For those who are new to this blog – we’re a Dutch Australian family who currently live in the Netherlands (read more about us here). We have spent more than a decade now travelling between the two countries. We have now settled long-term in The Hague and are happy here, though I miss Australia every day and get back as often as I can. After the move (back) here in 2012, I’ve been fortunate to travel four times now – once for my brother’s wedding only a few months after we left, then the next two times for Christmas 2013 (myself and the girls) and Christmas 2014 (with our family of 4).
Unfortunately, due to “leerplicht” (compulsory school attendance for children between 5 and 18 years old) and only 2 weeks Christmas holidays here in the Netherlands, it was not feasible to come in Christmas 2015 and for the first time we booked during the six week (European) summer holiday in July/August. So it was winter in Australia at that time, but considering my parents live in Caloundra (Sunshine Coast) and it was actually a very “warm” winter, it still felt like a summer holiday.
I find that each time I travel, it takes me a few months to be able to look back at the photos of the trip. I should be used to leaving my family after doing this almost annually, but each time, it still takes me a good while to make the adjustment. I am, of course, really grateful for the time we spend together, but those goodbyes are still hard every single time. On this trip, it was the girls and I again, my husband stayed back in NL.
Usually, we try to catch up with as many friends and family as we can, but on this trip decided to keep it very low key. We were disappointed to miss a lot of friends, but really needed to relax. The five weeks was wonderful. I particularly enjoyed seeing my daughters, now aged 7 & 9, interact with my parents. It was 18 months since they had last been together and at this age, they change a lot in that period of time.
Here’s a few special memories.
Celebrating Christmas in July with my family:
Watching the girls play in the waves, wearing wetsuits for the first time (and looking like little Aussie surfer chicks!):
Showing the girls around my home city of Brisbane, and staying in the post Treasury Hotel:
My mum teaching my daughter to sew (never any luck with me so maybe Sophia will pick it up!):
Marvelling at the most spectacular sunsets:
Indulging in my mum’s amazing cooking like this delicious minestrone soup:
Catching up with a couple of friends at least:
Playing at the local park:
Jumping for joy at the beach (which was usually pretty empty as Australians thought it was too cold, but now we’ve adjusted to Dutch weather, it was warm!!)
At the Queensland Museum
Brisbane Botanical Gardens (I went here as a child!)
Flying a drone