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Dreaming toegther

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Monday October 4th - Breda

In a few days we will leave on another adventure. We don't know where we will end up or what we will end up doing in Scandinavia. But what does that road to our dream actually look like? And are Olivier's wishes different from Zoë's? We know each other inside out, but that doesn't mean we can read each other's mind. If we want to increase our chances of success, we have to build a common dream.
On a gloomy Monday, we go a day hiking in the Lommelse Sahara. In our bag are two sheets of paper and two pens, just like in June 2016, three months before we left on our world trip. At that time we went canoeing for a day in National Park the Biesbosch with the goal to talk about our expectations for the world trip. It was the basis for our world trip as a couple and we are repeating that step now.

Our theory is very simple. If we want to succeed in our adventure together, it has to be a joint project. We need to know what the other thinks, feels, wants and expects. By saying this to each other before we leave, we start the adventure stronger and we are prepared for situations that may arise along the way. We do this not only for an adventure such as the world trip or our new adventure by bike to Scandinavia. At the beginning of each joint project, we brainstorm to know each other's expectations. We think this is fundamental to the road to success.

Our specific approach

We each start with our own sheet of paper. In the middle we write the question:
"Project Basecamp-X means to me..."
We individually write down what life in Scandinavia looks like for us, how we approach the search and how we see the journey towards it. As always, Zoë's paper is quickly filled with words and arrows flying in all directions. Olivier occasionally peeks to the left, surprised where Zoë gets all that inspiration. He just wrote down two words himself. Half an hour later, our pages are full, even though Zoë's paper contains twice as much. After this we exchange papers and read each other's thoughts and wishes. They largely agree, but there are always things that we didn't know about each other. We discuss everything, and especially take time for the new elements. Zoë, for example, writes "voluntary work and workaway projects". Olivier writes "once a year to the Netherlands and Belgium". We differ on this and we explain what we mean by this. There is no right or wrong, only understanding.

"Project Basecamp-X means to me..."

"What if Basecamp-X means something different to Olivier/Zoë along the way?"

Then part two of the brainstorm begins. We turn over the sheet of paper and write on the back:
"What if Basecamp-X means something different to Olivier/Zoë along the way?"
We try to answer this question from within ourselves again and to be as honest as possible with ourselves. This time there are more questions on the paper, but also important values that are our grip.
We both write that we will always respect, grant and support the dreams and wishes of the other. Zoë writes that she always wants to have joint project, even if our jobs would be completely different. Olivier wonders how long we will try in case things won't work out at the start?

The pages are full again. In the meantime we have finished our sandwiches and are getting cold from sitting still for so long. We pack our things and walk on. Along the way we discuss all questions from the second brainstorm. It feels so good to be able to discuss everything with each other. We dream together and grow towards that shared dream. We know how we will approach the search and what to do if opportunities or limitations arise along the way. We are ready, this will work!

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