As I got older, 21 at the time, I felt the need to challenge myself and do something completely new and terrifying. I decided to travel by bicycle to the East, as cheaply and as free as possible, wherever that would lead me. I started cycling from Antwerp and eventually, 7000km and 4 months later, I ended up in a country I couldn’t even pronounce the name of: Azerbaijan. A few months after that I cycled from Antwerp to Morocco, which is part of my roots, followed by another decision to go to Brazil where I ended up living in the biggest favela of South America. It started as a love for traveling, but ended as way of escaping my own realities. Traveling for me has been about freedom, unlearning, accepting invitations from strangers, living in survival mode and letting go of prejudice. You learn how to trust your gut and this will be your main compass for basically, the rest of your life. It’s exciting, it’s feeling alive, it’s intense and it’s also addicting. The real challenge however, is to feel this way in the most mundane environment as well. As you can imagine, a little insanity started crawling upon me when I was obliged to stay in Belgium during corona. The only thing left was my imagination. I could only imagine the smell of a new country, the sounds, the chaos and the silence. This work is a glimpse of what I was longing for. It’s part of a series where I dig in my memory, desperately looking for what I was so used to, trying to remember idyllic landscapes, romanticizing places and expecting constant entertainment from my surroundings. As months passed by in full or half lockdown, these images became more blurry, vague, unrecognizable and abstract. My insanity prevailed and my brain couldn’t keep up with the sharp and dark imagines passing by. I surrendered and accepted that I had no other option than to be here in this very moment. ‘I could only imagine’ is the first work of a series that goes from honoring past lived experiences to rummage into the void of my own thoughts where images are not at all recognizable anymore.