So this was one hectic and fun week. I went to the Netherlands for a small vacation, mainly because of different family events and a seminar that I was looking forward to for months.
As I’m typing this, I’m back home in Berlin and feel very content. Listening to the album ‘In Rolling Waves’ by the Naked and Famous (great music), I have a slight feeling of homesickness. It was so good to talk for hours with my brothers and sisters, my parents and grandparents and a lot of other people. Tomorrow it’s all back to normal, but for now, one last reflection on the past week.
It’s all about family
This week made me realize the importance of family for me even more. I have 4 brothers and 2 sisters (my parents got divorced when I was little and both re-married and started happy families, hence the high amount). This also causes me to have a big extended family. We celebrated my mothers’ dad 83th birthday. I must say that this granddad is maybe even my favorite, he is always so interested in the world and in hearing my latest plans and is urging me to start writing my first book – ever since I was able to write full sentences, if I remember correctly. I’m also lucky enough to have a mother-in-law who is super sweet, so me and my boyfriend also spent some days at her home.
The last day of my stay in the Netherlands, my biological dad’s family gathered at a very nice place near the beach for a 5-yearly reunion. The organization of this event made a family tree, starting with my grand-grandmother and -father. We now amount to around 85 people in total, of which around 70 flew in from all over the world to re-unite. So special! We hiked, played beach volleybal, frisbee, climbed on a 22 m high tower and watched the Dutch team win their world cup match (oh man, that was SO exciting!).
One of the reasons I wanted to go to the Netherlands instead of some new exotic country (like Jordan, HIGH on the wishlist right now), was the seminar where Ricardo Semler would speak about his company and his vision. The event was called ‘Everybody the CEO”, and was as interesting as I hoped it would be. Later this week I will share some of the knowledge that I gained. Makes you think about your life and the office you work in big time.
Even though I didn’t spend as much time as I wanted to with my boyfriend, we made some small trips. We had tons of plans before the week started, but apparently what I’d heard around me from other expats is true; once you are in your homecountry there is never enough time to see everyone you want to, let alone spent some quality time with your love. It turned out to be mainly evenings and afternoons that we had to ourselves. We saw the beautiful city of Utrecht, which was nice. The difference between the Netherlands and Germany is especially striking when you are in Amsterdam or Utrecht, if you’d ask me. Both cities will always have a special place in my heart (I’m sure I’ll return to Amsterdam when I’m a little older). Plus, my boyfriend bought me the nicest summer shoes EVER. I’ll show you some pics later on. For now you’ll have to do with a weird picture where you see me in Utrecht.
Where did the days go
I keep asking myself this question. I don’t want it to be over yet. Since I’m not able to ‘just’ stop by my family whenever I like, I want these visits to last as long as possible. Time flies, right?! But I couldn’t have thought of a better way to spend this week, so I guess it was a good choice to go ‘home’ for some days in a row. I must admit that this, for me, remains one of the hard parts of being an expat. You can make new friends, a new house to call your home, a new daily routine. But family, you just can’t replace ‘em.
So, off we go, a new week. Do you have something fun planned?