, where I was a speaker sometimes. I loved Brussels. From all the places in Belgium, it’s the place I have felt the most at home. The mix of all the different people, the different languages, the different cultural and ethnical backgrounds. It had more of a world city feeling than Antwerp, the city I grew up in. There was always something new to discover. Brussels was mysterious and adventurous to me, something my Sagittarius self likes so much! Eager to learn and discover!
I had already traveled to different places in the world. I had sensed what it did to my soul to be on the South side of the equator. I had felt how differently I experienced myself. How I was growing differently. More and more, I found my spiritual side again. I felt I wanted to grow more spiritually, but Belgium felt so spiritual blind. I felt the left side of my brain & the masculine energy within me had developed enough. It was time for my right side of the brain & feminine to flourish.
And so it came to be that I quit my job, stopped renting my apartment, threw away and gave away a lot of my stuff and packed my backpack. The bag that would be my home for more than three years, while living as a nomad. So it came to be that five years ago, on March 5th of 2017, I left Belgium and arrived in Ghana, the country of my father. The only plan I had was to follow my intuition and to see where life would take me.
My journey started in a small town in the Ashanti region where I was doing workaway. I was intrigued by traditional African spirituality, eager to learn more. At the same time so many people were Christian. So I found myself reading the Bible, trying to understand the Christian people in the area better. At the same time I paid visits to the local priest and medicine man, to learn more from them. In the mornings, I always went meditating and praying in the cacao forest. There I discovered that I was able to receive messages or ‘downloads’. I felt extremely connected to the Earth, I felt at peace, too.
At a certain point, I was volunteering at a Pan African conference at the Accra University, when a Brazilian friend reached out with the question if I wanted to work in Brazil. It was a beautiful opportunity to manage a local language school while I could live in a place I had lived before already. In Itacare, the place that had stolen my heart many years before. The place that had changed me. There was no hesitation! And there I went from Ghana to Brazil, on this new adventure.
It was stressful to be responsible for the school, to be ‘the principal’ of the school. But it was lovely to be so embedded in the community, to be able to do this work. Since it was a small community, I would meet the children and their parents or the teachers on the streets, outside of school hours.
It was the first time I was the one in charge of all the responsibilities. I loved being able to go the ocean, to wash my stress away. Walking barefoot on the beach, the sun kissing my skin, daily coconuts, capoeira three times a week. It felt so nourishing in so many ways. I went to parties a lot. Brazilian carnivals were fun too.
Little did I know that these would be my last days with alcohol, weed and a kind of recklessness. I went to a ‘Free universe-city’ in an eco village close to Itacare. I went there because they were offering aura reading courses and because I knew I was sensitive to receiving messages, I wanted to be schooled in it a little more. It was exactly what I needed! Before I lost my energy completely while tuning into someone else's energy, but I learned how to protect myself energetically while doing this.
The aura reading course was two intensive weeks with a lot of practice, self reflection and shadow work, too. A lot of tears, a lot of healing, a lot of community. In the community, they didn’t consume alcohol or weed or any other drugs and they were also vegan. I thought I would just follow those rules when I was in the community. But when I left there, I didn’t feel the urge to drink or smoke anymore, or even to eat cheese. So, since then, naturally I stopped consuming those things.
My time in Brazil was coming to an end because I promised a friend in Canada that I would help her in the first months after she delivered her third baby. So, there I went from Brazil to Canada. I remember my whole body becoming more tense when I arrived in the Canadian airport of Toronto, scared of experiencing a kind of targeting/racial profiling or unfriendliness from the people there. But it was a nice surprise to see so many people of different ethnical backgrounds. Everything went smoothly. I hopped on the next flight and before I knew it, I arrived in Calgary.
Going from Brazil to a town close to Calgary, I felt the difference. The streets were wide and big, even the shops and malls were big. So many people were driving cars, suddenly everyone was white. And there was a certain type of aliveness and sweet swifty dance that I wasn’t feeling.
I was nicely surprised by the friendliness of the Canadian people and I loved hanging out with my friend and her kids. We enjoyed summer together and even went to the Rocky Mountains! Sooo beautiful!
From there I went to visit another friend, close to Toronto. We had met in Brazil before and we did a cool road trip to Montreal. We camped in the Algonquin park, while I was reading one of the most beautiful books I have ever read: Life Stages of Native Women. We also did a hike where at a certain point we needed to run from a bear. My god! I think I never ran so hard in my life, my heart was almost beating out of my body ! The bear stories in Canada are really something else, but nature was beautiful there. In Montreal, I met with some other friends, enjoyed city life. Montreal felt so different from the rest of Canada. It gave me more of a European feeling again. From there, I took the train to New York. I remember the police at the border between Canada and America. Wow, I have experienced a lot of craziness but the way those policemen were treating people (yes, including me) was of a whole other level. Even though everything was okay with our documents, we were almost treated as if we were criminals. Well, was this my welcome to the United States of America?
Arriving in New York was a whole other experience again. The thing that struck me the most was the fact that so many things I had always seen in American movies were just real. So many scenes with the taxis, people running fast, the conversations, police putting people on the ground,... I saw it all in the two weeks I was there. Although people were very friendly, I didn’t feel so safe there, knowing so many people just could have guns in their bags. Suddenly all the movies I had seen felt way less original, haha!
While being in North America, sometimes there was this fear coming over me: what would I do next? Where would I go? How would I make money? It was a continuous lesson of trusting that everything would fall into its place. And it did! I applied for a job, had the job interview through Zoom and was hired. Before I knew it I was on route to Suriname.
Man, I actually just wanted to settle and stay somewhere, but life kept on giving me these different experiences in different countries. In a way, I was restless and searching. But I was enjoying the adventure and different situations I found myself in. Suriname brought everything to a whole other level and would change a lot in my life. The job I was doing there crushed my spirit. I tried to make the best out of it. But one thing is knowing that there are political games, the other thing is experiencing it. My idealistic self was confronted with the difficulty of really bringing change in the system, in the educational system. I spent a lot of days working behind the computer. I didn’t have any energy when I came home. I worked way more than was good for me.
I loved exploring beautiful Suriname and the nature paradises there. The only thing that truly gave me peace at the time was doing spiritual work in my house. I spent a lot of time at my altar full of cowry shells and started communicating more with my ancestors. In this time, I learned how to work with cowry shells. After living and working for a year in Suriname, I needed to recover… I took some time for myself to heal from all of it. And at the same time a little flame started burning again. I would never let myself do a job like this anymore! It was time to start working for myself. There were things I was already offering to people, like shiatsu, coaching and aura readings. So, I decided to take the big step, to take that jump, and to see what would happen !
In January 2020, I went to Burkina Faso with Malidoma. So much can be said about this journey but at the same time I don’t have the words. It was beautiful to experience that country and while a part of the country is dangerous and in war, I felt the biggest peace I have ever felt somewhere, there. It was beautiful to work with local diviners, to do rituals. And I felt more than ever ready to go to Ghana. This time, when I put foot in Ghana, I knew it would be to stay. I didn’t feel an urge to go somewhere else, or to explore a new place. It felt as if my soul had experienced the things it needed to experience for now. And was ready for this new chapter. I knew I wanted to stay in Ghana, but I didn’t know where. That was a very annoying time for me. It felt like I needed to wait until I knew where I would stay. And my ancestors weren’t giving any clue. So the only thing I could do was wait…. I stayed at a friend's place during the lockdown in early 2020, stayed a few months in Accra, and after a while, I found the place where I was meant to be!
All the signs were there, my ancestors were speaking and, as always, I followed my intuition. That’s how I ended up at the mountains in Kwahu, where I am living now.
I started in Ghana, did a journey around the world, and ended up back in Ghana. I left Belgium, and eventually moved to Ghana. My spirit feels at peace. The circle is round.