21st century nomads
7 years ago I visited the Artemis temple in Jerash, Jordan and I felt I was traveling to a different plane of awareness. A magical seed had been planted in my heart and it took me a year to realize the next phase of my life would be in Jordan. As if to stress the importance, one night at an electro party in Amsterdam I was transported to the desert....for a few seconds maybe I suddenly was not in a dark, music & people filled space but I was in the desert. It was light & quiet, I could feel the sun on my skin and when I looked down I saw & felt my bare feet in the sand. That was the moment I knew I was heading to the desert. So I packed my paint brushes and horse boots, left Amsterdam Advertising world behind and moved to Petra for a sabbatical in Bedouin horse world. I started painting, fell in love with my horse Gamar and started training for the local endurance race.
Then horse power took over: a stallion opened his stable door, then opened Gamar's stable door, got her pregnant and I knew....I am not leaving this place anytime soon. I painted, meditated, trained my horse, practised yoga, started a weaving project and learned my household arabic on the street & with the weaving women. Now, 7 years later things are working, more stable and providing me with a modest income. But above all, it gives me the privilige to meet international travelers while sharing stories, yoga, horses & local Bedouin experiences. Before I worked in advertising, enjoying the diversity of personalities it involves in creating something together, now with this cultural difference and in this magical desert setting this diversity is stretched to extremes and I love the challenges, fun, stories and inspiration it brings. I have met a Westpoint guy who taught me self defense and opened the path to realizing my independent business. I met a gallery owner in Amman who bought a painting when I was on my last 50 JOD and offered me space for an exhibition. I met a beautiful artist & architect who's heart would hold you in the biggest desert storms and a few months ago I met with 2 cool women from Argentina who felt like long lost soul sisters. What these modern day nomads have in common is big hearts, big dreams and lots of passion to share with the world.
So when you think you pretty much saw it all, you get a phone call from your friend saying she has some friends coming to visit Jordan and she likes them to meet me: family von Zapp as I freely interpretred their name: Herman & Cande traveling with their 4 kids around the world in their 1920 Graem Classic. Magicians sparking everybodies dream on their world journey. They just had crossed Africa and heading for some sweet mint tea with me in Petra, well, why not! They arrival at my friends home felt like familiar and surreal at the same time. Warmhearted, open and full of energy welcome like we were long lost friends. And with their car in which it seemed one would travel in time, it was as if they had been traveling centuries just to come and see us...:).
Within minutes they were settled, kids running around and Jolanda and I preparing the sitting for dinner. The days after felt like an amazing whirlwind of happy action. Big family dinners, exploring Petra, camping with their time machine in Little Petra, local kids playing with theirs, Yoga photoshoot, talking art and how it sustained their journey. Herman - an Argentinian gaucho - riding Nour, taking the back road into Petra. My work, their presence it all flowed seemlessly together. For being mostly by myself this was such a warm & beautiful experience.
And in essence we are alike: nomads with a dream to follow passion at full liberty, no concessions on our dream, being creative in finding solutions, struggling and flying high and increasing that flame of passion by sharing with all kinds of people around the world.
With big hugs and a promise I would visit them in Argentina to ride their horses in Patagonia we said goodbye...till we meet again. Which was actually sooner than expected. They were still in Amman when I had to travel north and we met for some Mate, more fun & hugs. Herman, Cande & kids, thank you for your visit, it was unforgettable. Love you.