Made in Holland

These past few weeks were busy, very stressful. Preparations, our house was sold, the moving, a rescheduled flight, our missing passports… but now it’s finally time to go.

Our friends take us to the trainstation and say goodbye for a long long time. We hug five times, six… one more, and wave each other off like in a dramatic movie scene.

While we are in the train with my daughter and son-in-law, it still feels like a dream. Pinch me, am I awake?!

Halfway through the trip, my daughter gets off and my brother enters the train. I hug my little girl for as long as possible and when the train doors close, I’m having a lump in my throat, for the first time I feel emotional.

We wave with a big smile until we no longer see each other. Lump…

I hug my brother, everything goes so fast, before I know it we arrive at Schiphol Airport where we meet our niece who also has to catch a flight!

One more time I call my father and scan the crowd until I finally see my mother. She waves happily and puts her warm arms around me. My mom.

We chat a bit but I still missing someone, I only said goodbye to my son through skype, so that bothers me a lot… does this feel good? Is this alright? Then, totally unexpected he is here, my son… my missing piece. He made it!! Now we can go.

We hug forever until we bring our bags to the check-in desk where, of course, a new challenge awaits us.

‘You have booked a single trip I see… then we cannot allow you aboard miss’

WHAT?! WHAT?!!!! Oh my god, I thought I had thought of everything, but this… shit. We can only stay in South Africa for a limited period without a visa, so they want proof that we will leave again.

We discuss with the stewardess behind the desk which proof is valid and after a bit of investigating, book a busticket to Mozambique for a date when we’ll probably actually use it.

And then of course there was that funny thing with our creditcard that all of a sudden didn’t work…

In the end everything is fine. Tickets in the email and relieved as we, the flight attendant wishes us a nice trip. Right…

When we say goodbye to everyone I realize what I’m going to have to miss… hugging my children, just talk to my mom, chat with friends at our favorite cafe, meeting with my girlfriends, Jos and me walking into town and wondering what we were actually doing there. Hanging around on the couch at home, cooking with my own pots and pans. Our Dutch cheese… and licorice… chocolate sprinkles! Everything.

I hate to say goodbye, always.

We have dreamed of this for such a long time and now we are going. We go away and leave all our stuff in a storage-box of three by four meters.

Different thoughts and emotions are running through our blood. We do not see clear and feel high on euphoria, the adrenaline, everything suddenly goes so fast.

When we wave to our family for the last time, I feel that lump in my throat again.

A last text message from my brother while we find our place on the plane: don’t rush, enjoy the details, then time will slow down.

That’s what we’re going to do. We are going to enjoy every minute to the fullest, slowly… relaxed… relaxed…

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