Back home, a tourist in my own country


In Sweden.

Travels to the Netherlands

I will have one week “back home” and I don’t need much time to think about the things I want to do. First of all, ‘home‘ is a word I see different in comparison to many other people. Secondly, going for one week to the place where I have my roots means seeing friends and family. Lastly, it means I get a chance to do the things I always used to do and buy casual items I used to have around me.

Shopping for a travel document

The little things, like the snack at the train station I used to buy after coming back from uni. The Etos shop that has it all – all kinds of deo rollers and even ones without aluminum to prevent cancer from entering your armpits… The HΓΆnkemoller that has the best underwear in the world as it’s most comfy. Not to forget the snacks from the wall!!!! Frikandelen time! You don’t know what this is? Google this: Nederlandse muursnacks. The handy thingies from Hema. The lovely yet affordable clothes from The Sting. I can name many things that I used to buy when I was studying and those items still seem fairly attractive after years away from the Dutch shops. I must confess though, that last year I let a friend bring me some things in the summertime.

However, a week in the Netherlands to me doesn’t mean only shopping. I’m going there because I need a new passport. Well, okay. That’s maybe shopping for a travel document then. At least it gives me a damn good excuse to see some friends and family.

Moving, moving

I have some planning to do. Where will I sleep all those days? I shouldn’t go for a hotel room, because I can visit my friends and family and stay there. I will need to fix that in advance, because in the Netherlands you can’t just knock on someone’s door and decide to spend the night. You can’t even just knock on someone’s door to have a cup of coffee together. No, you need to plan. I’m not used to the social planning anymore, but I’ll survive.

Another thing I will need to get back into are the train ways. Those blue with yellow wagons that take you all over the country. I found my ‘OV chip card’ (Dutch public transport card) again, somewhere in an old wallet. It probably still has a few euro left on it, so if it’s still valid I’m lucky. If you travel in the Netherlands without one of these cards you pay 1 euro extra per train ticket because of the printed paper you then need to use. Sounds like a good eco-mindset to me! Hopefully more people will use those cards and even save them like I did.

What’s up right now?

Right now I am in Sweden. Thom and I came to Sweden on Friday after leaving Karpathos Thursday by ferry to Athens and flying to Copenhagen on Friday to finally catch a train to Sweden on the same day. This Sunday I’ll catch the train back to Copenhagen again by myself and fly to the Netherlands. Up next after that will be Germany, Sweden and Mexico together with my Viking.


Karpathos – 2017 Photo by Marjolein van Hout


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Ever since I left my home country I felt at home at any other place I went to. I enjoy getting to know more cultures by talking to strangers and hearing their philosophy about life. Speaking with gestures when you can not find a shared language, finding places only the locals go to and learn about their customs and values. Hanging out with local people makes me happy. The experience of every new place is a step out of your comfort zone where I like to wander around until it feels like a second home.
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