For cyclist Jan Willem van Schip
, 2017 was going to be the year in which he would show the world he could also be a good road cyclist. His aim was to get a professional contract – and he did: as of 1 January, he will cycle for the Roompot-De Nederlandse Loterij team. ‘I am extremely happy that I have been given this chance to participate’, Jan-Willem tells us from the training camp in Portugal. ‘I would have preferred an even more professional team – one always aims for the highest achievable goal, after all – but I am certainly very pleased with the chance I have been given.’ He only needs to finish his thesis, and then he will have time for what he calls the ‘definition of life’: cycling and lying in bed.
Jan-Willems clearly achieved his goal, but it has turned out somewhat differently for Simona Pedde
, according to herself. In 2017, she was going to decide whether she would emigrate or stay in the Netherlands. ‘I have failed!’, she says with a laugh. She did not make the choice, but she says that she has realised it is not necessary anymore. ‘Last year, I really wanted to plan ahead. Now, one year away from finishing my PhD, I am a lot more calm and pragmatic about it. I care more about the contents of a new job than the exact location. There is only so much one can control.’
Planning ahead was not Roos van der Logt
’s plan either. Better yet: she wanted to travel Peru and Colombia without making plans. ‘And it was a great success’, she tells happily. The reason behind her choice was that she wanted to remain open to new experiences. ‘During my travels, I met a guide from Peru who had nothing to do at the time; he taught me rock climbing, something I had never done before. I stayed for weeks, learned a lot and met many people. Just what I had hoped for.’ However, she did notice that once she got back to the Wageningen life, it became increasingly difficult to keep the South-American improvisation lifestyle: ‘Life gets busy really quickly here. But I certainly learned from it and absolutely want to visit South America again in the future.’