“This is exactly what I need” was the first thought that came to mind when I laid eyes upon the cabin. It was standing by a lake, right in the middle of the forest. The bed was facing the window and behind the glass you could see nothing but green. In front of the cabin was a table and a BBQ, where you could grill the fish you caught that day. I don’t fish, but I enjoyed the idea of being surrounded by life inside the water.
The host asked me if I was not afraid to be there all by myself. I was a bit surprised by that question. What is there to be afraid of? The only thing I could run into, was me – and that was exactly why I was there in the first place. Besides, I had a ferocious husky by my side so I’d be fine.
Next to the cabin, a bit lower by the river, there was a platform where you could have a drink in the evening. Speaking of drinks, upon my arrival a bottle of Merlot was waiting for me, so extra points! The host even thought of a giant bone for Naya to chew on.
A bit further in the forest you could find a hammock to rest after your afternoon fishing spree. There’s no bathroom in the cabin, but there’s a toilet in the forest. And yes, it’s a real one. Not a hole in the ground. The Rick & Morty lovers among you will surely appreciate this little corner where you can do your business in peace.
We started our day by going for a hike. Since we were in the Ardennes, I figured that whatever way we went, we’d end up in a forest. Unfortunately I found myself walking on a road in between trees for half an hour so I decided to just go up and see from there. Needless to say it didn’t go quite as planned.
Halfway up, we came across a bunch of brambles, so I picked Naya up and carried her to the top. The little path quickly turned into a full bush, but stubborn as I am, I persisted… Until we really couldn’t go any further and had to climb back down, again with Naya in my arms because of all the brambles.
At the end we kinda jumped from the very steep hillside and I ended up with two legs full of scratches on the road where we started again. After that, we just stuck to the roads and had a beautiful walk through the fields and some cute streets with beautiful little houses that reminded me of the South of France.
Although I’m someone who needs a lot of time to herself and I ask for space a lot, I actually hadn’t spent this much time on my own in years (except for Naya of course, but she is part of me). There is no WiFi in the cabin and if you want 4G, you’ll have to walk at least 1km. I’ll admit to have panicked a bit at first. What if something happens at home? What if something happens to us? What if clients try to reach me?
Since I met Philou, we’ve been in constant communication. He was already so understanding of my need for time and space, but now I’m not even texting him? It feels weird. But the whole point of coming here on my own, was to be alone, right? Right.
By the end of the day, the lack of communication with the outside world didn’t seem to bother me that much anymore. There was only one person who I’d still want to be able to talk to, I think you can guess who.
Going there, I had a lot of expectations. I had planned on arriving, taking a look around and feeling at peace immediately. Of course, that didn’t happen right away. I was so focused on the idea of having a relaxing walk through the forest, that when that didn’t happen, I became stressed. Stressed about how things were not going as planned, as I wanted. I had no clue where I was going and ended up in ‘the wrong places’.
At some point during the walk, I looked next to me and saw a bunch of bees buzzing around a flower in the field. I looked around and realized how beautiful the view was, I had only been unable to see it. I realized that this was basically a metaphor to life. You’re so focused on where you want to be that you become blind to what is in front of you. Sometimes the road to get somewhere isn’t the one you planned or hoped for, but if you look closely, you might realize it is beautiful in its own way and has so much to be grateful for.
If you keep focusing on what you wanted but didn’t get, you are missing out on so many things… There might just be a reason why you are on this path. It forces you to readjust and be resilient. Which is exactly what being successful in all aspects of life is about: being resilient. One day in solitude and already one life lesson learned…
The next day, Naya and I got up and enjoyed a lovely breakfast while listening to the sound of the trees. We sat in silence and took in the beautiful lake view. It had been a while since I was that well-rested, with no notifications screaming for attention the minute I woke up.
We went for another walk and got into the boat. It was her first boat ride and despite all my worries – she might jump into the water, or worse, we might capsize! – everything went great. Naya was amazed by the water, I was amazed by how exhausting rowing on a still lake can be. And for a while, we just sat there. Together in our little boat on the middle of a lake. It felt like we were the only living beings on this planet. And I felt finally, fully at peace.
(P.s.: I will admit that I got a tiny bit scared at some point, so thank you Naya for accompanying me on my nightly visits to the potty.)
Also in need of a nice getaway? This is where we stayed: https://www.airbnb.nl/rooms/43905368?source_impression_id=p3_1599163447_f1etTOTol99u1b7l