Hoe bouw je een nieuw leven op, aan de andere kant van de wereld? Hoe jaag je je dromen na, in een totaal andere cultuur? Op StevenAbroad spreek ik, Steven van Beek, met mensen die het doen en gedaan hebben. Wat is hun verhaal? Ik bezoek hen, praat met hen, portretteer hen. Wil alles over hun leven weten, in relatie met het land waar ze nu wonen en werken.
It started in 2017 with The Hague- Inten Hoek, die naar een klein dorpje in het noorden van Colombia verhuisde om daar een stichting te beginnen. Ze helpt daar kinderen, die tussen wal en schip dreigen te vallen. Uit enorme interesse vroeg ik aan de Duitse Reinhard Stege waarom hij een fietsenwinkel had in Mexico Stad en hoe Duits hij eigenlijk nog is? Later sprak ik de Zeeuwse Glenn van Damme, die in Mexico Stad met zijn vrouw Gypsy een heus Nederlands / Belgisch restaurant startte.
Ik bezocht Rosan Ouwerwerk, die als therapeute aan de slag ging in Playa del Carmen. Zijn er overeenkomsten tussen Mexicanen en Nederlanders? In diezelfde stad is Steven Koevoet vogelspotter, die toeristen meeneemt naar de jungle. Met hem ging ik vogels spotten. In Mahahual wisselen prachtige kansen (natuur) en vervelende bedreigingen (natuur) zich af in het hotel van Carolien van Santvoord. Gerben Hartskeerl became known through the TV show Ik Vertrek and now he serves in many catering establishments throughout Mexico. Coen van den Akker shows tourists the most beautiful areas outside Mexico City with his Naranja Tours.
Ben Gall built his own home from recycled materials in San Miguel de Allende. Franky Pons bought a piece of land near Chitzen Itza to be close to the Maya and is working hard to start an eco hotel there. Francis Deyne started his own boutique in Playa del Carmen and expressly seeks cooperation with other entrepreneurs.
It became a series of interviews, which has certainly not come to an end. Which will only become more. Conversations with special people, with special dreams, with special stories. The adventure beckons, but for how long? And how do people view the Netherlands? What makes the grass appear greener on the other side? Was it love, was it something else?
As a journalist I have also tried to publish various stories in newspapers. That also worked out; if so, you will see a link in the story itself. And later, when I make the crossing to Mexico again, I will look for stories again. With photos, with text, with video.
About Steven van Beek
In 2017 it started to tickle me. My long relationship ended, I didn't like my job and I just wanted to go on a solo trip. I went to South America. I landed in Cartagena and departed from Buenos Aires five months later. I visited beautiful nature, met very nice people and was impressed by the overall culture.
A few years later I went to Yucatan, Mexico. Pure vacation in paradise. And there I met Tania. Although I was not immediately open to a relationship with a Mexican, she still remained in my life. Corona helped with that; we sat on video calls together for hours. In August of 2020 I flew to Mexico City, Tania's hometown. For three weeks, but I stayed there for over a year. We lived together, fell more and more in love.
But actually, living there? It was still hard for me. Work was getting better and better, but I didn't have a real plan either. I got to know Dutch people and they inspired me. I found their stories interesting and decided to talk to them. About their lives, their ambitions, and their choice to exchange the Netherlands for a new country. This is how StevenAbroad was born: pure interest in how the mind, the feeling, and the energy moved them to settle on the other side of the world.