We’ve been back in The Netherlands for 4 days now and I already miss traveling. The freedom, the sunshine, the unpredictability of being on the road… It feels weird being back in the same tiny apartment, while we ourselves have changed so much after traveling for so long. Also, after living out of a suitcase for nearly 10 months, it feels a bit suffocating to have so much ‘stuff’. We’ll do a more detailed post later about what it’s like to be back home after a long trip!
I know some people who are starting to itch to go back home after only one week of holiday. Obviously that’s not us. For me the answer to the question above is really simple and my feet are already starting to itch to leave again. But however great traveling is, there are definitely a few things that I won’t miss.
Spending hours on the internet trying to find suitable and affordable accommodation
This has been my nr. 1 grievance and stress factor on this trip. On beforehand I never imagined it would take so much time and energy to find nice places to stay. When we traveled with just the two of us it was never really an issue, but traveling with Jace has changed our accommodation requirements. Not only that, but we want to arrange accommodation before we get there, at least for the first few days. So we’re relying on the internet more than ever before. Since we’ve been moving around at a very fast pace, never staying anywhere longer than a week or two and often even shorter, that meant A LOT of online searching. Of course having a crappy internet connection doesn’t really help, so that’s no. 2 on this list.
Crappy internet connections
Of course we knew internet connections could be bad around Asia, but I never really realised how annoying this can be until I tried maintaining a blog and working while traveling. Also, it sooo much time to search for nice places to stay if you’re internet is so incredibly slow. Sri Lanka and Philippines were definitely the worst.
In Holland you can find diapers in all shapes and sizes in any supermarket, but abroad it can be little more complicated. In each country and sometimes even each place we visited we needed to go on a ‘hunt’ for diaper pants. Normal diapers are relatively easy to find, but we quickly found out the pants are more practical and comfortable for an active toddler. It does take some time and persistence to figure out where you can buy them though
Having only one (bed)room for the three of us
We’ve stayed in a few Airbnb apartments with one or sometimes even two bedrooms (luxury!), but mostly we’re staying in hotels and we have only one room for the three of us. Privacy isn’t the biggest issue, but when we don’t have a balcony or other outside space we have to sit in the dark and whisper to each other while Jace is sleeping, both during his nap and in the evening. It’s going to be nice to have a ‘normal’ evening again with him sleeping in his own bedroom.
Always eating out
When we were in Egypt I swore that I would be so happy if I never had to cook another meal in my life. It was quite stressful being responsible for getting food on the table every day and so hard to come up with new dishes with the limited ingredients available there. But, even though I love going out for dinner and getting the chance to try new foods, now that we’ve been eating out almost every night, I really enjoyed the few times that we had an apartment with a kitchen so I could cook myself. So I guess in Holland I’ll have to find a new balance where I get to enjoy cooking again instead of stressing over it and combine it with occasionally going out for dinner.
Hardly having any me-time
One more thing I didn’t realise when we were planning this trip is how little me-time I would have. This is partly my, or maybe our, own fault for the way we’ve organised things. Only when we were diving did we take turns babysitting Jace. Other than that we spend almost every minute with the three of us together. Of course it’s amazing that we got to spend so much time together, but it was also starting to get a bit suffocating at times
Relying on others for transport
I’m very spoiled that in Holland I have my own car and I also have a bike. I’m really looking forward to having my own transport again. It will be so nice not to have to rely on someone else to go somewhere. I can’t drive a motorbike (yet), so in the past months walking was my only option. Of course in Asia taking a taxi, tuktuk, bus, tricycle etc. is cheap and easy, but it’s always someone else driving and I can’t wait to drive again myself.
Too many plastic water bottles
Of course there are tons of countries where you can’t drink the tap water, but in Holland you can. It’s so nice and easy to simply open the tap and fill a glass. I’m really getting a bit fed up with having to buy water every day, not to mention the huge amount of plastic bottles we’re accumulating. We try to get the large 19 liter refillable bottles and even bought a simple pump for them, but it’s not an option if you’re only spending a few days in each location. Luckily in a few places we could refill our bottles from the larger tanks, but still in the past months we’ve used way too much plastic.