Diary of a globetrotter: “During my travels I discovered what we all have in our environment dump’

Met Tine Wellens, world traveller, yogini and humble nature: “It is disheartening to be in Belgium from my bubble, but awareness is here so much.”

© Annick Wellens

And now what?

Are you going to find work?

Have you already found work?

You have a friend?

What are your future plans?

After her first big trip through South America was Tine Wellens (29) overwhelmed by such questions, that her convulsions on the body pursued. The questions that our western society is typical, meant that they the next five years is not a long time in Belgium was: ‘to Study, a job and children. That is the merry-go-round where many end up. I’m never in the venture. I thought that there must be more in life.” She went back to Belgium, but not really: ‘I could not have been more ground and fell into a black hole.’


After five days in a silent retreat ask yourself what is important enough to be aloud to say.

The cheerful lady swapped our Belgenland in South America, Costa Rica and India and spent time, a certain way of life and bring it back to here. After years of surfing, silent retreats, yoga courses and volunteering remains for the time being while in Belgium: “I would be more likely to come to rest in Costa Rica. But I saw myself always wanted to create a place where I can inspire.’

And let the Belgian is the ideal subject for his: “Here, we worry about everything we supposedly need: a big house, children, a well-paid job and even more. Others are just as happy if there is sufficient water for toilet flushing.’

© Annick Wellens

Indian culture

Together with her friend, wildplukker Am Brumagne, she creates a place to relax. In July of organising the two in Mont Vireux midweek and weekends filled with yoga and wildplukken to as the holy Trinity – the respect for your mind, body and nature to reunite. Tine shows others like the possibilities of veganism and sustainable living, and she takes care of the yoga classes.

To her knowledge she did during two yogacursussen in India. The first course was a teacher training of one month. “We started at five o’clock in the morning and shut down at seven o’clock in the evening’, she says. ‘I followed the course just for myself and not necessarily to then to give a lesson.’ They went a step further than the typical hatha yoga classes, particularly popular in the West. After the course, participants visited Tine have an ashram, a spiritual place for reflection and relaxation. In addition she spent five days in a buddhist temple where she was not allowed to speak: “After five days you ask yourself what is important enough to be aloud to say.”


Everything we do, eat and use comes from nature and also go back to that. That realization was a turning point.

Once back, I asked a friend to Tine, or them once a week lesson for her to give in her yogapraktijk in Antwerp. Even after her intense course in the country where yoga is part of a eeuwoude culture, doubted the yogini: ‘Indians do lifelong yoga and we have after a course or some lessons, the pretension to believe that we know how it works.’ After some negotiation and the promise that they could stop if they not like it, went to Tine in on the offer of her friend. And so she was rather accidental than intentional yogalerares.

Duality of L. A.

After her first yogacursus, visited Tine the city of dreams, Los Angeles: “There you are suddenly confronted with a duality: yoga as fitnesstrend and yoga from the age-old tradition. L. A. was one of the first places where Indian people yoga introduced.’

Tine stayed a few months in L. A. because friends of her, a nanny were looking. “It was a totally different world, one that I didn’t know. And I was probably never drawn to it if that opportunity had not occurred.’ The following year she went – after her visit to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and India, where they have a second yoga course followed – back to L. A. ‘Sophie was pregnant and could still use your help. And I, I could not say no.”

Where it all began

Tine, Tina, or Tina for the friends, left after her studies to Buenos Aires and caught eight months in South America with the money in a month’s time as a steward at the airport earned. “I visited Buenos Aires, Chile, Bolivia, Uruguay and Argentina already, hitchhiking or by bus.’ That sounds just as intense as it really was: “I planned nothing in advance because the typical tourist activities, me not so much interested in. Everything is systematic and organic to expire.’

In order to fully be immersed in the culture of the former country of the indians spent Tine with locals and she did so now and then some volunteer work. “I worked in Buenos Aires for three weeks as hondenoppas of two dalmatians.’ In return stayed Tine free in a poepchic apartment and she earned even a penny. ‘South Americans are so jovial. It was not difficult at all to a new place of residence.’


Not only yoga is important for Tine. Attention and respect for the planet is a second pillar that her life prevails. At the age of 25 traveled Tine to Costa Rica where they for the first time the permaculture came to know. There is often self-sufficient, lived with nature as the greatest source of inspiration. The members are responsible for their own food and try a shield to create against the forces of nature: “I lived a month in the middle of the jungle. Everything we do, eat and use comes from nature and also go back to that. That realization was a turning point.’


Indians do lifelong yoga and we have after a course or some lessons, the pretension to believe that we know how it works.

It opened her eyes. “You saw what we do in the nature dump,” explains Tine. “Because the products which you yourself wash directly to our crops would flow, we were only biodegradable products. I am never dropped.’ And that is only a modest part of the numerous polluting activities that are part of our way of life: Diet, clothing, cosmetics, plastic packaging, all the little things that seem to propose but indeed an influence.’

Persistent habits to unlearn

‘A habit, and bad habits such as smoking seems to always be difficult,” she says. ‘Afvalvrij life also seems to be more difficult than it is.” All is Tine in Belgium is still often faced with the tenacity of our consumer society. ‘Last christmas was during our family dinner is not a vegan option so I decided not to go.’ The year before, did it now a completely vegan christmas dinner, but not everyone is loving the change.

The disadvantage of its whimsy? ‘I live in a bubble and I realize that themselves. But it can be very daunting to get out of that bubble to steps so I do my shopping in a limited number of shops, you can use only natural products and so live as good as afvalvrij.’

Plans for the future

‘Future plans?’ What a rotvraag. “I don’t plan on long-term, that I can not more, a consequence of all that travel probably. I need freedom and long term plans feel harmful.’ Still planned, she and her friend several weekends in a house in the French Ardennes. This did raise them even partially. “I consider it as a temporary project. But I see ourselves not forever live. However, I have for the first time in my life in need of a place of its own. That feeling I never had.’


I do not plan on long-term, that I can not more, a consequence of all that travel probably.

And travel? “Soon we pull with our bike to Switzerland. We planned three weeks on the road.” Furthermore, there is nothing on the schedule, but that can just change: ‘I work per project. After the adventure in the Ardennes, it is simply time for a next project.’

Curious about the yoga-stay and a different way of life? Take a look at the website of the Mont-Vireux or on Tine’s personal website

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