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Milton: This year, I’ve traveled a lot, not just as a way of life but also for work. I had to travel to the US several times for film projects. It was refreshing to see my longtime hometown of New York as well as my family and friends living there. I got to know the neighborhood of Harlem more intimately, it being the subject of one of my film projects. Maybe it is because I’m getting older, but I’m not able to tolerate the noise of the big city anymore. To me is has gotten louder, busier, and more stressful.
Heleen: 7 weeks is the optimum time for me to stay in one place. It gives me enough time to explore and to experience local life without it becoming a routine or too familiar and thus boring. This year I learned that I can come back to the same place again and again, and still find new activities and delights to discover. Whether it is Rotterdam, Aljezur or Leipzig.
Milton: Germany has grown on me, specifically the city of Leipzig, where I made a visual poem with local author and poet, Ralph Grüneberger. Regrettably, my fluency in the German language is still not anything to brag about.
Heleen: I came to love Germany! This year I discovered Goethe and Schiller, saw fantastic German paintings, learned about the unique history of the Peaceful Revolution, met the German braveness to face their darkest times, and their fondness for heavy breakfasts.
Milton: I felt quite out of shape when filming this year. Luckily the physical work of shooting helped me to build strength again, but I was still exhausted each time I left NY. During the summer we stayed in Morocco for one month, where I caught a serious stomach virus. I had diarrhea for almost five days, losing every once of fat I had accumulated the previous years. Here in the Algarve, I continued building up my fitness with swimming, hiking, horse riding, walking dogs and eating healthy.
Heleen: for a long time I struggled with lower back pains. This year I experienced that sleeping on spring matrasses and doing steep walks up and down hills helped to minimize the stiffness. Horse riding made me realize that I need to work from my hips more often, and it taught me how to relax my hips and back. Swimming also helps me to get healthier and fit again. That feels good and it also improves my general energy levels.
Milton: I learned that nomadic living makes it difficult to schedule appointments with doctors and dentists. It is also not fun if you cannot be near family members in need as often as you would like to be. Still, it is a fulfilling way of life for me.
Heleen: living internationally and taxes are a horrible combination. Especially when your husband does not like dealing with taxes and numbers. Luckily for me, he is working on that. He can now even do calculations in Excel!
Milton: In the spring, I had a freak-out moment when I realized that I had not worked for over a year. Living a nomadic life has great perks, but finding work regularly isn’t easy. Luckily, the cinema heavens smiled kindly on me and it turned out to be a good work year.
Heleen: I like travel writing, I like editing texts even more, helping people to fulfill their dreams is my passion. That is what I learned work-wise this year.
Milton: The world is so big, but each time we stay in a new country or place for more than a few weeks, we’re making it our own. With the quick traveling we had done in the past, life became exhausting fast. But the slower pace at which we keep seeing and learning new places now, helps me to stay grounded, and excited about all the world has to offer.
Heleen: The Netherlands is where I was born and raised, but it is not my home anymore. It is the country that I feel the most comfortable in and where most of my family and friends live, but it is not the place where I would like to live full time. Actually, I don’t think I can live anywhere full time any more. I love our nomadic life too much for now.