Day 274: Homeward Bound

It’s bound to happen some day. Our some day just happens to be coming very soon.

94 days to be almost exact.


When we set out to move abroad, we agreed to one year away with the possibility of three. We were always fine with one year, until we started talking with friends and other expats, who kept telling us one year wasn’t long enough. We doubted ourselves momentarily, but soon realized what is best for our family is different than what is best for other families. There are several excellent reasons why we are choosing to move back to our home town after our one year is up in July. The number one reason is that it is best for Jeff’s career. Secondly, Christian is starting high school and we are happy for him to start back with his peer group at the beginning of his freshman year. And the younger children still prefer California over Holland, so they are thrilled.

Even though we’ve made this family decision, it still is challenging to accept the change and prepare for the transition because our life is also good here in Holland. I’m happy to move back home, but I also like our home here too. It’s what I like to call a high class problem, in that we are so blessed to have two homes now with friends and family we love in both places. Saying goodbye is never easy.

The movers came today to do an inventory and give us a quote to move our belongings back to where they belong. This made things feel real, and gave me a little anxiety.

I believe in living in the moment and living it up, so I’m not going to give much time to feeling sad or confused, because that will be living it down. I’m going to keep enjoying my friends and doing the work to prepare us for the big move home. I’m going to play and have fun and continue to make travel plans to see as much of the world as we can before we leave this continent, not that we can’t travel back here once we are back in America, its just easier from here.

Today I Am happy and sad and ok…and almost ready to start packing things up.


20130425-174149.jpg Ouderkerk

Day 57 – Really Relocating?!?

Oh what a journey — if only all the answers could be found in a nice little glossy covered pamphlet!


Today I had someone come to our house to conduct a survey of our belongings to help us with the relocation. For some reason, this really bothered me. We walked through the house, trying to identify what we’d like to move and how much of it we’d like to move. This would seem like a simple task, but it felt really strange and I’ll explain why.

We’ve agreed to go for one year – since we’re planning to go for one year, we don’t need to bring all our stuff with us. We’re keeping our house as is – meaning we’re not planning on taking our furniture or beds but mainly our clothes and our shoes, and our comfort items – oh yeah, and the mini van!  We’re not taking all of our personal belongings – and when we walked by my treasured family canvases that are in the main living areas of our house  – it felt weird to think of leaving them and felt weird to think of taking them. So I felt this kind of limbo feeling.

And for the other stuff – if we don’t need it with us for a year, it made me think if we need it at all?  I mean, I guess when we come back we’ll need all the electronic devices that we can’t use in Europe – like the microwave, coffee grinder, and toaster oven. But what about the ten thousand pieces of plastic dishes and toys and stuff? And all the baskets and bags and dinglehoppers?  Hmm…

So there was all this yin and yang stuff pulling at me today. I felt a sense of freedom from my stuff and a sense of loss from leaving my stuff. I felt for my sisters who have gone through life changes and had to let go of their stuff – does it feel liberating to not have your stuff? Do you miss your stuff? After all, it’s just stuff – but that stuff provides a sense of comfort and attachment – and freedom and loss. So weird!! Can you relate?

It’ll all work itself out – just feels a little weird today.  Tomorrow I’ll be excited again to start cleaning out my stuff and keep to my minimalist plan.  If you have any advice or have been there, done that, I’d love to hear what you have learned along the way. Namaste.