My dream

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Since I’ve moved to Athens temporarily, I’ve gotten a lot of worried looks and concerned messages from people questioning my decision. Dropping out of school a year before I’d graduate, seemingly out of nowhere, and moving to a country I’ve never even been to before does seem pretty erratic.
I understand the concern, but I have my reasons for doing it.

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I’ve mentioned it a bunch of times, but becoming a doctor was my dream for years.
When I quit med school, I was at a loss. I just went with a degree I knew I would be able to complete without too much effort. It didn’t excite me or challenge me. I no longer had a dream to work on, which made me extremely unmotivated to do my best in school. I did have a job that I was good at, which became my priority.
Still, I wasn’t happy with my life and that only got worse as time went on.
It got really bad when I got fired a few months ago.
Something had to change.

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I’ve known since I was little that I did not want to live in the Netherlands. I’ve never really liked the place, no offense.
Living there was ok at best, but I never felt at ease or settled. I think I had a hard time making friends because of that. I envisioned myself somewhere far away, and whenever I’d explain that vision to people they would glare back at me with zero understanding. It’s part of the Dutch culture, I’d say. They’re known for being grounded, which can be both good and bad.
Around this time, I remembered the photographer who came up to me when I was younger. I was starting to post on Instagram and fell in love with taking pictures of everything and everyone around me.
Since I especially enjoyed taking pictures of my attention-grabbing outfits at the time, modelling began to make sense.
It seemed like  a way ‘out’.

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Photo’s for NAHLA California

A lot of rejection followed and I quit a bunch of times. Something would happen or someone would tell me to give it another shot, and I would. My feelings got hurt; I got frustrated and would even lose interest in photography because of the criticism. I did not enjoy modelling at all.
What shifted everything, was visiting Los Angeles last year.
The atmosphere, the people I met, how I was treated … it changed my perspective.
It gave me something; a new goal.
That brings me to my childhood dream.

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When I was little, I had this dream of moving from place to place every few months and work while I explored the world. The exact job wasn’t important. Sometimes I’d envision myself as a pilot or flight attendant and other times as a doctor or even a photographer for National Geographic.
modelling not on my radar

I wanted my home base to be somewhere warm, but wasn’t picky about where either. I loved the mountains and the woods, since I grew up in them. I also loved the beach, I could never really choose between the two.

When I decided to go to LA on my own, I was hesitant at first.
Don’t get me wrong; I knew I’d enjoy my time there like I always do when I travel, but it’s generally known to be a very superficial and fake place. The American stereotypes are also not the most positive.
The weirdest thing happened when I got there though; I felt like I came home.

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Now, I am first and foremost a European, and I’m proud to be one. I’m very thankful and lucky to have the heritage that I do, but I also feel like a bit of an outsider. I don’t fit in with the Italians, the Dutch or the Belgians, but I feel connected with all three in some way.
In America, I was simply a European.
I’m ok with that.
I wasn’t seen as an American, but I felt accepted regardless.

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Los Angeles has the beaches, the mountains and the work ethic from that dream. It’s full of creative individuals and incredible nature. Yes, you have the stereotypes as well. It’s crowded, congested with traffic and it has the worst public transport in the world as well as people screwing you over who just want to get laid or famous.
It didn’t deter me. I became more confident in my skills as a photographer and model, and now had a set goal.

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Here’s my current dream.
I want to move to Los Angeles and model for a living while I work on improving my skills as a photographer simultaneously.
I’m not your typical fashion model; I’ve never done very well in Europe. I don’t like modelling here because of that, but it’s what I need to do to get to where I want to be.
I don’t have any delusions of becoming a supermodel, I just want to make a decent living and be able to support myself comfortably.

Photography is still scary. I’m scared to ask models to work with me. So far, they’ve always been people that I know. However, the feeling I get when someone’s face lights up after seeing a photo I’ve taken of them is one of the best in the world.
I want to do more of that, but I need a lot more practice and I have to learn it the correct way. Every photoshoot teaches me something new.

You might think moving to another country far away from your family is scary, but not to me. I’ve always known that I would do it, just not when.
My siblings are there when I need them, but we all have our own dreams and goals we have to work on alone.

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I haven’t chosen the easiest route.
I’ve discovered what real anxiety feels like for the first time in my life. I’ve also never felt more alive.
It’s going to take hard work, time and patience to get where I want to be, but it’s worth it to me. Working on a goal gave me purpose again, I highly recommend you find a goal or plan to work on for you as well. I wake up every day knowing that I’ll work on something that is important to me.
It makes the rejection I face on a daily basis completely irrelevant.

Without a doubt, that is the best feeling in the world.

Share your dream, either in public on here or on Instagram or in private via email.
I’d love to hear about yours.

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Photo’s were taken for Nahla California. Not all photo’s taken by me, I had help 😉

Speak soon.




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