Choosing adventure over security: Suzanne's story of belonging


We're continuing our stories of Belonging series as told to Pop-Up Story Catcher Kirsten Fogg at this year's Big Day of Belonging. Suzanne is a Dutch traveller who chooses adventure over security.

I recently sold all my belongings in The Netherlands to travel to Australia. Again. So I don’t really have many belongings anymore except for my backpack and the clothes I’m travelling with. Today’s washday so this t-shirt and shorts were all I had left and they don’t even match.

 I’ve been in Australia before, five years ago, just after uni. When I came that time, I didn’t sell that much stuff because I knew I would go back after a year. This time, I don’t even have a time frame for going back. I don’t even know if I will go back. I want to figure out if I can find a job here and get a work visa. I don’t know if that works out or not. If not, then I’ll travel to Asia. Maybe then I’ll go home. I don’t know.

 Five years ago I really loved Australia when I was here. Now I want to figure out was that just something that happened then or would I really like Australia for a very long time?

 I don’t have a set plan and I don’t want to have a plan. I’ve been planning my life so much, I want to live without a plan for a while and see how that goes. It’s fun and a bit scary.

 I think it’s a great idea if you travel around with just your bag because you don’t need stuff to be happy. You should be happy seeing the sunrise, or listening to the sound of the waves of the ocean.

 A lot of people didn’t understand why I quit my job when I had a permanent contract, which is still rare with the economic crisis going on in Europe. For some people it would be a big thing for them, but it didn’t feel that way to me. I just resigned, put my signature on the paper and said, Yep, I don’t have a job anymore.

 Adventure was more important than security?

 Definitely! For now it is.

I’m here for five weeks now. I really want to live the dream and just live out of a backpack but I still find it hard because it was really cold and I really needed a jacket in Perth and Adelaide so I did buy the jacket but when I buy something I have another possession again.

I really don’t know what I want to do: do I want to stay here and get a job or do I want to live with my backpack and travel and see places? I guess I’ll know when I’m ready…. Apparently I’m still searching.

The only hard part about being away is missing family and friends. Wherever they are, that will be home for me. It’s not about place. I like The Netherlands. It brought me a lot of good things. I don’t want to say I’m proud to be Dutch but I really feel Dutch. There are so many other countries I like too.

 I feel a bit awkward talking about this in English because I really want to tell you so many things but I don’t have the words.

As told to Kirsten Fogg, Writer Out Of Residence & Pop Up Story Catcher



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