Jelte ten Holt
Why do I write?
This might sound strange coming from a writer, but my first love isn’t words. It is what lies behind them. My life’s ambition is to understand who we are. That is why I live this vagabond existence. By exploring the world and the different cultures in it, I hope to separate out two strands of our identity – our culture and our humanity. In essence, I believe that which changes from place to place is cultural while that which stays put is what makes us human.
”What,” some of you will protest, “If that’s a false dichotomy? What if it isn’t nature or nurture but some other combination of the two?” And you’re right, of course. It could be nature and nurture, nurture via nature, or nurture influencing nature. Some even argue it is culture that defines our humanity.
The world is rarely as simple as we wish it to be.
And if that’s true, that might put my journey’s end – my desire to understand – forever out of reach. After all, with so many alternatives how can we separate who we are from what we’re born in to? Doesn’t that make my expedition hopeless? What is the point of traveling if you might never arrive where you mean to go?
But of course, every long-term traveler, scientist and thinker already knows the answer to that. It isn’t the destination but the voyage that should take center stage. For it is there that we lose and find ourselves.
It is the breaching of new horizons – whether physical, intellectual or spiritual – and the undiscovered country beyond them, which slakes our thirst and whets our appetite.
The only problem? Pushing beyond the horizons means surrendering our sight of the shore. Out there it is lonely and it is easy to lose our way. That’s where words come in. They allow me to journey and you to join me. Through them, we map the territory and share our discoveries. For the truth is, only with these vehicles of culture can we actually define ourselves.
And so I write.
Here is a select number of my articles. Check out a larger selection on my extended portfolio
As a psychologist, I’ve written some pieces about the human mind. One example is, How To Deal With Negative Feedback When It Feels Personal. Another article covers how it isn’t happiness but emotional resilience that protects you from depression.
I wrote some pieces about being an artist and artistic communities. For example, for Hereyoua.re I wrote articles about what it's like to write a book in Berlin and the Berlin club Mensch Meier. Before that I worked for 200Rone while on the road. For them I wrote, Behind a Nondescript Gate and, Aghast in Achuapa.
I’ve also contributed to a lot of blogs. For example, Effective Email Communication. Then there's this article that explores if you can re-use an engagement ring. Tough that last one does sound like a boring topic, the history of why we view diamonds the way we do is anything but.
Then there's my more journalistic bend. A few years ago I got the chance to interview some of the Rohingya stuck in Indonesia after fleeing abuses in their home-country Burma. It was a devastating story about rape and murder. It affected me on a deep level.And finally, I've recently expanded my repertoire by helping manage the content for whole sites. One example is the Dutch-based Paping Canal Tours.
Want to see more work samples? Then check out my extended portfolio or send me an email. Just follow the instructions and tell me what you’re looking for. Then, I’ll gladly give you other content to look at.