Walking back to happiness…


Life is great – you never know what is around the corner… I am very pleased to have met a remarkable young man from Holland, Vincent Houttuin, who stayed with me at the Writer’s Retreat last week.

Vincent has been a pilgrim for the last four months, walking thousands of kilometers from his home in Holland towards Jerusalem. He was walking from Chania in the West of Crete to Sitia in the East and I was lucky to meet him when he passed through Agios Nikolaos.

A lost puppy, a chance meeting in a cafe, an adoption, a communication breakdown and a happy reunion all led to a missed ferry to Rhodes, which then led to him staying here. I am very glad he did as it was a pleasure to get to know him. It is always inspiring to spend time with someone who has decided to test themselves against all the odds. Especially seeing what they have learned about themselves and others on their journey.

Happily, Vincent became my “tester” as the Retreat’s first guest. I enjoyed feeding him up for the next leg of his journey – which is to walk through Turkey. Unable to walk through Syria, he will fly to Jerusalem where he hopes to stay for a few months. I am sure there is a book in there somewhere…

Vincent you are a very special person. Good luck with your journeys – both the inner and the outer ones. You are very welcome to stay again if you ever pass this way in the future… Keep in touch.

All the best to you,


This is what Vincent thought of the Writers Retreat…

“I went a couple of days to Vanessa’s place. I had a great time because she is a kind and beautiful person.

The bedroom was a oase of rest. I really needed that. Also the food was delicious. You can see that she was a cook.

The first day she did a session on me. It really helped me a lot.

For me it was one of the best places I stayed. Thank you so much, Vanessa!” Greetings, Vincent Houttuin  (Holland)

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