Sunday 08th July 2012

This day has been a long time coming.  Our family have talked about moving (back) to The Netherlands for months…even years.  Finally the day was here.  If you had one day left in Australia what would you do?  My husband and I started with a walk along the beach (we’d been staying in a unit in Caloundra for our last week).

caloundra beach

We walked back via the main street of Caloundra, through the vibrant, colourful Sunday markets.

caloundra markets

Then we headed to my parents place nearby to begin the sad goodbyes.  Our girls had stayed overnight with Nonna and Nonno (my parents) and this was a difficult day – these are their only grandchildren.  Any dual national with family in more than one country will no doubt understand this is one of the hardest parts of our life.

Next we spent a few hours at the fantastic Abbey Medieval Festival.  I’ve been a volunteer with the marketing team and had begged my husband to adjust our initial planned date of departure from Australia (end of June) for another week so I could participate in this event!     A group of friends and I had the wonderful experience of having lunch in the VIP area whilst watching jousting.  Amazing…and ironic that my last day in Australia involved European history!  Last year, Dutch jouster, Arne Koets had participated, this year I believe one of the knights was British and the others Australian.  If you’d like to see photos of the event, mine are displayed on the Abbey Tournament Facebook page.  Here is our family:

abbey tournament

Finally, we went back to my parents to finalise the packing, weigh the suitcases and say the sad goodbyes to my parents. We stopped by our house in Kallangur to pick up some post and said a quick goodbye to the neighbours. Our flight was at 10.45pm on China Airlines, so by the time we arrived at the airport we had two tired grumpy girls already.  Sophia has just turned 5 and Isabella 3 so it was a late dinner for them.   Check in went fairly smoothly, our 79kg of baggage checked in and then just time to wait for boarding.

isabella airport luggage

The wait at the airport seemed to take ages and we already pulled out the iPad to entertain the girls with their brand new headphones from Uncle Mark.  They looked like seasoned travellers already with their cute tulip skirts giving away our final destination.

girls airport

It was all rather surreal as we settled into our seats for the very, VERY long journey ahead.  The girls didn’t really have much concept of how long it would take as this video shows!

More in our Day 2 post.