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Who am I?

The story about myself

 

Iran, portret Heleen KLM wingportret zwart/wit

 

Born in Mombasa (Kenya) and raised further more in Abadan (Iran) and Singapore, the love for travel basically started at birth.

It’s very likely that the moving around, and later on the 17 years of working as a flight attendant, are the cause of my hunger to capture all sorts of details I come across. The awareness of temporality has given me the desire to remember.

 

The longer version of ‘who i am’ could start off by asking me the following two questions….

– Where are you from?

– Which is your favorite city?

Once upon a time, a Dutch girl was born in Mombasa, Kenya. She moved away almost instantly, three months old, to go and live in Abadan (Iran), untill she was 6 years old. Strangely and unfortunately enough, she hardly remembers anything from these 6 Iranian years. With the Shah still there, it really was a peaceful and wonderful place.

She then got to move back to her place of birth, Mombasa, what luck! Those four years have made the the biggest impression in her life. Picture a goreous house with Spanish arches and a spacious veranda with a sea breeze.. The large palm- and frangipanetree filled garden, without walls or gates, the lawn leading straight to the beach. Four dogs, 2 turtles and usually some wounded hedgehogs in a den and amusing hermitcrabs in a bucket with sand and sea water.

Schooldays were in uniform and besides school, hours were spent outside exploring the beach, the sea, the reef or the bushbush. Life was good, relaxt and free. Holiday’s were often safari’s off the beaten track with Landrovers and in self installed camp sites.  Out of Africa…

Just after turning 10, she moved to Putten, Holland. A Dutch girl from Kenya, living in ‘her’ country for the first time. A completely new kind of life. Not the beach but the woods to explore now. Bicycles to school and all four seasons of the year to experience. Those 2 years were spent on the last years of primary school. Generally an easy start to get a grip on the Dutch language and social habbits..

Two years in Putten where followed by 3 years in Bussum. Completely different ballgame; she felt she had to keep up on her toes now. The first three years of secondary school were spent here and puberty started. Then at 15, just before mum thought she was old enough to hit the local pub, she flew off again, unexpectedly.

Lots of tears on the flight to Singapore, the Far East felt very far indeed… But adapting had become a way of life and soon the humid warmth of the island and new friends brought enough fun to enjoy this new adventure. A large, international school was attended and a period of partying and new, teen-age experiences began. Extracurricular activities were higher on her priority list than school, but in the end all turned out fine. After 5 years of tropical sun, she flew to Amsterdam with an IB certificate in her pocket and a future to discover.

Being 20 and living in Amsterdam proved to be good fun. Studying Communications for the first 2 years and then switching to Photography for the next 4, was an experience of confrontation and growth. After those 6 years of studying and artistic exploration, the desire to physically travel and explore the world took over.

In no time she joined KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines, as a flight attendant. Just for a couple of years, so she thought. Many photo’s were taken and lot’s of great experiences had, in places all over the world. And in the mean time a personal creative style had emerged and the need to indulge in this creativity became apparent. It was after 17 years that she decided it had been a long enough period up in the air. The addiction to the job was strong however. It took quite some determination and guts to step away from the planes and into a new frame of life..

This step has brought her to where you are now. This website, these pictures and this story.

And, unbelievably enough, still in Amsterdam! Together with her main man, their two children and a couple of goldfish. And they lived happily ever after…

Now the focus is not just to travel and take the pictures, but to share them with all of you who recognise and enjoy them. Maybe to be able to feel at home in a place where you are really not. Or just to remember the feeling of a wonderful vacation you once had. And even to help relax and quieten the brain in a busy enviroment..

Whatever it is, I hope my pictures bring you happiness, double happiness:)

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