Our Holland holiday in a nutshell
So last time our journey back to Holland was still ahead of us.
This was our trip in a nutshell:
- Loved having all my family and long term, knowing all about pre- and current Lembeh me, Dutchy friends around. What also caused some hysterical, emotional outbursts. Or was that because of sleep deprivation. Eitherway, that's ok. With my family and friends I can really, but really be myself;).
- Festivals! What could have been a better way to start our trip than Lowlands? Nothing! My husband would disagree, but hey, who's the boss? No, I did discuss it with him. In general he is a 'we will see' kind of guy that doesn't like everything to be arranged. Makes him nervous. For me it's the opposite, if I can plan everything to a tee, I'm as happy as can be. Not knowing what's next, makes me nervous. We complement each other so nicely.
But anyway, if my life could just be one big, happy, ongoing festival.. and I didn't need a week of recovery after.. I think this also may have played a role in some of my emotional outbursts, see point above.
- Touring the country like rock stars. But then with a borrowed car from my parents, crashing on everybody's couch. More like rock stars, amateur phase.
- A lot of baby moments; the birth of my bff's baby, seeing my small, but already big baby nephew again and admiring another bff's pregnancy glows and lows in real life.
- Bringing the beauty back out after living in the jungle for over a year. I was somewhat bewildered and friends were telling me how Kees and I started to look so much alike. But in a natural good way. Sure. So we went to our favorite spa and I got a western haircut. Kees almost fell from his chair when she told me the price. But it was worth having some pinkish locks for a change. And I visited the dentist for some intense cleansing. After everything was white and sparkly, I promised myself no more smoking, again. This time for real.
- All the vegan and vegetarian options! Tempeh and tofu are great, and with the veggies and most importantly the animals that I'm not eating, it's all good. But still some variety is welcome. I noticed it's turning into vegan heaven in Holland. So there are no more excuses people! I couldn't control myself with so many options and it didn't help that all our visits basically revolved around having as much Dutch food and drinks as possible again. Vegetarians are always skinny, it's a myth. A friend of me said: "But all those extra kilo's you gained are from enjoyment and these new good memories". Thanks babe. In Indonesia they would probably fall right off again. I am still hoping for this to happen 2 months later. The staff here now thinks I'm pregnant. They are very genuine and according to western standards sometimes inappropriately honest over here. And that coming from a Dutchy. But I'll say it's positive that they treat me like I'm one of them.
- Two mini holidays in one holiday. My mom and I annually plan a special mother and daughter trip. And although I live in Indonesia now, we could still squeeze 5 days Belgium in, for some girl time. Besides that Kees and me needed some real 'just us' time also, so we fled to France where I planned a couple of schedule free days. We actually didn't see much of the beautiful little village we were in, named Nantes. But we did see almost all the episodes of 'How I met your mother' again, drank wine and ate a lot of baguettes with our favorite spreads. It was legen... wait for it, dary!
- Got all my bloodwork checked. I often feel energyless, and that's not very convenient if you have so many plans. But no alarming results came back. Maybe it is exactly those big plans that exhaust me sometimes. I will investigate that a little more, because I prefer that they'll give me loads of energy.
- Whatsapp calling with the Lembeh family and our dogs.
- Realizing that being away means missing out on a lot too, and that the costs have to weigh up against the benefits. Otherwise it would not be fair to the people that we left behind and ourselves. Hold that thought, we did too when we boarded the plane back to Lembeh.
Wopan Lembeh style
So we have to have a darn good reason for being somewhere else than in Holland. And we know we have, but coming 'home' to Lembeh after the place was ruled with a different scepter, felt a bit odd. We think it's very important that we can be totally honest to our employer, especially before our costly work permits get renewed in March. We had to have a sit down and discuss what our plan was when we first came here and if we're still on the right track. Actually this is something we spontaneously (I promise) do almost monthly, just to check if we're still happy, or want to change something. I also have to be carefull not to overthink the future and get stuck by having these talks too often. That being better, happier, more focused is all I can think about. And that I am only able to have long, deep and meaningful conversations. Yuk! Become the Debby Downer that people avoid at parties. So I'll mix worrying with 70% of enjoying where I am right now. We opened two bottles of Bintang and placed another couple of them in the fridge for later (long night expected), put on our favorite Spotify playlist (called Chill songs) and sat together on our balcony symbolically overviewing the resort and 'our Lembeh bay'. And we talked. This was the result:
Initially we left Holland to:
- Become dive instructors.
- See if we can gain more experience and knowledge abroad, which would help us achieve our dream to start our own sustainable project someday.
- Just the feeling of doing something different and cool.
- Making a hard right turn from the safe straight ahead career path that we were following.
- Staying abroad for at least 2 years, or as long as we have the feeling that we want or need to be there.
- Maybe even settling somewhere for a longer while. People also are having babies in local villages and a child doesn't have to attend school till it's 5 in Holland. What a cool, compassionate kid we would have, if he grew up somewhere more tropical. He would be like our own little Mowgli. .
- Seeing if we'd still like each other after spending 24 hours a day working together.
- Owning a, or preferably more (rescued) dogs.
- Saving animals and preferably the planet while we're at it.
- Having a bigger positive impact with our work.
- Working in a more outside than inside job, making people happy and educating or influencing at the same time.
So we are already gently ticking almost all the boxes. Do we want to tick the ones that are left, from our current location? And what the berries would we do if we would go somewhere else in terms of work? History will not repeat! Did this place already give us all that it has to offer? There is one thing we absolutely don't want, but sometimes see happening with others doing this job. Sitting out the months and years, coming down to welcome new guests before disappearing back into their rooms, putting no extra energy in, watching Netflix the whole day and never really see the beautiful island and around that they are living on. But maybe they already did, and they just settled here, comfortable and stress free. And I have to be honest, I am quite fond of watching Dutch television in my off hours and didn't get the chance yet (well that's not true) to discover most of the area between Manado airport and Lembeh. So it was nice when my brother and sister in law came to visit, so we could show them around, in- and outside our resort bubble. This place is really beautiful! We should go diving and enjoy the setting a lot more!
When I came here I had so many creative ideas and plans to make this resort stand out. Some of them are indeed in progress and our guests seem to be very happy here. But I can definitely put some more effort into it and in the things I want to accomplish here for myself. I think, that for me makes living here worth it. It also means I am not ready to settle and accept being on a steady ok line in life yet. But being on that line that I am comfortable to settle on is the ultimate goal, I realize. I need to get more out of this experience first. Travelling somewhere else is out of the question. Why would I? I'm taking me everywhere else I go. I am living in a little paradise, with great people and so much potential still. If we want to have a bit more of a stir we can easily visit Bali for a few days. And I would never leave my dogs here for longer than a holiday break. Those crazy all you can or actually cannot (but don't care) eat people scare me. So it's got to be here, now and for longer. And I'll be back if I need to be. In the upcoming 2 years I have 3 weddings I will definitely be at! Best of both worlds, how lucky is that. And I can be there anyway, even when I'm not. Just call me!
So on with it! I can cross another goal off my bucket list: Save a stray. If I really can manage to save him. He is in bad shape. Poor guy is only 1 years old, and looks like he's 20. I will make him a star. Bintang in Indonesian. Nothing to do with the beer this time. I will keep you posted on the progress.