My name is Victoria but you can also call me Tori! It gives me so much joy and gratitude to represent Belgium in this pageant. The question “where are you from?” has always been an interesting one for me. Most people can answer this in one word, for me it’s much more complex.

I am a true third culture kid, a citizen of the world. Born and raised expat to Scottish parents, I was born near Amsterdam in the Netherlands but raised in Belgium, just outside of Brussels from the age of 3.

Growing up this way has really made me realise that “home” is where you feel most comfortable, where you personally feel belonging, and so for a modern woman like me, the concept of nationality breeds a new perspective, a new insight into identity which we’ve never had before!

For me, when I touchdown in Brussels after travelling, a wave of joy and satisfaction passes over me like no other place!

- Tell something about yourself, what you do in life, how you like to spend your free time, your best quality, your worst flaw.

I’ve always been a philosophical person. I naturally question culture and societal norms. Having a purpose and meaning in life is so essential to me and I’ve spent a lot of time in the past years “finding myself” and uncovering what makes me tick, how I can be of service to the world, and where I have been held back. From a young age, I already had big dreams and many passions, so I strive for a life that creates opportunity to do many things rather than just one.

This past year has been very poignant as I move through my mid 20’s. I have a degree in international business management and French and was working in business development, but I realised I wasn’t completely fulfilled. Something was missing.

I left my job and took a few months out to rest for the first time in many years. Aside from full time work, I’ve also been building my own brand and coaching business around self-love, empowerment & holistic wellness for five years now. So that has been another full time commitment on top!

I’ve realised in this period how much creativity and femininity had been lacking from my life. I rediscovered my love and talent for acting as I was an actress for many years until university. I am now pursuing this again alongside my coaching and challenging myself every day to question my own beliefs and be open to other possibilities, other ways I can develop skill and joy in areas I might have never considered!

As you might guess, free time isn’t something I’ve had much of for the past years. With strong ambition, I’ve always strived to use my free time productively. I love working on creative projects and feeling like I’m learning, growing and developing in life, so only once in a blue moon will you catch me watching Netflix!

My best quality, I would say is strength and resilience. I have had some very tough challenges and life experiences from a young age which force me to mature quickly. I am grateful for this as it has helped me navigate my 20s with more confidence and faith. I feel like I can handle anything that comes my way.

I believe it’s very important to be aware of our flaws and not only to improve on them but also accept we have them in the first place. We are perfectly imperfect human beings, not seamless robots!

I would say one of my biggest challenges is putting a lot of pressure and perfectionism on myself. As you can tell, I am trying each day to get better in this and accept myself exactly where I am at all times! 

- Who inspired you in your life / career?

My brother has always been a great inspiration for me. At aged 2, he was diagnosed with Autism which rapidly altered the course of our family life forever. Despite the challenges this has presented, he has taught me so much about what matters most in life and some of my best qualities have evolved through him. Also my parents, for how they have done such an incredible job at raising both of us and ensuring I still received love and care despite the extra focus my brother required.

I’ve also always looked up to Rihanna.She is such an icon and symbol for me as a young woman finding herself and her power in this difficult world. I love how she doesn’t care what anyone else thinks and how her music, appearance and energy have evolved to become more authentically her instead of what the music industry expected of her. I love how whatever she touches turns to success - she can take on anything! That is the kind of woman I strive to be every day!

- Is there in particular an event or something in your life that has marked you?

Great question. I would say an event that was defining in my development was at the age of 14, I was bullied for one year.

At such a tender and fragile age, this unfortunately set the tone for a poor relationship with myself for the years to come. I didn’t realise it at the time, but since I began developing self-awareness and focussing on personal and professional development, I realised how detrimental that was for my self-esteem, self-worth and confidence through my adolescence.

- What is happiness for you?

Happiness for me is living in alignment with your truest, most authentic self. Happiness is every day making the decisions you genuinely want to make, spending time with the people you love and are loved by the most, doing the job or studying the course that sets your soul on fire, and above all, finding joy and appreciation in the little things in life. Despite all the goals and material things we desire, true happiness is being able to put all that aside and find fulfilment in simplicity.

For me, when I’m expressing myself and using my creativity is when I feel happiest. I love to act, to sing and to dance.

- What is the phrase or quote you will never forget? Why?

It has to be a quote from Buddha!

His teachings have been such a guiding light for me in the last decade.

“What you think, you become.

What you feel, you attract.

What you imagine, you create.”

These words still hit me like the first time! I have had so much firsthand experience now that your thoughts really do shape your reality. It is incredible how we feel about ourselves and life determines the kind of life we have!

- How do you feel about being here at Miss Europe Continental?

I am truly grateful to have been approached for this opportunity. Of course, it is such an achievement to be considered one of the most beautiful women in Europe. But what motivates me most is to understand what true beauty really is, and this is what I want to bring to light at this pageant. Beauty is more than just your face and your body, it is your soul and the energy that you bring wherever you go. The power in this can speak volumes louder than your obvious physical beauty.

- What does fashion represent for you? 

Fashion is one of the most powerful forms of self-expression, which is why alongside acting, it has been one of my biggest passions for as long as I can remember.

Through fashion you can be whoever you want to be by the clothes that you wear.

It’s the ultimate statement to be made about who you are and what you want others to think about you.

However this can have its downsides too.

We’ve all had our experiences of cringy fashion “faux-pas” over the years, but I hope that everyone eventually finds their way to wearing the clothes and accessories that represent them the most.

- How do you see yourself in ten years?

Happy, healthy and fulfilled with my life. No matter what happens, these things are what matter most. To be surrounded by wonderful family, friends and supporters who love and care for you deeply.

I want to be making an impact on the world through acts of service which embody my talents and skills. I’ve learnt through my 20s that the vision can change often and I am humbled now in saying that I can never know for sure where I’ll be in 10 years as life almost always takes us on the journey we never expected! But I do hope I’m making a positive impact in people’s lives to see themselves and the world in a way they’ve never seen before. With more positivity, empowerment, excitement and faith that they can be, do and achievement anything they dream of!

Travel and culture are key values and interests too so I hope I have explored many more countries and had first hand experience of learning about life in faraway lands!

- If you could make one wish come true, what would it be?

My wish is for everyone in the world to develop strong self-awareness as I believe that through awareness of ourselves and our actions, we can find peace and create the world we all desire and deserve to co-inhabit together.

Don't miss his participation in the contest.