Going Dutch: Making the leap
Welcome to our new newsletter. We hope to put it out weekly, as a glimpse into our lives as we make the transition from cycling around the world to a somewhat more stable life, with luxuries like furniture and constant hot water, in Holland. As we write this, we’re at Halifax Airport in Nova Scotia, just waiting for our plane to take off. We’ll spend the next 3 weeks driving with Friedel’s uncle around Germany and Poland before we arrive at our new home in The Hague. It’s exciting and nervewracking all at the same time but we’re jumping into our new role, sans bicycles, with a big smile and an optimistic outlook. Anyone out there want to hire an IT expert or a journalist??
This is one of the hardest parts of constantly moving to a new place… saying goodbye to family and friends. Here’s Andrew with his cousins Arthur and Penny. They’re such lovely people and we’ll miss them a lot so we were glad they came to the airport to see us off on our big Dutch adventure.
Since we’ve jumped off our bikes, we’ve had to make a few adjustments. Here’s what we’ve noticed:
- Our appetites are still raging! There’s lots of wrist-slapping as we try to avoid ice cream (which we used to eat by the gallon), second helpings of anything and, saddest of all, beer….
- Our backs are aching and they only feel better when we lean forward into a riding position. Really.
- We are spending a stupid amount of money. It’s cheaper to travel than stay at home.
- Fresh Air, oh how we miss you! When we’re driving in the car, we want to stick our heads out the window.
- Having a bed every night is very nice indeed. This is one adjustment we’re happy to make.
Since we’ve announced our idea to move to Holland, many people have asked us a lot of questions. Here are some of the answers:
- Why Holland? Why not? Life’s too short to be boring and we crave new surroundings. We don’t know a lot about the Netherlands so this seems like a great learning opportunity.
- Do you have jobs? Nope. But we’re not too worried. After all, we didn’t have jobs when we went to London in 2000 and we had never bike toured when we decided to go around the world. It’ll work out.
- Are you taking your bikes? Unfortunately not. We’re too afraid they’ll get stolen in the big city. Instead, we’ll buy Dutch bikes when we get there and learn to ride down the canal paths while holding hands, like the locals!
Here’s the list of things we want to do in the Netherlands, whether or not we succeed in getting jobs there. If we do all this, we’ll consider it a successful trip!
- Travel to the country’s highest and lowest points. Are there more than 5 meters between them?
- Understand all the provinces and their characteristics.
- Learn to speak at least a little Dutch.
- Become experts in Dutch chocolate, cheese and beer!
- Successfully ride our bikes down a canal towpath, while holding hands.
- Skate on the frozen canals (if this winter is cold enough).
- Do a bike tour of the whole country.