Two months after our return: how are we doing? - view of HaarlemToday it’s been exactly 2 months since we came home from our travels. And I have to say transitioning back into ‘regular’ life has been quite a struggle. We really miss the freedom and the great weather. It’s still really cold here in Holland and we’ve been stuck inside way too much.

Being back in Holland means being back to restrictions and obligations, back to living in a tiny apartment with too much ‘stuff’, back to the rain and cold and back to tedious housework, grocery shopping and cooking. But it also means seeing our friends and family again, knowing where to buy things, familiar surroundings and having the freedom to cook my own food. So there’s both good and bad things about being back.

The bad things

Let’s start with the bad, because we all like to complain right? Especially us Dutchies, haha.


  • Even though mother nature has teased us with one or two really nice days, so far it’s been COLD here. I swear I haven’t felt really warm since we returned. Right now it’s about 8 degrees celsius outside. Quite normal for this time of year, but trust me, if you’re used to 30+ it’s really not nice.
  • We’ve also had a lot less family time, with work and other obligations taking their toll. We really miss the freedom to go wherever and whenever we want. Things are so much more regulated here, with rules for everything. It’s a bit suffocating. Jace is going to daycare two days a week for a few hours so even he has a busy schedule!
  • Obviously we’ve also spend a lot abroad, so we need to evaluate our money situation and figure out how to earn some much needed $$.
  • Jace being the little world traveler that he is transitioned back without too many issues, but for me and Mau things have been much harder. I already figured housework, grocery shopping and cooking would take a lot out of me (it did before) and I was right. I can’t believe how much time we ‘waste’ everyday with chores.


We went to the beach in Zandvoort. It was very windy and we didn't last very long, but did see a beach again!
We went to the beach in Zandvoort. It was very windy and we didn’t last very long, but did see a beach again!

The good things

Now for the good things, because yes, there are good things about being back too.


  • It’s nice for Jace to spend time with his grandparents and both sets of grandparents really enjoy seeing their only grandchild.
  • Jace loves going to daycare. It’s really good for his development and he really likes having other kids (and lots of new toys!) around.
  • It’s great for me too to go for a coffee or lunch with friends who have kids the same age and see them play together. Although I loved meeting other travelers, sometimes I really missed having real friends around. ‘Talking’ on Whatsapp or Facebook really isn’t the same as meeting face to face.
  • I enjoy meeting my friends for dinner and being ‘me’ instead of mother or girlfriend. It doesn’t happen really often because of our money situation, but it’s good to recharge once in a while. Mau also meets up with his friends now and then.
  • Having a bit of a routine again and staying in one place means I can also go to the gym again for some much-needed exercise. Although traveling definitely beats indoor cycling by far!
  • Petting farms, of which we have many in Holland, are a big hit with our little man, as are children’s playgrounds. Even though it’s cold to our standards, we have been trying to go outside at least once every day.
  • Another thing I greatly enjoy is doing crafts, and now I can share it with our little one. I’ve already started collecting loads of art supplies, crayons, colored pencils, colored paper in all sizes, different paints and paintbrushes, glue…. We’ve had some basic stuff when we traveled, but not this quantity. Of course, he’s now getting a bit older, so it’s more fun to do crafts together and it will only get better 🙂
  • It may sound weird, but I’m glad to be working again. Even if for now it’s not really paid work, it gives me the opportunity to use my brains for something else than taking care of our little one. I still want to pursue my dream to become a digital nomad, so I’m now taking my laptop and going to a café to work two times a week. This also gives me some much-needed me-time and independence. And hopefully some more frequent updates on this blog!


Jace loves petting the goats at the petting farm :-) But some of them are a bit big...
Jace loves petting the goats at the petting farm 🙂 But some of them are a bit big…

We’re slowly finding a new balance and even though this may not be the quality of life we want in the long run, for now we’re not doing so bad. We need some time to regroup and come up with a new game plan!

6 thoughts on “Two months after our return: how are we doing?”

  1. Hi, I’m new here. I just came to see how you were adapting. We’ve been away from “home’ almost 3 years now, but we now have a “base camp” in Romania. We’ve just done 2.5 months in SriLanka, Nepal and Dubai and arrived back in base camp about a week ago. Like you, mixed feelings. The first day or so I always have crushing depression, particularly if I’ve just left somewhere I truly love, like Nepal, but I’ve settled in again now. We’re just busy, all the house work is manual here, no washing machine, a wood fire to cook on, no other heating, but life is very rewarding when you have lots of hard work. We’re enjoying spring flowers and new lambs and cracking on with the blogging( 6 blogs!) and educating the kids. Life has seasons. I hope you break free again soon!

    • Thanks for commenting Alyson! I hope we break free again soon too, be it physically or just mentally 😉 How did you like Sri Lanka? The spicey food there was really challenging for our 2,5 year old, but we really liked the people and nature. A base camp someplace nice sounds like a great idea!

  2. Thank you for sharing. We are in month 9 out of a 12 months family sabbatical. I’m originally Dutch and I hear from my Mom about the cold weather so I empathize. Our home now is Silicon Valley, California. I am not worried about returning to bad weather (we have a perfect climate) but super worried about going back to restrictions, obligations and “stuff”. Silicon Valley is workaholic central with everybody trying to be the next Mark Zuckerberg. I worry how we will be able to hold onto the “simple life”, the balance, the time we spent together, and the freedom our kids enjoy both on the road and during our time in Israel. If you learn anything from re-entry, please continue to share!

    • Thank you for commenting Dominique! I found it so much easier to adjust to being on the road than to being back in my ‘old’ life! I guess it would be the same even if you settle somewhere else for a longer period, but it just seems so much more difficult because I really don’t like winter. It’s super hard to hold on to the ‘simple’ life and the freedom we had while traveling. But, like I said, for us there really are a lot of good things about being ‘home’ too. Curious to see how you guys will handle being back! With kids that are a bit older, I think the transition might be even harder. Don’t think about it too much though and enjoy every second of your final three months of travel!

  3. I’m surprised to see more good than bad things, but can imagine the bad have more “weight” 😉 Once again it’s proven that kids are so flexible with your little man being happy back home and being happy on the road too 🙂 Goodluck trying to find a good balance for things!

    • Haha, I was trying to be positive! If I’d written that same post a month ago the ‘bad’ list would have been much longer. And like you say, the bad things have A LOT more weight. It’s definitely not easy being back, but we’re slowly finding a new balance. Life in Holland really isn’t bad, it’s just isn’t what we want right now. Hopefully by spending some time here now we can find new ways to leave again 😉


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