Beyond Texel

After this amazing week at Texel I’m not only impressed by the work we’ve been able to do. Though it was my second visit, I was surprised to find out what a great community the island is.

As a fresh inhabitant of Amsterdam, I am a little scared by the anonymity of the life here, Texel was an inspiring opposite. All Tesselaars I met were really involved with the island, the shared ownership of the ferry is a great example of that. They were proud of their island and used innovative methods to get all the best out of it.

The best thing about it, according to me, was the passion and devotion they worked with. During our visits to the water treatment facility, the zelfpluktuin and the TESO all of our hosts were proud to be contributing to the life on Texel and therefore seemed more aware of the consequences of their work. Though the well-known 2020 goal suspects otherwise, sustainability wasn’t something implied from a higher position, but a way of life because “it feels like the right thing to do”. I think that’s a great motivator.

Back at “de overkant” I am thinking about the example Texel could be for a city like Amsterdam. There is far less personal involvement, and most people see tourists as a burden instead of a welcome guest providing income. But at the same time there is a lot of pride as well, probably combined with great, sustainable, ideas to improve the city. I’m a little jealous of the Tesselaars, since I have no Idea about those ideas. I never speak to the aldermen or the owner of the most important public transport and wouldn’t even recognize them if they were sitting next to me at the hairdresser. But if I’d meet them, I’d definitely tell them to visit Texel for inspiration!