Travelling is so much fun, but coming home after travelling is also fun! Especially if you do it our way. After almost 16 months on the road, it’s time to surprise our families and friends. And that’s the best idea ever.

Home Sweet Home

For me, home is wherever I’m with Maartje. Of course, it’s also where our families and friends are. Maartje and I aren’t dependent on one particular place, the world is our home. But for our families, it’s the Netherlands. Back in January, we already bought our flights to the Netherlands. The cheapest flight from North-America to Amsterdam is from New York City so that’s how we ended up there!

Read also: our royal stay at Royalton Park Avenue

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Organising a Surprise Visit

We decide to make our coming home a bit more fun: it’s going to be a surprise for everyone! But how do you organise a surprise that big? We know we can’t organise everything with the two of us, so we make my big sister Denise part of the plan. For us, it isn’t a biggie to keep our visit a secret for five months, as we are on the other side of the world. For Denise, it’s a lot harder as she gets questions about us almost every day. But she’s damn good at keeping our secret!

But then, there’s a problem: Maartje’s mum tells us she wants to come and visit us in Asia! You can see why that’s a big problem, right?! So we decide to tell Maartje’s mum we are planning on visiting the Netherlands. Of course, we don’t tell her the exact date we arrive. Another problem arises: my sister tells us my dad and stepmom are very sad we are so far away. So, Maartje and I decide to tell them we are coming home as well.

We know they also really enjoy looking forward to it. But we also don’t tell them the exact date we are coming home. Early June we even tell them a fake date, so it will still be a surprise for them!

The Feeling of Coming Home

In the last months, we haven’t thought too much about going home. We love our travelling and working online lifestyle so much, so we know our surprise visit home is just a visit. That comforts Maartje. We aren’t done with this travelling life, and who knows if we will ever be.

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As the time gets closer to our surprise visit, I’m getting nervous. It’s weird to go back to the Netherlands again. But of course, we are also super excited!

Pride Month in New York City

One thing that makes it a lot easier to surprise family: it’s Pride month in the USA and everyone thinks we’ll stay for the NYC Pride Parade (June 24), so the surprise is even bigger when we come home on June 21. It’s sad we miss it, but we already enjoyed the Pride ambience for a week and experienced a mermaid parade, which was so awesome!

Hello Holland!

There are only three people waiting for us at the airport and we love that. We’re tired and this way, there is no pressure to divide our attention between too many people. It’s only my sister Denise, and Maartje’s sisters Lotte and Femke. Lotte also knew we were coming back on June 21 and as a surprise, she brings Femke with her.

And then the fun starts: we are going to surprise the parents! Words can’t describe how awesome that is. You should see my mom’s face! So if you haven’t seen it yet, go and check out our coming home video.

From Amsterdam, we travel to Eemnes where my family lives, and after Eemnes we travel up north to Alkmaar, Heerhugowaard and Zaandam where Maartje’s family lives.

After 15 months of full time travelling we surprise family at home, the Netherlands. AND IT'S THE BEST!!

Posted by Once Upon A Journey – Travel Blog on Sunday, June 24, 2018

Nothing Has Changed

Of course, the first days in the Netherlands are really exciting. We see friends and families again, travel around the Netherlands and eat all the Dutch things we missed. And then you notice: everything is still the same… Some people find that boring, but for us it’s perfect! We have a room at my dad’s house, we don’t need to go anywhere and have lots of time to relax and to work on some new things. How ‘ungrateful’ it may sound, travelling is tiring. It’s truly amazing, but you really need resting moments. So for now, we will enjoy having a temporary base.

For more coming home pictures, videos and stories: follow our journeys on TraveLibro!

What’s Next?!

Last year, we got a working holiday visa for New Zealand. Plans never go as planned when travelling, though. In our initial plans, we would be in New Zealand already and work on a fruit farm or something. Little did we know we were going to earn money by working online. To us, it’s a lot more fun to work location independent, so we can go wherever we want! Nevertheless, we will go to New-Zealand by mid-September – otherwise, our visa will expire. And that would be a shame. How long we are going to stay there and what we are going to do will be a surprise (for us as well).

Read about the post-travel blues in our next travel journal, because how fun is coming home really?

To new adventures ♡

Meanwhile, in Europe, there are also many things we want to see. Maartje has big plans to visit as many castles in Europe as possible, so let’s see how that goes. For sure we are going to Berlin for Pride. So if you’re there, let us know!

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