Almost a year ago we started talking about our trip around the world. Months later, when it was clear that it wouldn’t be a be a problem to rent out our house we made the final decision. By having people rent our house we would be financially able to make the trip. From that moment on we were weekly, and often daily working on the preparations of the trip. We started out with making two large lists, one for everything that we needed in our luggage and a second list for everything else we needed to arrange. New passports, getting our mail forwarded, quitting our jobs, arranging insurance, arranging addresses for our cats to stay and hundreds of other things. We use project software to get a good overview of everything. Over the past months the list started to slowly disappear and now, days before our departure, we are just left with the last bits.
Partying towards our goodbye
Three weeks before our departure the goodbye’s start with a goodby drink with all our friends and family. The day overwhelmed us because we were so busy arranging for the trip, our last tickets, international driving license, first visas, accommodation……
We bought wine, beer and snacks and by than all the people invited were already at our door. Our son Noa enjoyed all the attention, while we realised more and more that we were saying goodbye to people who we wouldn’t see anymore because of the coming holidays. While we had a really good time we also felt really weird, the trip around the world was really becoming reality, not just a dream.
Saying goodbye at work
The week after announced the last weeks at work, working on my handover, my last meetings for the projects I worked on, finishing up my eduction and saying goodbye to dozens of people.
I received heartwarming emails and Twitter messages, great goodbye drinks, lots and lots of goodbye gifts and sweet conversations over goodby cups of coffee. I have been saying for days that we should leave for a trip around the world more often – saying farewell brings out an honest appreciation, so much it almost feels unreal. Regretting leaving behind so many good colleagues.
In between saying goodbyes we brought one of our two cats to Groningen (province in Holland) where she will be looked after for the coming year.
Cozy Christmas days
We start off Christmas with drinks and a bonfire in the neighborhood. All neighbors gather around a 5 meter high Christmas tree with cups of glühwein (warm spicy whine) – followed up a couple of days later by a Christmas breakfast at my office. I really enjoy all the nostalgia, a crispy wood-fire on a tv screen on the wall and chit chatting while enjoying all the good food everybody brought to work.
Right after my last workday it’s Christmas, we celebrate the first day of Christmas (in Holland everybody celebrates Christmas two days in a row) with my family and the day after with my in-laws. The days feel a bit weird, as if we have already left a bit. But also really relaxing and enjoying the people who are most dear to us. Spoil them with gifts and getting spoilt with last minute travel gifts and toys for Noa.
The last days are spend moving our belongings. Our backpacks have been ready for months but, the only thing that is left to do is to empty our house and clean it because our house will be rented out. Cooking for the very last time means we can pack cutlery and plates, just like packing our last clothes. Doing laundry for the last time means we can move the washer and dryer. And the last day in our house we move the couch, computers, dinner table and beds. We have put all our other belongings in storage over the last few months.
Restlessness at the Roding family
All three of us are restless, the nights are short and during the days we aren’t exactly very kind to each other. Noa is being a toddler, pulling pranks, but we can’t really blame him. He sees his house emptying and can’t wait to go on holiday. That’s what he believes is going to happen, because explaining a trip around the world to a two year old is impossible.
The night before our flight we eat and stay with my in laws, a warm blanket that surrounds us from the moment we step through their door. We will miss each other like crazy, and we enjoy each other’s company intensely the last hours. The next morning is over in no time at all. We have breakfast together, sort through the last things and than we are off to Schiphol airport. We made it, that very last mile towards our trip around the world!