When I was a little girl, I had a traumatic experience: I fell off my bike I stopped using training wheels. In that moment, at the age of 5, I took one decision that would affect my life style almost 20 years later; I decided to never ride a bike again.
Gent is a small but a dynamic city. It’s amazing how you can find people in the street since early morning until late into the night every day moving from one place to another. For students in Gent, the cheapest and more practical way to move around is in bikes. However, as you may have already figured, I decided to use public transportation instead of the usual method.
Almost two months ago, I was discovering the daily routines of people in Gent through the eyes of a tourist: surprised on how everyone was so sure on where to get out the trams and buses, amazed on the fast conversation between people in all kind of languages imaginable, and completely overwhelmed with all the noises in the street. I was afraid of getting lost as I was depending entirely on Google Maps so I started to question myself if I’d took the correct choice, but I kept going forward trying to figure out my new life.
The days went by, and suddenly I found myself losing my fears, accepting little challenges like walking a couple of more blocks just to see where I get or even walking all the way from the city center to my studio. I was taking one step at a time.
In this process of adjustment, I’ve surprised myself noticing more details while I’m moving around. Details like the caring dad watching that his kid is safe without taking the fun away, or the young couples and how they look each other with tenderness, I also find joy when I hear the laughs of girls heading to school and I’ve even laughed once I heard a Siberian husky howling to his owner because he was desperate and wanted to get out the tram.
20 years ago, I took a decision based in fear of falling off my bike again, but now I’m certain that life was just preparing to teach me a greater lesson: Don’t be afraid, enjoy the journey. Who knows, maybe I’ll learn how to ride a bike in Lund.