Happy 2022

17 January 2022. Den Bosch, Netherlands.
We have been living in an apartment in the southern Dutch town of den Bosch for six months. Miru is happy going to school here, while we keep writing. We wish our readers an inspired new year 2022 full of beautiful friendships and global collaboration.
It has been a long time since we last traveled: Google Maps sent me an overview of all the movements I made with a cell phone in my pocket. It is rather chilling to see how they know exactly where I have been and yet they can't figure out I don't need investment webinars or exclusive sample kits. Anyhow, we have stayed in the Netherlands except for one short excursion to Antwerpen involving a budget hotel (we really love hotel breakfasts).
We miss traveling. What I miss most about traveling is being soaked up in a strange city, stammering at a waiter in a foreign language, smiling faces, genuine interest in us as travelers. Short conversations in a coffee shop, friendly chatter in a local store. How different is this from the stern universe of large supermarkets and expensive Starbucks knock-offs where freelancers hunch diligently over their laptops, limiting communication to small-talk.
I am singing an old and worn song here. I guess what I don't like is a pattern of behavior we witness in wealthy developed societies. Most people tend to focus their energy inward on their own household: they invest a Saturday afternoon shopping for furniture rather than meeting the new people who moved in. They get in touch with their neighbours if their music is too loud or their car is blocking the way. They - you know what I'm trying to say. And I guess that behavior is universally human. Thing is, we just LOVE the spirit of hospitality, of sharing with strangers. This love has been strengthened by our travels.
We hope that travel becomes normal again (sustainable travel, preferably) and random encounters will one day no longer instill the fear of possible infection.

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