Well I did, quitting that is, and I am going to travel the world for a year starting end of this year, December 2015. Traveling is in my blood, my mother’s side of the family lived in Indonesia for thirty years in the early 1900’s. My grandmothers would tell me stories about servants, huge lush gardens filled with a puppy and kittens, holidays in the jungle and lavish parties. Since I was a little girl I dreamed of one day visiting that wonderful place and seeing with my own eyes where my mother’s family so enjoyed living.
Growing up in Saudi Arabia
When my father got an offer to be part of a project in Saudi Arabia for a year it didn’t take my parents long to decide to go on this adventure. My father, mother, two sisters and I moved to Al Khobar on the west-coast of Saudi Arabia when I was ten. Because we loved living there, the year turned into ten and the traveling bug was further awakened in my blood. Next to living in numerous places in Saudi Arabia we got the opportunity to travel to neighboring countries for our holidays. Sri Lanka, Seychelles, Dubai, Bahrain, with every country we went to the hunger grew to see even more of the world. I couldn’t imagine just living in one place ever again and I started saving up money from my allowance and odd jobs. A fourth of all the money I made went into a piggybank with the intention to one day travel around the world.
The travel bug awakens again
When I finished high-school I returned to Holland and tried to settle there. I met my husband Michiel and started contaminating him with the travel bug. In the summers we started traveling to faraway places, our first trip was to Java, Indonesia, to see where my mother’s family had lived. And from there on we traveled to a different destination around the world every summer, learned to dive and were triggered to go to even further places to see the underwater world. In 2009 we traveled around Asia for four months. It were the most amazing months of our lives. We traveled through five countries soaking up the sunshine, meeting people, culture, history and nature and loving every second of it.
Settling back home
When we arrived back in Holland we had the hardest time settling back into day-to-day life in a western society. After living on a daily budget of 15 euro’s a person per day and just the things that fit in our backpacks we had trouble coping with the materialism around us. I think we contemplated about leaving, to travel more about a hundred times those first few months. But we gave Holland a second chance. We changed a lot as people because of our trip and incorporated our new selves into a lifestyle. We sold about half our belongings, moved into a house half the size in a new city, both got new jobs, continued living in the moment (instead of planning ahead) and spent our holidays traveling and diving.
Noa was born
Our family thought we were finally ready to settle down and had lost the traveling bug over those four months, and would never again do something as silly as leaving them for so long. The settling became a reality when we became pregnant and I gave birth to our beautiful son Noa in January of 2013. But when the first few uber hectic baby months were in the past and we kind of figured out a daily rhythm, the urge to travel hit us again. We decided to take seven month old Noa on a three week holiday to Indonesia. A lot of people around us thought we had lost our minds, but we were dreaming of Nasi goreng, diving, sawa’s, jungle treks, friendly smiles and lots of sun. We stepped on our first transatlantic flight with baby Noa to Bali, Nusa Lembongan and a small island of off the coast of Banda Aceh, Palau Weh.
Vacationing in Indonesia with a seven-month old baby
Noa loved every minute of the holiday from the second we closed our door in Holland. He was an angel on the twelve hour flight, he loved the food, the attention and having us hover over him twenty-four seven. For us it was a lot of getting used to, the days of reading endless amounts of books, lounging near a pool or on a beach, and quiet romantic worry less dinners were over. Going on holiday with a baby is a lot of work, he needed constant attention and wasn’t always in the mood to sleep when it suited us. It took us about a week to get into a rhythm, but in the end we all had an awesome time and actually got some diving done as well.
Nearing our last week I secretly started dreaming my lifelong dream of traveling around the world again. All of a sudden this didn’t seem so impossible anymore. The year after that we traveled to Costa Rica and spend three weeks jungle trekking, swimming in waterfalls, diving, horseback riding and trekking over volcanoes. The travel bug hit us hard and I slowly brought up the subject of a trip around the world.
Not traveling to our favorite holiday destination for 15 years.
It wasn’t until much later that year that we were talking about our next big holiday. We were thinking about going to the Philippines in April of 2016. We suddenly realized this would be the last time we would be able to go to the Philippines in the coming 15 odd years or so because Noa would start school soon and we wouldn’t be able to travel in the Filipino summer season. Continuing our conversation we realized that the same thing was valid for a trip around the world. It was either now or wait fifteen years. Everything can and will change in fifteen years. At that time my aunt was battling with uterine cancer and made us realize even more how important it is to make you dreams come true. So the decision was made, before Noa starts preschool we will let our biggest dream come true, we will travel the world for a year.
Join us in our trip around the world
What a huge decision, leaving our house and country for a whole year. Traveling with a (then) three year old toddler. Where do you start organizing a trip like this? What do you take along? What do you do with your house and belongings back home? And to which countries do you travel? With this blog I invite you to follow our stories, first in preparation of this huge endeavor and continuing into our journey from country to country. Leave behind your emailadres and we will let you know when we post new blogs and pictures. And of course, if you want to leave a comment for us, we would love to hear your feedback.