”You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
~ Steve Jobs
Is this really me?! starting my story with a “Connecting the dots” quote by Steve Jobs…?! Looking back on the last couple of months and even the last few years, it actually makes sense. Cycling, in my opinion is the best way to put everything in perspective, find new inspiration, recharge the battery and connect the dots from your past to take the right steps into the future. And obviously there is no better way to do this than cycling together with your dad through the Alps, all the way from Nice to Italy.
So here I am, sitting on the most beautiful terrace of Italy on Lago di Como. Thinking about the past week we spent cycling together. This week was different, unlike the “regular” cycling weeks in Life Cycle Stories. You could say the seasons changed. I started my journey in the spring, and like the spring everything was new and fresh. The green shoots, spring flowers, and a young, slightly naïve girl starting out on an big adventure. As summer came it became hotter, and more intense. Every day I ended drenched in sweat, and overwhelmed with new impressions. Meeting new people, stories, mountains, trying new foods, learning about myself; I was on fire!
Now Autumn has crept up, and I am ready to take all the information and ideas I have collected, keep the gems and shake off all the unnecessary leaves. Make choices, and be thankful for all the people who have helped me to grow during this journey. These strong roots will allow me to keep on growing into the person I really want to be.
As my own worst critic, it can be difficult to see when I truly shine. My dad – as all good dads can – gave me some new insights that helped me to look at myself in a new light. We talked a lot about what it is that I love, where I can add value and find a purpose. As he says; passion and purpose go hand in hand.
So, that’s where I am now; connecting the dots. Every day on this journey I’ve discovered something new about myself. Together we came to the conclusion that Life Cycle Stories is my own ‘Master in Life Science’. Learning by doing.
And this brings me to some advice that may be helpful for a lot of people my age who are struggling to find their true purpose in life. Look back at the projects you’ve been successful in and enjoyed. Then write down what part of your life story you feel passionate about. There you will find a clue to what your bigger purpose could be in the future.
Today, I have been cycling for 4 months, and these legs have cycled more then 6000km. A lot has changed, and not least the food along the route. Cycling from the Nordic to the Mediterranean cuisine taught me to understand the different lifestyles that exist in Europe. The Nordic kitchen revolves around whole grains, fruits, vegetables, eggs, oil, fish and dairy products. Super healthy and it’s not at all hard to adhere to a vegetarian or vegan diet; supermarkets offer a lot of variety.
In the Mediterranean kitchen vegetables, whole grains, garlic, olive oil and wine are the stars of the show. The ingredients are not dissimilar, but I found the way of preparing, eating and enjoying food is completely different. In the south, the sun and eating together are key; eating late and smaller portions due to the climate. And what I loved about the south, everyone takes their good old time to eat and enjoy food! Food along the Mediterranean coast is all about local knowledge and family secrets, and sharing these with guests. I was welcomed into so many homes, to eat, talk and exchange opinions, usually about food!
Since this week, I am finally cycling through the country I was most looking forward to; Italia. It won’t be easy, not least because of the language barrier. I am working hard on my Italian so hope to make myself understood in the small villages I pass through where no one speaks English…
There is also a lot to look forward to. I got invited to an Italian wedding! The dress code for me is a ‘cycling dress’ haha! I can’t wait to make cheese, limonicello and olive oil and I will be keeping my eyes and ears open for some tasty local secrets. My very good and oldest friend will join me for a week in Sardinia, she also just happens to be the most talented photographer I know, check her out – https://www.mklaauw.com . We will go in search of stories why this small island is 1 of the 7 spots in the world where people are the most happy, could this be related to the food…?!
Keep an eye on my blog and Facebook for updates, about 2000km to go before I head back north. But for now, I follow the sun;-)
Here is a recipe from my friends The Grape Hunters. Healthy, easy and of course we enjoyed it with plenty of 100% natural wine from their own vineyards.
Sweat potatoes, garlic, goat cheese and red pepper served with dorada, lemon zest and thyme
- Cut the sweet patatoes like french fries
- Put in the oven on 200 celcius with olive oil, peper, pepper salt and a lot of garlic! For like 30 minutes
- Finish with some goat cheese
For the Dorada
- Fill the Dorada with lemon, salt, thyme and sprinkle with olive oil
- In the oven on 175 degrees celcius for about 25 minutes (depends on the size ofcourse)
A very healthy, colourful and extremely taste full meal, prepared in about 10 minutes!
Grapehunters wine- http://grapehunters.com/ramses2/
Life Cycle Stories