2017 in review

Processed with VSCO with au5 preset


Hope you’re doing well.

So 2017 has entered its final days, much faster than expected.

     I’ve been slacking on posting again, but I felt the need to write something about this time of year.
Especially for those of you who feel lonely or unhappy with the year that’s about to end.


Up until last Christmas, every year seemed worse than the one before for me. It felt like everyone I knew was living this amazing glamorous life and achieving their dreams, while I was left behind.
My lowest was definitely 2016, for many different reasons. Everything built up and I genuinely felt like I couldn’t handle one more thing going wrong in my life.

Feeling at a loss would be a total understatement. I was disappointed in myself and incredibly angry at the world and everyone in it.

I didn’t just dislike the holiday season; I resented it.
A cruel reminder of everything I didn’t have and hadn’t achieved, every year.

I had a good talk with my eldest brother, though, and made drastic changes that led me to be where I am today. Last Christmas –pun not intended- was one of the first Christmases in years I actually enjoyed. I spent that Christmas with my family in Sweden, where my sister was living at the time. I had a feeling then that my life was about to change, but I had no idea how or what was ahead. I was still so upset from that year, I couldn’t even imagine how that could change. I just figured anything would be better than how I was feeling then.
I made the decision to pack two suitcases and head to Athens to start modeling fulltime.

Nobody told me to or encouraged me to do it, I decided it on my own.

That’s where my 2017 adventure started.


I arrived in Athens in full-on winter. It was freezing cold, getting worse every day. Modeling-wise it was terrible; fifteen castings per day and absolute cr*p rates if you did book a job. Every model I met told me how horrible it was there and how badly they wanted to leave. Greece was also hit bad in the recession, which was painfully obvious while I was living there.
Still, it was the happiest I’d been in months. At least I was doing something different and getting away from everything for a while.

Athens was up and downs.
Lots of downs, many lessons.

I ended up in a relationship I shouldn’t have, I had major issues with my body and I learned about the ugly side of the fashion industry first-hand.
I went to Milan after, which was equally if not more terrible, and met up with a friend in Firenze who just so happened to be working there for a few days.
I don’t believe in chance, I think everything is meant to happen.


We had a good time, and it reminded me that I’m worth way more than my outer appearance; something I had forgotten in Greece.  I came very close to quitting before we met up, but I decided to give it another chance and went back to Athens for one more month.

Nobody really understood why I went back, but it was just a feeling I had. I had jobs lined up, plus I felt very dependent on the relationship I was in.
It was the safe choice.

When I returned, I knew within days that I had to leave. My time there was up and I felt it.

It was then I kept hearing about Malaysia, and how amazing it was to work there. After an intense argument with someone close to me at the time, I sat down and started looking for plane tickets in any direction.
I found a cheap deal and booked a one-way ticket to Kuala Lumpur, from Amsterdam.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

It did mean going back to the Netherlands, which I had been avoiding for four months. I had to, but only because I needed certain shots to get into Asia. That week back “home” was a lot of stress and hectic moving from one place to another. I didn’t have my place in Utrecht anymore, which had been my little safe spot in the Netherlands.
To give you some perspective; my grandmother told me to get a hotel instead of staying with her when I arrive at the airport.

Welcome back, right?

I was fine in the end, but it gave me that much more reason to leave.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Kuala Lumpur was an amazing breath of humid, fresh air.
I had booked for only seven days, with no backup plan.
No return ticket.

 I arrived at 11pm at night, threw my bags inside my tiny hotel room and went out to explore with the biggest smile on my face. I walked for three days around the city, taking it all in. I didn’t bother with modeling at first, I just wanted a total break from everything.
Everything lined up perfectly. I was signed with my first choice agency, found a super cheap room in the city and started working within ten days.

As if it was all happening how it was supposed to.
This is why I do believe in some sort of higher power; I couldn’t have planned this even if I wanted to.

In Malaysia I really felt at peace, despite the chaos and the crazy working conditions. I met genuinely lovely people who are still my friends today. I’ve seen the country, tasted the culture -literally- and I still get emotional when I think of going back.
Even though I stayed for way longer than intended, It still felt like too soon to leave. I cried the entire way back.

I headed west for my sisters birthday, and ended up in the Netherlands for almost three months. It was much longer than I planned, but it was necessary. I had been running away, and I had to face some realities I had been avoiding for months.

Just when I made things right and I could see the possibility of staying in the Netherlands; I got the official invitation for Cape Town.

Life is funny sometimes.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Last year in Gotheborg


So now I’m here. One year on, I’m by myself in Cape Town.
I’ve spent multiple holidays alone or at work in the past few years and I know how lonely it can feel; but this year I’m truly happy with everything I’ve achieved in the past twelve months.

I wanted to write about my year in review as a reminder to myself, and possibly an inspiration to someone else. If nothing had changed a year ago, I highly doubt I would be sitting here today.
Christmas and New Year’s Eve are always marketed as this huge thing and it makes you reflect on the year that’s about to end; which is not a bad thing.

Just know that if you are dissatisfied with how your 2017 turned out, you do have the control to make positive changes for yourself.
Yes, sh*t happens. To all of us. We don’t get handed the same cards in life and have to make do with what we have. Focus on what is available to you, and work with that first.

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Small decisions can lead to big changes, trust me on that. Try out something new, take that trip you’ve been meaning to or start taking random classes at the gym.
Break the unhealthy routines of your life.

I’ve spent this Christmas with people who were complete strangers to me a month ago, just like I’ll spend New Years, and I couldn’t be happier.

I hope that you are happy as well, and if not, that everything will turn around for you soon.

That’s the good thing about  new year; it’s a clean slate.


Best wishes and happy new year

Much love and cheers to a million more adventures,






Share this post if you enjoyed it!
Written by


  • Debbie Hieuw

    Respect Lizette,

    Het is je van harte gegund.
    Vanaf ik je ontmoette op de Catharijnesingel vermoedde ik dat je niet gelukkig was.

    Je intrigeerde me. Ik volgde ik je op Instagram. Je inspireert met je drive, (ik heb het je al eens gezegd)

    Blijf puur en lief (gevoelig) zoals je bent, en weet tegelijkertijd hoe krachtig je bent. Blijf dat gebruiken voor het positieve.

    Ik gun je al het goede

    • lizz

      Dankjewel Debbie 🙂

      Hopelijk gaat alles goed! Heel lief dat je de tijd hebt genomen om de post door te nemen en om te reageren. Fijn om zoiets aardigs te lezen.
      Beste wensen voor 2018!


  • Debbie Hieuw

    Ps mijn bericht hoeft niet zonodig op instagram:)