As I am writing this, the first batch of submissions for the upcoming Empowerment-issue have been filling up my inbox. The past two to three months have been about creating awareness regarding this upcoming issue – which will be published in September of this year – collecting initial story-ideas and exploring a direction for this issue.

I hope you’re doing well and can stay safe. I’ve been keeping myself busy and would like to update you on what’s been going on. I’ll be talking about my plans for the future and will be finishing this blog entry with a little gift.

Only two months into 2020 and already my life has taken a significant turn. Ever since I published the Perseverance-issue and volunteered in refugee camps on Lesvos, I started re-evaluating what I’ve been doing in the past couple of years. This resulted in me procrastinating a fair bit when it came to starting new projects, like a new issue of Let’s Explore Magazine. More on that later. But it also gave me the time to seriously look at what I’ve managed to create so far and in which direction my journey is heading. It’s time to break the silence, these are my goals and plans for the near and distant future. Things are going to change, that’s for sure.

The first week of July is almost here, which means I will be volunteering in a refugee camp on Lesvos. I'll be going with a humanitarian organization called Because We Carry, whose slogan is (loosely translated from Dutch): there’s no time to dick around, make a difference by doing. This means handing out food, build shelter for those who don’t have any, and basically be a human being and connect with other human beings on a humane level. 

Let’s Explore Magazine as a project is pretty much a reflection of who I am and what makes me tick. Over the course of making the Perseverance issue, contributions evolved into more socially aware type of stories and, besides that, my own interests and intentions started to shift as well. This has lead me to look for more depth in both my work and my passion project that is this magazine.

Even though the new year is already well on its way, I still want to take the time to do a little wrap-up of 2018. It’s been quite the year and I am noticing that reflecting on past successes and failures is a nice practice before looking forward. Besides that, it is also a bit of an exercise to train my memory as I’m prone to lose sight of what happened at what time. Not forgetting, but more so as a result of being focused on what’s coming next and by doing so sometimes neglecting the past and present.

The final part of my website-update has to do with my about-page, or how I like to call it from this point on: My Story. While making my magazine, I get the chance to think long and hard about what I feel is important in certain areas of publishing, storytelling and life in general. I started writing about this more since the yoga retreat I've been on in Oktober. I will continue to write and will be sharing these exercises of thought and writing here and on my website.

I have this little voice in the back of my mind that always seems to be wanting more. More time, more inspiration, making more, I even want more free time to do “nothing”...go figure. It simultaneously feels like a luxury and a burden. I feel blessed with a rich and full life, that overwhelms me with exciting new projects, meeting inspiring people and a learning curve which keeps a steady steep curve.

After launching the new issue, themed Perseverance, and fulfilling all the pre-orders, we took a 2.5-week breather and this had a profound influence on me. What I can say at this point in time, is that I’m learning to look at myself and my life’s intention, with a more honest pair of glasses.

As the year slowly passes, people started asking when the next issue of LEM will be ready. In this post I answer some FAQ's and my plans for 2017....

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