Sunday, May 15, 2011

To start with ...

Welcome to this website.

My name is Ben Heerland, born in The Netherlands in 1962. In May 2005 my wife Nicôle, born in 1971, and I gave up our successful but demanding careers and emigrated from The Netherlands to Sweden. We burned our bridges, left all security behind and moved from a comfortable new home to an old farmhouse in the Swedish woods. And before I forget, 'we' also includes our beloved German Shepherd, Jeanny, born in 2003.

Longing for a quiet place of our own in natural surroundings, we had been contemplating changing our lives for many years. But we always talked about it in a 'one day ...' kind of way. Then, in a short period of time, a number of dreadful events occurred around us. These made us realize that life is short and that just talking about something leads you nowhere. If you really want to make a change, no matter how or in which way, you must not just talk about it but actually do it.

And that is what we did. We found our own peaceful place in the woods, where we have been living for almost six years now. During this time we have not only learned to appreciate our new way of life, but have also changed more radically than we ever imagined possible.

No more cunning career planning, company car and pension plan. No more having to be Number One. No more wardrobe full of dress shirts and tailor-made suits. No more stress of 'needing' to have the hottest cell phone, laptop, iPod, iPad or whatever. And most important of all: no more buying, buying and buying, just for the sake of buying.

Now we do what we really love. Living in natural surroundings and enjoying every minute of it. And trying to share this joy with others through writing about everything we experience. We have been blogging since 2005 and have also written three books until today. All in Dutch, our mother tongue.

... And now it is time for something new. We are starting a blog in English where we hope to reach many more enthusiastic readers. This post is the first step and we will see what it leads to.

What will we be writing about? Just take a look at the categories-menu to the right. Or even better, visit this blog again and find out by reading our posts. Over the next few days I'll be writing some more posts introducing ourselves further.

Thank you for reading so far. We hope that you'll come back to read some more.