We can hardly believe it’s 12 weeks now since we started our trip – it’s gone so quickly! By far the longest either of us have travelled. Given this milestone, we wanted to talk in this post about how we’re finding being away from home.
Albeit we love our home and the lives we have in Amsterdam, there are definitely things that we aren’t really missing. To name a few:
Work. Before this trip Jeroen was feeling finished with his current job; ready for a new challenge. Carl on the other hand was ready to stop taking on new challenges. Those of you who’ve been around Carl the past year or two will understand! Both of us needed time to breathe, take things in and evaluate what we were doing. This trip is giving us exactly that. So much so we are still considering becoming professional travel bums.
Financial burdens. Before we left we took the decision to sell everything up and put our things into storage; after initially giving us regular panic attacks at the thought, we’re now super happy to have total freedom from juggling mortgages, home ownership costs and the other plethora of bills. These didn’t particularly feel like a burden at the time. But the past few months has helped us see that most of our lives revolved around keeping these financial elements juggling. It has been truly liberating. Surprisingly, so has not being able to go out and spend on things (seeing as we are on a strict budget). Who knew you don’t have to buy things willy nilly to feel happy?!
Dutch winter. Perhaps a bit of an obvious one (and apologies to everyone currently experiencing this). But we are not missing the dark nights, dreary weather and associated general travel mess, moaning, etc. that comes it it. Albeit we have experience some of our own weather woes, they haven’t compared (yet) to the Dutch winters. So for as long as we can we are happy to continue enjoying the long days, light nights and beautiful weather in South America (although it does feel a bit weird at Christmas).
Now, this might all seem wonderful and life changing (and it probably is in one way or another). However, we wouldn’t be being honest if we didn’t recognize some of the things that we do miss.
Our own bed(room). We’ve generally been quite fortunate with pretty comfortable accommodation so far. Although, those times when we have terrible accommodation with crap mattresses, pillows, paper thin walls or inconsiderate roommates waking us up in the middle of the night really make us question if it’s worth it. Thankfully these experiences have been in the minority, so at the moment we manage to get over it. But still, nothing beats your own bed; the memory foam mattress, topper and plump feather pillows. We’re practically drooling at the thought.
A well equipped kitchen and access to the foods we’re used to cooking with. Trying to cook around 10 other people is challenge enough. Add into the mix cooking with unfamiliar ingredients and what few things you can find in poorly equipped kitchens is like being on a super low budget version of Master Chef (for the insane). As a Christmas treat, once we are rid of a few more things from our bags, we’re considering looking for a travel cooking kit to take around with us. Speaking of food, we also have some Dutch cravings; Andijvie Stampot for Jeroen and broodje kroket from Van Dobben for Carl. If anyone from the Netherlands will be in the area we’d be grateful if you could bring us some.
Last, but by no means least – family and friends. You might all see the posts of us having a wonderful time, however we do truly miss you! Especially given the time of year. Although the regular phone or social media contact helps, there’s not many days go by when we don’t talk about how some of our family or friends would love a certain activity we’re doing, or party we’re at (on that note: we miss Amsterdam techno parties too!). Thankfully we are meeting some great new people to enjoy our time with along the way. Still, we can’t wait for few people to join us over the coming six months (Susan in Chile, Jo in Peru, our parents in Costa Rica and Mexico, and perhaps a few others too).
So, how are we finding being away from home? Well, as you’ll see there’s two sides to every story. We’re sure over the coming year we’ll get used to having a substitute come for a while. Would we change a thing about what we are doing? No. Does this help us appreciate even more what we have back in Europe? Absolutely!
On that note, we want to wish all of our family and friends a wonderful Christmas. And much love for 2019! We’ll be thinking of you all.
Love from South America!