Escaping Reality to Live in a Van Gogh Painted Dream: The Netherlands

Photo of Escaping Reality to Live in a Van Gogh Painted Dream: The Netherlands 1/1 by Ananya Ghosh

I am not an adventurer by choice but by fate. ~ Vincent van Gogh

I have always longed to visit a foreign land. A strange place, a place I saw in a painting, unfamiliar and unexplored. I was dreaming a dream in the most difficult of life’s phases; when my wanderings were a far-off thought in reality and in financial ration. There were times I would think, why me? Why can’t I have what I’m hoping for and what I’m made for; an adventure? I never found an answer.

Today, I am in that same strange land, but feeling an emotion I’ve never felt before. With a full heart, a boggled mind, and pouring tears I realised that I am, in fact, living the dream. I ask myself again, why me? What did I do to deserve this? How did I come from an uncertain vision to this sublime actuality?

Patience. Hope. Faith.

At the right time, at the right place and at the right moment, the unexpected will happen. You won’t even know it. Months, or even years later, you will realise it when you’re on a moving train, in transit between the known and the unknown, just like I did. You will feel alive, grateful, and full of emotion. Treasure that feeling. It is one of the most beautiful feelings you will ever feel. This is the fruit of believing in yourself, in believing that you are meant to be for something larger than life. So, wait. Wait for your time. It will come, I promise. Until then, dream big!

Location: Van Gogh Village, Nuenen (Eindhoven, Netherlands)

It was 6 o’clock in the evening; the sun shined on the west end yet high up from the horizon. I waited at the Eindhoven Central Station bus stand to catch the number 6 or 321 bus that would take me to Eindhoven Koudenhoven. I got into the 321, anxious and nervous for what I was going to encounter. From Koudenhoven, I walked about 10 minutes from the bus stop to the Van Gogh Village in Nuenen that was 600 meters. It was rather isolated and quiet at 7pm. As I walked a little longer, what I saw to my right was a painting coming to life. Wheatfield with Crows, recognise it? The wind blew through the wheat field, with crows flying back to their nests before dusk. It was so quiet and beautiful.

Photo of Eindhoven, Netherlands by Ananya Ghosh

I sat on the ground just listening to nature’s symphony of sounds. At 8:15pm when the sun began to set over the eastern horizon, I saw the moon rising through the wheat field. I have never seen the moon as big as it was that day. Beaming with beauty and life. Soon it began to become really dark, and I knew I had arrived exactly where I wanted to be. I looked down at where I was standing and saw the most stunning work of art I had ever witnessed. The Van Gogh-Roosegaarde bicycle path is the most innovative and artistic bicycle path in the Netherlands, and probably the world. It is a 600-metre-long path that runs through Vincent van Gogh’s residence from 1883 to 1885. The path, designed by Daan Roosegaarde, consists of thousands of tiny, luminous stones and is inspired by the famous Van Gogh painting ‘Starry Night’. It is the most unbelievable, inspiring and dreamy interactive installation I have ever seen. I stood there shocked and stunned by the overwhelming sight that is etched in my memory forever.

This is one thing you have to put onto your bucket list before you arrive in the Netherlands!

Photo of Van Gogh-Roosegaarde Cycle Path, Eindhoven, Netherlands by Ananya Ghosh