Friday, 16 May 2008

The Dutch 'me'

The dutch things: the Dom, the canals and my bike for the week. Can it get any more Dutch than that: an orange bike! (with special thanks to Sara!!)

My 2 weeks in the Netherlands involved a lot of eating, drinking and having excellent BBQ's with VIP's from the Netherlands (meet the vibrant Guusje) and Belgium (meet the lovely Eefje). And yes, I must admit I choose that beer because of its name...Am I a 'flierefluiter'?

The main reason of my 'Dutch trip': to see my family (sorry no pictures there...) and friends. My dad always says 'Maaike, you have too many friends': for once I agree because I didn't have enough time to see everyone. So yes many friends and many friends in different generations...Some wise men (Thomas and Jan) who think they are getting older, but I disagree. They also think they are getting wiser... My best friend from university, Catherine and boyfriend Floor who do scary grown-up things like having a mortgage, doing a phd and having a steady job. And last but certainly not least: My good friend Petra with her gorgeous son Toon who I adore (he already likes olives...repect!)

My two weeks have flown by: it was fun, I enjoyed it but I'm happy to go. I will not miss the Netherlands, but I will miss the people who live here. I have started a pro New Zealand PR and EVERYone has said that they will come and visit...

Saturday, 3 May 2008

With both feet in the Netherlands...

After an absolute brilliant trip around the world, I am back at the start: the Netherlands. In the last 10 months I have tried to describe what I enjoy about travelling, the countries I visited and the lovely people I met. I have often thought 'damn, I'm the luckiest person in the world' and I'm truly fortunate that I kept thinking that till the end, and to be honest I still think that now. Perhaps this picture of my last weekend in Suriname gives it away: Neirude and I, absolutely enjoying each others company, having fun by wrestling in the grass in Suriname. Ever wondered about true happiness: I definately found it!

So before I start meeting up with everyone, some future frequently asked questions (FFAQ's!)

- Ever wondered whether quitting your job was the right decision?
Nope. Never ever doubted it, not for a minute. I can highly recommend it...
- What was your favourite country? (Petra's husband Lex was to quick for me: he already asked me that...)
I have no idea. Cliché enough I truly enjoyed every single step of my trip.
- Do you wish you had done something else along your trip?
Nope. For me this trip was excellent: culture, nature, travelling alone and sometimes with friends and a 'Western' break in the middle.
- Did you miss 'home'?
Euh no, but I sometimes wished I could go for a coffee, or have dinner and a nice glass of wine with my parents or friends. But, sorry, if you do what you enjoy most, it's difficult to really miss something.
- So the one million euro question: what's next?
Well, a holiday in the Netherlands and then back to New Zealand on May 16th where I do have to get 'serious' again and find a job, get a house and some 'normality' in my life. Sounds absolutely scary at the moment, but I know I will enjoy it...till I start dancing in the rain again and decide to put my travelshoes back on!