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Antwerp – Belgium 

I’ve been back in the Netherlands (I prefer to say Holland) for almost 2 weeks now and it has been weird. It is not my first time coming back home from a trip overseas. In 2010 I came back on my own from a 8 month trip through Australia. This time I came back after 21 months of traveling the world with my boyfriend. I sort of knew what to expect from coming home after a long period of time but it is definitely different than my first experience. For months we knew that we were going home and the concept of that is shocking.

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Arriving at Amsterdam Airport

Coming Home and its perks

I find it hard to adjust to the people in Europe, their stand-offish way of life, the prices of products, the way that people talk, how they look, what they do and what life means to them. I think that the transition into my old life is much harder than the transition into my travelers life.

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My lovely grandma

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My youngest nephew which I never met before

It’s hard to go from a very newly experienced lifestyle with new people and new places every day to the complete opposite. I love to see my friends and family again but I can feel that some of us grew apart. We didn’t grow apart because I was away such a long time or we didn’t keep in contact that much, we grew apart because I experienced a new and totally surprisingly good lifestyle that other people find hard to understand. Besides that, they lived their lives in Holland and experienced new things for them selfs that we find hard to relate to, too.

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Gorgeous houses while walking through Utrecht 

While traveling I watched a lot of good movies; movies that were recommended by other travelers or movies that I found myself. One of those movies I watched for the second time during my trip was The Curious Life of Benjamin Button. To quote Benjamin; “It’s a funny thing about comin’ home. Looks the same, smells the same, feels the same. You’ll realize what’s changed is you.” Benjamin is completely right. It’s not your house, family, dog or friends that changed, it’s you.

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The canals in Utrecht 

Telling friends about our trip was more difficult than I thought. Some think that they don’t have to ask because we used social media all the time and they think they know what happened to us. Some are interested at first but when you tell them your stories and more details, they lose concentration. We thought about this a lot because this feels like they are not interested right? But what happens when you go on and on with your stories about your travels? Do you make them a bit jealous? Do they think they haven’t done as much? Or do we bore them with stories about the world?

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Welcome Home flowers

While traveling we met lots of great people that became friends and they already prepared us for these kind of situations. Every traveler can tell you that their friends will glaze their eyes after five minutes of talking about your travel experiences.

It is just what happens I guess.

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A bit of sightseeing – Monastery Mamelis

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The best food ever, freshly home baked pizza’s by my dad

So you wonder, what happens to your social life? Will the group of people you always knew as your friends change? Will you connect more with the people you met while you traveled? My mum and dad always said that you should be happy with a few good friends because you can’t keep them all. Stuff happens in your life, like going on a long trip, getting ill, moving to another town, that will test your relationships. Who will be that friend you keep meeting while you are in a nursery home, 83 and playing BINGO? Time will tell.

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