‘It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you like doing it’ 

We spoke to 27 year old Marrit from Haarlem in Berlin, her current place of residence.

What does happiness mean to you?
The feeling of freedom. But it varies. I look at it more in way of a moment of realisation. Most of the time it’s being together with people, or a moment when you realise something means a lot to you.

Where do you stand in life?
I’m at a good place in my life. My final paper has just been approved, so after years of studying that period is now behind me. Everything is possible, a new phase in which to realise dreams starts now. Sustainability, creativity, togetherness and fun. Those seem like good aspirations.

What is your background?
I grew up in Haarlem. When I was 22 I moved to Amsterdam where I started my general social studies education. During the last year of school, I moved to Berlin where I now live with my boyfriend Mark.

What kind of job do you have?
I’m self-employed in the food service industry. That’s where my passion lies. It all started with cooking for friends and festivals. I get energy from creating and collaborating, and it boosts my own creativity as well. My creativity shows in my cooking. The nice thing about cooking is that it’s tangible. It pleases me to be able to cook healthy ‘good’ food. Collaborating with people and actually eating the food together. Those are the moments I feel most connected with the people around me.

What wise lesson did your parents teach you?
I can still clearly remember what my father told me: ‘It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you like doing it’. Regarding school they always said ‘you’ve surpassed us already, we are very proud of you’. Which is funny to me because I’m quite the perfectionist.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I would like to live with a group of people and, in a sustainable way, give something back to nature. I would like to grow my own fruit and vegetables, and have a closer bond with animals.

Would you change anything about your life?
I would like to be able to deal with stress a little better. It effects everything in my life and I think that’s a shame.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would comfort myself. There are so many good things out there waiting for you. Don’t stay in the city because you’re used to it. Also, I would recommend going to a more liberal school.

Under the same sun is an on-going travel log, which you can follow on our travel and lifestyle blog Meet You at the Bridge. The reports show the similarities and differences on what it means to be happy for women between the ages of 25 and 35 who hail from different cultures.

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