Laura Bellemans (BE), student, Hechtel

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“I was that typical 18-year-old when I finished high school: I didn’t know what do with my life and everything I tried felt like it just wasn’t me. In search of something better I met some members of a commune in Venice, Italy. They convinced me to follow them and I became a member.”


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“I lived with them for a couple of months. The commune was self-providing. We made our own clothes and held sheep and cattle to feed us. The food we didn’t need, we’d sell to the nearby village. It was such an amazing experience, living such a peaceful life. But I quickly realised it wasn’t more than that. I couldn’t stay there forever. So I picked up my life again, returned to school and I’m now enjoying life to the fullest. The crow’s skull mask tattooed on my upper leg was inspired on the masks of the commune, as a remembrance.”


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“It doesn’t matter if you’re joining a commune, or studying to get a degree, you can only learn something if you open yourself to it. I’m glad I found peace. I now realise I don’t need too much; my happiness lies in the simpler things.”