Hi! Awesome to see you want to know more about me.
I’m Nikita, a 26 year old from the Netherlands – born in 2018. I’ll explain later. When people in my hometown see me walking the streets I get a “OMG you’re home! Where to next?” I am kinda becoming the local travel expert, where people go to for tips and help, so I decided it was time to start a blog and share my experiences and tips with everyone.
I always had a thing for traveling, but until 2016, all I did were just one-week summer holidays in Turkey or Greece. I always wanted to explore more of the world than just Rhodes or Alanya, I just didn’t had the balls to do so. Going outside of Europe just was a big dream, and I kept saying to myself; “one day I’ll travel outside of Europe”. I always played it save, didn’t really had the guts to properly speak up for myself and was just doing whatever society expected me to do. I lived a pretty normal live like 95% of the people in the Netherlands do, until then.
I don’t like telling this part of my life’s story that’s coming up next, however, it made me who I am today and I want to inspire you -maybe in a weird way- with it.
Back in 2014, after constantly having a weird kind of stomach pain (Google and I thought it could be appendicitis) I decided it was time to visit a doctor. It turned out I had pre-stage cervical cancer. LUCKILY still not cancer, but just hearing the word cancer freaked me out. I had a minor surgery where they cut out 7 areas where the cells were abnormal and 3, long stressful months later, tests showed everything was back to normal again.
I remember thinking during that time; What if it comes back? What if I need chemo? What if.. I just didn’t trust my body anymore. And later on December 31st, it turned out my guts were right. I got the test results back from the annual check-up, and it was not good. This time it was dead serious, and I needed surgery. As you probably can imagine, I started my 2015 crying. It was the worst new years eve ever.
I saw my life flash before my eyes. Shit, no! Am I going to die? Will I ever be able to have children? Will I go bold? Life hit me super hard in the face at that time. If this was the end.. was I happy with the way I lived my life? Did I do all the things I wanted to do before I die? The answer was a HUGE no for me. No, I never had the balls to live the life of my dreams, and to do everything I wanted to do.
I was still traumatized from the pain I had last time (I had no sedation), but ‘luckily’ this was a bigger surgery and I had to go under full anesthesia. They removed a large part of my cervix, and I needed to stay in bed/couch for the 2 weeks after the surgery. After 1,5 week I got the best phone call I could ever get: the cutting edges were clean and they had removed everything!!
Now, it was time a for change! I always wanted to go to Russia with my dad, and visit as many new cultures and new, foreign countries as possible. I found an awesome organized tour to go to Russia by bus from The Netherlands. Yes that is a long drive. We visited a lot of places in Poland, the Baltic States, St. Petersburg, Finland and Sweden. It was the best time I ever had and; a new addiction was born. Until..
Halfway through 2016 it was time for another annual checkup. With everything that happened in 2015, I was still nervous and crying often. Really, why am I telling this? And that, together with a new test result that showed new abnormal cells, resulted in me having the worst breakdown you can imagine. I had a burn-out.
I didn’t leave the house anymore, I wasn’t able to do anything. Even doing a simple task like vacuuming was to too much for me. All I could do was cry, and feel extremely nervous. Day and night. I stopped going to work and was living in my own head. If I did try to go out, it resulted in me – 500 m from my house – crying in my car on the verge of a road. After 3 months I had another test, and it turned out it was a false alarm this time. Everything was fine.
Slowly I began to feel like myself again. Not the old me, a new me. Once again, life slapped me in the face. I still wasn’t living live to the fullest like I should have done. This time it was for real. Change.
I booked another (organized) tour to Sri Lanka. You could say this was a “test trip”. This country was on top of my bucketlist. Yes you hear me, bucketlist. At this moment of time, my bucketlist was born. However, I kept thinking.. hmm, why am I on an organized tour? I can do this myself! No I don’t want to visit this damn tourist trap with herbs that make you look like a supermodel when you eat it. I wanna go and do what I want! I can do this myself, I WILL do this myself next time!
November 2017 I announced my plan: I am going backpacking in Asia, solo! I booked a one-way ticket to Beijing, and told everyone of my friends the plan in person that very same day. However I didn’t get the happy cheering faces I was hoping for. The opposite. My parents hated me for it, really. And I received multiple angry, crying phone calls and visits from my mom, up til the day I left in March.
March of 2018 it was time.
The moral of my story, and hopeflully as some kind of motivation or inspiration is…
Uh, you said you are born in 2018? Yes, let me briefly explain this.