On leaving the Netherlands

Moving consists of leaving one place and going to another. This post is about the first part. It’s really not easy to write, but I would like for people to understand that the leaving part of this decision is one of the more difficult things I have ever had to do.

So after 13 beautiful years in this great little country, we are leaving the Netherlands.

Our life here has been exceptionally happy and fulfilling. We’ve made many great friends, and even some best friends. Our children are super happy in their little lives. Hey, we made a little family!

The single downside of the beautiful life that we’ve had here, is that leaving is complicated, and even a little painful.

It’s complicated, because that’s the way it is when one has to move a whole household and wrap up 13 years of accumulated stuff. It’s complicated, because we’re moving in the wrong direction, away from our adopted country. We can’t leave a trace behind.

It hurts, because we would love to stay with our friends here, but we have now made the choice to live far away.

We actually have no good reasons to leave, while there are many reasons to stay. The thing is, our reasons for moving are all in the going to part.

I think this might be a healthy perspective on moving. Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, it’s just not the easiest.

Dearest friends, thank you for the parties, for the laughter, for the warmth and for making us feel so at home. Thank you for being the kind of human beings that never stop striving to be more human.

I would love to see you on the other side.

7 Comments

  • Where are you heading to? I’m assuming SA. If so, welcome back to the Southern Hemisphere, where the night sky is the right way up. Having moved a family to a different country I have only one tip: take as much as you can with you, especially the small things, even if you think you’ll just dump some stuff and buy new on the other side. Money aside, buying new takes a long time to do. You’re better off just waiting the few weeks for your stuff to arrive. Oh, tip #2: don’t bother putting shoes in a container. They will get mouldy and you’ll just throw them away. Maybe you can experiment with a sealed container and fill it with nitrogen or CO2 or something… Sorry, tip #3, start packing early. It takes a bloody long time. I reserve the right to add tips as I remember them, regardless of my earlier sentiment regarding tips.

    • Oh yes! We’ve had private little chats before, and now it’s finally going to happen after a whole year of soul searching and planning. Please keep those tips coming!

  • As someone on the other side with vested interests two countries, I have a lot of empathy. That said, South Africa will be fortunate to have you back, and there will be many happy faces waiting. Here, then, is to an exciting new chapter on a new continent!

  • Dear Charl and Stella, I’m sure you have a great future ahead with you great girls and most importantly you are back to see both your families. Best wishes and have a good trip, Anton

  • I can only imagine the destination is the Western Cape.

    See you for a beer soon.

    All the best and good luck.

  • I fully agree with all the commentators above, and wish to add that I’m willing to bet you a beer that you will be happy in The South. People like you cannot escape being missed. This was the price the prize of going over in the first place. See you on whichever side you happen to be – I’ll come search for you.

  • Bye! Quite the journey it has been, happy to bump into you somewhere down that line.

    Catch you on the flip side.

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