Plottwist!

“Wow, what the hell?! Aren’t you supposed to be on the other side of the world?”
Yes I am. I was…

“So. Like, what, how long are you here for?”
I have a return ticket for September.

“Oh you do have a return ticket this time? Yeah, ‘cause you also have a boyfriend back there right?”
That’s right! Or actually, a fiancé ^.^

“Wow! Congratulations! But that must be hard…”
It is! I miss him like crazy, being on different sides of the world is very frustrating.
Then again, who am I to complain? You have to live in this shithole year-round.
And there are plenty of couples who have to spend months apart like this years on end.
I’m just happy we only have to do it for these few months, am grateful for skype, and hold on to the thought of the paradise we’ll be able to build ourselves by the end of this year.

“Ah-oh, next you’re going to tell me you’re pregnant, haha.”
Not yet, but don’t be surprised if I carry one on my arms next time you see me.

“Seriously, stop it with the bombs now!”
Haha.
Okay, so I came back to earn some European bucks. We have a dream, but to make it come true we need bigger funding.
And for me to find work in Indonesia isn’t easy. They’re not keen on having bule taking their jobs. And even if I’d find something I wouldn’t make enough to save on.

“So is he coming here aswell?”
To get him visa isn’t easy either. Let alone a working permit. He’d have to be hired first; his employer needs to file for the working permit. But to get a working permit you can’t be visiting on the tourist visa.
But how are you going to find an employer if you’re not here, right? Yet another bit of stupid bureaucracy-bullshit to reassure me I really don’t want to live on this end of the planet anymore.

“Then this is the last time I’ll see you?”
I was already packing up before I left last October. But whatever I had left here is coming with me in September.
Of course I’ll be back here on holiday some day. To show my husband and kids where I grew up, introduce them to my family and friends.
But I won’t be wandering aimlessly anymore. I found my place, I found my guy, my home, we have a plan, we’ll have it all.
But hey, you should definitely come visit us some time!

“What happened to the traveling dream though?”
I found something better, something maybe I was already looking for… Plus, plans are there to be made broken, remember? Besides, we can still travel together.

“And how long have you been gone now? Not that long, right?”
No, it was only 4 months. And it feels like I was here just a week ago.
And at the same time so much has happened. I was gone twice as long as last time.
But didn’t make half the mileage, haha. I met him on my first stop, managed to pull myself away for the planned trips to Singapore and then Cambodia, but couldn’t stay away for even one month. Padangbai; can’t stay away.

“So how are you going to manage half a year?”
I have no idea. Just work, think ahead, pull through…

“Just what you tell us not to do..?”
Yeah… I know it’s conflicting, but I’ll find a way to justify that for myself ; )

“So he’s that great? Tell me more about him.”
Well… He’s super handsome, he has black hair, brown eyes…

“Haha. But what is he like, what does he do?”
He’s the sweetest, always taking care of me. And even though he’s a little younger he’s very serious about us. He makes me feel so safe and happy.
He’s also a great cook, loves to make and feed me the best of foods. And he’s really clever and funny, he always knows how to make me laugh.
He likes to surf and go fishing and making music and traveling. And he loves kids. And giving me massages… He’s my dream come true.

“That does sound great. I’m happy for you.”
“But now you’re here. So what will you do?”

Just work. I’m not picky. I need to make money so I can go back asap.
Other than that I’ve got some time to clear up those last boxes I left with my parents and say a final goodbyes.
And dream up our to-be-paradise, of course. But I’ll tell you more about that as it’s unfolding, in due time.
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Day 0 back home – JUNE 4, 2012

I landed early in the afternoon and had a small welcome-committee to accompany me on the train back to my hometown 30 minutes from Amsterdam. My parents were there, and two of my best friends; the same group that waved me off 11 weeks ago.
And there’s the guy that I was seeing before I left. But it’s a little awkward between us, and pretty obvious that whatever we were doing before, wasn’t actually ment to happen. So we’ll go back to just friends.
On the train everything is quite alright. They ask me if I had a good flight and am not too exhausted, I begin telling little bits and they ask me sometimes how things work.
Then we get our bicycles. My dad brought me mine. We have this saying ‘like riding a bycicle’ meaning that you’ll never forget how to do that. My feet are freeing though, and I’m glad my mum brought my wintercoat for me. It may be June, but it’s not summer in Holland.

I might have mentioned before how blessed I am with some amazing friends. I had been looking forward to seeing them again very much. Also I’m really bad at being alone, especially after big events like this. At parties and festivals I’m always one of the last to leave; if I don’t the fall asleep in a corner of a couch. I don’t like the sudden solitude.
So I invited my very closest friends for dinner.
Time to do some shopping, at the grocery store I’ve been going to for most of my life. And though I know where to find what, the concept, efficiency and consumerism staring you blank in the face at every turn scares me like a jack-in-a-box. (I’m one of those people who find those and clowns and other childrenstoys very disturbing.)

It’s a good night. And with each of them it feels like I could’ve just seen them yesterday. But still I feel a million miles away.
I’m glad none of them asks that dreadful question “How was it?” There just isn’t an awnser, there is no way to begin to try and explain. And people who haven’t done a solo backpacking trip simply never will understand…
And it’s unworldly to me to hear them talking. About daily things. Things that I might have found important before, now sound so bizar to me and like no issue worth mentioning. The traffic to work this morning, the boss whining about one thing or another…
It’s feels a bit like a hangover. Vivid images of the last few months keep flashing in my mind, and I can’t really connect to the people around me.

It’s almost midnight when I cudle up in my own bed with my own kittens in my old room at my parent’s house.
All the comforts of a home, a warm shower, ‘my own bed’, a warm blanket… nice, but nesecary? a
Of the close friends I invited for a dinner get together a third was no show. Or didn’t feel half as close anymore. I miss Padangbai and my on the road life so much right now.