Leona Françoise Caanen
2x published author. World-traveller. 24 year-old, living in Amsterdam. Love connecting with new people & sharing stories about life.
Moving Solo to a New City at 23
What Amsterdam is like Living in Amsterdam is quite dreamy. Of course the city has some harsh realities (try finding housing without connections… borderline impossible), but, it truly is a fantastic place to live as someone in their 20s. There's always something to do for those who are social butterflies, and there's plenty of quiet and green space for those who prefer to spend time alone. The city is filled with cute cafés, great (vegan) restaurants, and, probably my favourite part, the international community is incredibly welcoming.
Making Time for Your Creative Self
Sometimes, when it seems there is no special reason for it, we simply feel off. You've tried to have a decently productive morning, you didn't do anything different from the usual routine, yet you can feel yourself itching in your own skin. You can't concentrate and it feels as if nothing makes sense.
Diving into the Digital Nomad Lifestyle
As a digital nomad, I’ve been lucky to enjoy the freelance lifestyle for a little over two years. But, due to the pandemic, I haven’t been able to enjoy the “free” part of freelance as much as I would’ve liked. I adore travelling and exploring new places. I had not intended on living on the same tiny island of St. Barth for the past two years. Living here has brought me many positives that bouncing around from place to place didn't offer me, like spending quality time with my family and really getting to tune in and focus on myself, learning what is good for me. Additionally, it has also allowed me to fine-tune my workflow and figure out what it is that I truly want to do and create.
Trusting a Stranger on the Path to Freedom
It's 2250. Planes, cars, boats, have somewhat all become obsolete. The only thing you need is to settle yourself on your couch, put on your headset and make sure your tubes are plugged in. Most people become glued to their couches when they're not out working. I don't blame them. You get home from work, get settled and virtually transport yourself to Italy and feel as if you're eating a delicious pizza or pasta. Once you get the taste of the virtual reality experience, there's no desire for anything else, no reason to travel anywhere in real life. Not that you could anyways. I don't know anyone who's left The Square and came back. Those who leave risk their life and know they cannot return. Although these people often didn't leave to see more of the world. They left because they didn't want to live in a brainwashed society.
A Pilgrimage to Meet Myself
I was out there and nobody knew who I was, nobody had any expectations of me or who I needed to be, which meant that for the first time in a long time, maybe the first time ever, I could choose to be and exist exactly how I wanted to be. I could be carefree, wild, fun. I could focus on myself, talk with whomever, walk wherever. This pilgrimage was my journey. The Camino de Santiago was the path towards meeting myself.
The Wonders of Living in a Foreign Tongue
As I sat in the Parisian metro, I tuned out the world around me without having plugging in my headphones. Tired from my busy day at university, I am once again reminded of one of my favourite parts about living in Paris, about living in France. Unless I'm actively listening, my French isn't fluent enough to understand a random conversation. I get the opportunity to tune out.
The Magic of Slow Travel
I've been travelling my whole life. Whether with family, with friends, or by myself. When I think of my future, of how I want to create my life, it's travelling that plays a central role. I crave the rush, the taste of a new adventure, of discovering new beauties of the world. And oh my, they are endless. So many amazing, intriguing places to visit, to experience, to breathe in. No matter your travel preference, there is something out there for everyone: whether it's luxury or rugged, warm or cold climates, forests or beaches.
Traveling Alone is Good for the Soul
I hiked 800 kilometers in 34 days. I walked the Camino de Santiago. A road that has existed for thousands of years and has been crossed by millions of people, it's a trek that takes you from the very south-west of France to the (almost) western coast of northern Spain, to the city of Santiago de Compostela.