It’s Friday morning and I’ve been back in the Netherlands now for almost two weeks. When I was traveling I hoped to be able to continue writing each day, but as expected that turned out to be harder while being back home. I wrote some pages on the first days that I was back, but I didn’t post them because it felt like it was quite mundane. Now that I quickly glance over the stories I realise that it could have been interesting to post them, but it’s okay. When I was traveling I wrote about what I did each day and that was great, because I could share my adventures with the world. If I write about my days while being back home, it feels more like a diary and since most people are quite busy I don’t think many people would have the time or interest to read it anyway.
Talking about being busy, that’s one of the first things I had to adjust to coming back home. People here are so busy. In traffic and in public places, everyone seems to be rushing. Coming back from high mountains, big forests and wide open fields, it takes some time to get used to living in little Netherlands again. No more long road trips to go somewhere, actually no driving at all. I take my bike to the gym and the local coffee place and I travel by train to visit family and friends out of town. I was planning to get busy myself as well the first day after I came back, but my laptop broke down and I couldn’t work for a few days. I’ve got a new one now and am back to work, but it was actually nice not being able to go back to work mode immediately. My brother told me to never go straight back to work after vacation and I think he is right. Last weekend I went away with my family to a vacation park and we had a great time together. It felt like a little vacation after the grand vacation. Even though I could travel for much longer, it is so nice to see my family and friends again. Traveling is adventurous and exciting, because you visit new places and make new friends. On the other side there is also something about being in your own city for a while where you know the people and places. It often surprises me how you can travel for weeks or months and when you come back nothing seems to have changed. It is like life was standing still while you were traveling.
I enjoy my work, because I’m good at it and it’s nice to help people with my skills. I’m also happy to go to the gym again, getting back in a workout schedule and to cook dinner and eat a bit healthier. There are many things to be thankful for, like my nice room with a large bed and a beautiful book case, my loving family and my friends in town. Still I can’t help but miss nature and the free life. So far I’ve done a good job by not letting work put stress on me again and to live in the moment most of the time, but normal life is just different than traveling life. When I’m traveling I often don’t have a plan and just see what I’ll do on the day itself. Here I live with quite a structure, knowing the night before what the plan for tomorrow is. Of course that’s something I choose myself, but it’s also a bit of a necessity to be productive. I’ve got quite some catching up to do in the coming months, especially now that I also had to buy a new laptop. I think I’ll be working a lot in the Summer and try to safe some money for new adventures.
Another thing I miss is writing every day and spending time with my new bullet journal. I think I’ll do some catching up with that in the weekend. I usually like to keep the weekends completely open and then just do what I feel like doing when I wake up on Saturday morning. Sometimes that’s going to the beach or the forest or visiting one of the old cities in the country, like Maastricht. Other times it’s going to a local coffee place to read or write and once in every few weeks I take the train to visit my family. I’m not sure about this weekend yet, but I think I’ll take the train somewhere and go for a hike. While writing this post and thinking about traveling I somehow end up on the website of Lonely Planet and I see beautiful pictures which only feed the desire to travel again. There is a famous video on youtube of a guy that asks “What would you do if money wasn’t an issue?” and I know that for me the answer would be traveling. I find an interesting looking book about National Parks in Europe. I think I’ll get that one and make some plans to travel more in Europe. I’ve seen a lot of America now, probably more than most Americans have, and even though I’d love to go right back there, maybe it’s also interesting to see more of Europe.
I work until the end of the afternoon and then I bike to Starbucks to spend a few minutes with a cold drink and a book. I have plans for tonight, but I realize that it’s important to have just a bit of me-time. Even though it’s only ten minutes of reading, I really enjoy it. Then more fun is waiting, because it’s the board games night that I organize each month in my city. We have dinner together and play several games with a group of about 20 people. We have a great time and before I know it, it’s getting late. Around midnight I’m back home and when I’m in bed I remember that I started writing a blog this morning. There are many more things I could write about, but I’ll save those for a next post.