As you may have guessed, my name is Daan Asma. For those who don’t know me, this is what I look like with a hat:
I’ve never really enjoyed introducing myself, but I don’t think it’s a bad idea in this case to give some background information. Who am I and why on earth have I decided that the world needs an extra blog?
Some fun facts about my life:
- I was born and raised in Aarschot, known to some as one of the corners of the “Marginal Triangle”, to others as the “Pearl of the Hageland”. As is so often the case, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
- I spent the most important part of my life as a young adult at Chiro Rillaar, where I learned more than any other training could ever give me. I discovered that I enjoy creating and accomplishing things together.
- I studied Geography at KU Leuven and VU Brussels. I learned how the physical world works and what the impact of humans and society can be on our environment. As a child, I spent hours sniffing my Illustrated World Youth Atlas, and now I learned how to make my own maps!
- After my studies I worked for 6 years as a geo-informatics consultant at Geo Square. Suddenly the maps I made were actually being used! for the first time I really got to know the power of computers and the internet and this showed me a whole new range of ideas and possibilities. I played an important role in many innovative projects at home and abroad.
- After a few shorter adventures in Africa, Central America and Asia, I left for South America at the end of 2019 for a year of traveling without a plan and destination. After a few months we were semi forced to return to Belgium, where I suddenly had extensive time for gardening.
- In August 2020 I got on my bike for the adventure of a lifetime. I tried to travel with no plan or expectations and was open to anything that came my way. I ended up spending almost 400 days on the road, and it was unbelievable what came my way.
For most of my life I followed a fairly well-defined trajectory: happy childhood in a relatively small village, studies at the nearest university, a stable job with a good employer, a long relationship with a beautiful woman,… . Of course (like everyone tries to do I think) I did put a personal touch in my life path here and there, but in recent years I got the feeling more and more that I wasn’t living my life in a way that is ‘right’ for me.
That brought me to the next question: “How do I want to live? If this isn’t what I want, what do I really want?” and also at “Can’t I just be content with what I have?”.
Many questions, few answers.
Gradually I managed to let the fog in my head disappear little by little. I took the time to get to know myself better and in addition to the support from my immediate environment, I was privileged to have access to professional help. I’m feeling a lot better now than I was a few years ago, and in retrospect the road I’ve traveled seems pretty clear and focused to myself. However, it was a trial and error process (and probably will continue to be so as long as I roam the surface of the earth). Tim Urban made a beautiful illustration that I can relate to:
In recent years I have (re)discovered that I really enjoy exploring and discovering. This manifests itself most clearly in my desire to go out into the wide world, but also internally I have become more and more fascinated by all kinds of different themes. I read many books on a variety of topics (history, psychology, biology, sociology, communication, philosophy and spirituality, ecology, management, economics, politics, technology, …) and also on the web I found an abundance of reading material to fill my curiosity needs.
Despite the fact that I have the feeling that I have learned a lot in the meantime and that there is a lot of knowledge floating around in my head, I often struggle to make these ideas concrete so that I can talk about them with others. And I think that dialogue is perhaps the most important thing to learn. You can find a lot of information for every angle on a subject that supports your point of view. That’s useful when your goal is to “be right” and “win” discussions, but when you’re looking for “the truth” I think it’s of the utmost importance to also challenge your own insights. The internet seems like a perfect place to challenge ideas.
Thanks to writing down the adventures I’ve experienced in the past period, I also remember that I can really enjoy telling and writing down stories. Over the past 10 years, this feeling has surfaced regularly, but the various writing impulses I had did not have a sequel.
So that’s why I’ve decided to occasionally write something here and share it with you – my hypothetical readers:
- I want to be able to explain my own insights more clearly,
- I hope there will be a dynamic that allows me to learn in a new way,
- I want to get better at telling stories,
- I just feel like it.
I am very curious where this will flow!