Day 347: Last Night in Holland

All my bags are packed and weighed.

Boarding passes are printed and passports are ready to go.

The car is coming bright and early to bring us and all our luggage to the airport.

My day was filled with anxiety and sadness as I prepared to let go and leave Holland behind. I felt so much stress in my body, even though I’m happy to be moving back home. It kind of feels like breaking up with a boyfriend that you still love, but you know it’s time to move on, but you still feel sad breaking up, even though its the right thing to do. Does that make any sense? All I know is that anxiety is real and not really any fun. And the quicker it leaves my body, the better. A few deep breathes helped, but it took awhile and isn’t fully gone yet.

It’s time to leave Holland, but I fell in love here. I liked my life here and my friends and all that Holland had to offer and I’m extremely sad moving on and leaving my friends, even though I’m happy for the next phase too. I think that’s what creates the anxiety. I have so much to love about California and my friends and family and life there too and I’m excited to see everyone again and be back in my home again.

I’m so thankful for having had the experience to live in Europe for a year with my family.

So as Jen and Dr. Seuss said, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

So I took a shower and cleaned up and off we went to enjoy our last night in Holland. Live in the moment, right?

There were three things I wanted to do…take a boat ride, take a family picture on the milk meisje bridge and eat bitterballen one last time.

We took the 5 tram into Amsterdam and met up with Ton and Loes for a boat ride through the canals. It was a gorgeous and warm evening and they made my dream come true. I am happiest on the water and felt my anxiety melt away. Thank you Ton and Loes for sharing your boat with us and giving us such a great going away present!




Afterwards, Loes took our family photo on the bridge by their home on the Herengracht.


And finally, we went to discover Loetje in Amsterdam, for bitterballen.

My night is done.

My heart is content.

My journey in Holland is complete.

It’s been a wonderful year of exploring and discovering and loving life.

I Am. Thankful.

Thank you for sharing the journey with me.


15 thoughts on “Day 347: Last Night in Holland

  1. I loved your blog and all the stories and pictures! I’m glad the last days in Amsterdam were sunny and warm. Have a safe trip back home, can’t wait to see you again and once you’re settled, I will make bitterballen for you!

    big hugs and see you soon! Pauline xox

    ☎ 650-823-0498 (pst)

  2. You have had an amazing journey and now, a safe trip home … And your blog has been a wonderful outlet for you to express everything that you did and everyone you have met.Writing your blog with passion and feeling like you do has not only been enjoyable for you, but has helped with the stressful times as well. Words are comforting… I know some of your words helped and inspired me…:) be safe and see you soon!! Xoxo

  3. Tears are filling my eyes reading your blog. I so get what you are saying and I feel all of your emotions. It is so difficult, but also exciting at the same time. Just go with the flow, and know it is all normal! I love you!

  4. Thank you for sharing your journey. It saddens me that I won’t be hearing about your adventures in Holland anymore, but look forward to hearing about your transition back to California and the next chapter in the Hartley life!!!

  5. I feel like I’ve seen and experienced much of Europe because of you and your great pictures and writings. We had dinner with your mom and dad Friday night and they are so excited that you’re coming home. We all are! Welcome back to the sunny state. Hugs, Mary

  6. It felt like a trip to Europe for me too. Thank you for sharing so much of it with us! We look forward to welcoming you back soon!

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