Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Creating the dream - first part

Hi there everyone, 

I'll just start my own way and I will try to put this in a nice coat in time, but this is where it all starts for me. Note that this is at the same time my first blog.

To start a blog you need an idea, a problem, a goal, or a dream, ...or just something that thrills your imagination...and start to write about it.
That's exactly what I 'll be doing here after I got inspired reading other people's blogs, generally concerning the matter 'life and what to make of it'

Well what I have in mind, is all of the above at the same time, even if at the moment it's really just a dream, but me starting to actually write this blog, means I'm about to get really serious about it. Serious about making the dream real! Yep, that's my intention allright!

I decided to share all this on the internet, because I'm sure it will help me and maybe others who are trying to change their own lives in a dramatic way.
Enjoy reading, feel free to comment where ever you like!

At first, I guess I 'll start by introducing myself for a bit. 

:-) Hi again, I am Fabian, I'm half Belgian, half Italian. Friends call me Fabe, in Italy they call me Fabio, and some people just call me Fab. I'm 42 years of age now, I am not married and I have no children.
I was born and raised in Belgium, flemish part of the country, in a city called Sint-Truiden at around 200km from the Northsea. 

For most of my worklife, for about 20 years, I was self employed in construction together with my uncle and my cousin. About 5 years ago, due to upcomming concurrence of foreign workers, we saw workfees and eventually our business collapse and I decided to get out of the construction business. I had to sell my house to cover the financial breakdown and debts I had accumulated over the last years.

Now 5 years later, I have a stable income again, I bought a small appartment, own a car and my life feels .... settled? 
To be more precise, I work in a contact(call)center on an interesting project for a belgian energy company. Allthough it's an interesting project, I don't know if this job is what I want for the rest of my life.

To be honest I am also fed up with my materialistic way of life, and I feel sucked in by the system, even more kind of trapped. This life is at the same time déjà vu all over again and I feel more and more like I need a real change.

A change away from this everything. A change that will also give me a completely new goal, hopefully making me realize a dream and giving me the opportunity towards a very different lifestyle.

The eventual goal of the dream is still far away but the road to it will be more than satisfying and life filling than ever before. If I don't make it, then so be it, but at least I will have tried.

OK well let me continue and let me first give you an idea of where this dream - in a way - got created.

Ever since I was little I got in touch with the ocean when me and my parents were on vacation. To be more exact every 2 years, we went to visit my family in Italy.
They all live in a city near the beach, at the Adriatic side of Italy, more or less on the same altitude as Rome is. During this 3-4 week vacation I got to spend loads of time at the beach and in the ocean, better yet, on a daily bases.
When I am 16 years of age I get to spend 2 months there and really living the wine-farmer life sleeping at my families house in the beloved 'campagna'.

I quickly embraced the much different way of life. Of course it was also work but being able to go to the beach at off-times or more specifically, every day in the afternoon, between morning and evening grape harvests, felt so liberating to me.
It would remain my best vacation ever for a very long time. To be more honest it was my best vacation ever till a month ago. I'll tell more about that further on.

From that point on, I'll carry Ortona, the ocean and the more relaxed way of life in my heart for the rest of my life.
To me, the sun and a beach are two of the most relaxing things possible. Yes indeed, it can also be a forest, or snowed in mountains but if I have to choose, ... I'll be choosing the beach side. I must say I now have found a third thing that is even more relaxing...you'll get the picture very soon as you read on. ;-)

There are several reasons for me to choose 'the beach' but one of them probably has to do with what I'll be explaining in what comes next. Hear me out.

I remember we went mussel hunting in Italy that time when I was 16. For me it was the first time I got hooked up to a regulator and put on fins and snorkeler goggles. To breath, I used the second regulator a scuba diver carries, the one he can hand out to people in need of air. Sensational it was! 

Besides collecting the mussels it was of course a blast to breath under water at 3-4 meters down in the ocean near a rock formation, collecting  as many nice clams as possible. Another great experience I carry with me for the rest of my life. Something out of normal for me, totaly unseen, but for my italian cousins, it was the most normal thing in the world...hehe.

(Sadly) I never got into scuba diving afterwards. Why? Probably because I had other hobbies in my home-country, Belgium, and the location I live in is not really ocean or dive friendly hehe.
Also I never thought about Sint-Truiden having a local swimming pool with diveclubs, which besides do exist after further recent investigation. In search of a new hobby after my 20 years construction rehab ... I finally end up in a dive club in my home town somewhere in 2013.

So there I am in september 2013, at our local swimming pool applying for a spot at the local dive club (CMAS). I get told I am allowed 3 hours of free initiating courses and that I can decide after those 3 hours if I want to become a member or not.
After the 3 sessions of an hour, ... I never returned because I felt it was really slow going and only for 1 hour/week and in the swimming pool. Also it would take me up to a full year to get a (single) CMAS star which doesn't allow you to go dive more independently any time soon.

Anyways with my life in the right direction now, and a fresh start of 2014, it was also time to go on vacation asap, so I started planning something. A friend of mine, who is a 10 year old Padi diver helps me a bit with my search for a good location, taking his diving memories into consideration.

After a few good tips from my friend, I started googlemapping, on my way down from Corsica, I pass by Sardenga into Italy overflying Sicily and making a stop. Zooming in on the south of Sicily I accidentally discover this tiny group of 3 Islands called Malta, Comino and Gozo. Hey hey, what do you know? So that is where Malta is....?!
Heh!, how convenient, and last year in Belgium I met a band from Malta I got introduced to by friends of mine. Would be a nice extra to get in touch with them and meet them in their home country right?

That's where I started looking for a cheap flight ticket direction Malta and the dream began to take shape, right here, well...right there!

More to read as this story comes to life...slowly but surely.