When my sister and I were younger, we usually spent the vacations in The Netherlands itself. Lots of classmates went abroad and I was sometimes pretty jealous of them. Only later I understood that they probably hardly knew their own country. And I had friends, whose parents thought Amsterdam was a scary city. My parents had friends with a big house in Amsterdam, and we loved going there. I remember the first time I went abroad, or rather I didn’t really.
In April 1984, when I was 10, my parents celebrated their 12 1/2 wedding anniversary and we went to camp in a place called Weerselo. We didn’t have passports, but I can remember we drove all the way to the border with Germany. We set one foot over the border and that was it: we had been abroad! I didn’t have to wait much longer for my first real trip abroad. In July 1984 when we were camping in Hardenberg, in the same area, we visited the castle in Bad Bentheim.
My parents finally decided to travel a bit further with us, and in the summer of 1985 we went all the way to the most southern province of The Netherlands, Limburg, which we enjoyed a lot. Of course we had to include a day trip to Belgium and we visited the stalactite caves in Remouchamps and the waterfalls of Coo. The Summer of 1986 took us to the province of Sealand, and another day trip to Belgium, this time to Bruges, was on the program.
It wasn’t until July 1987 that we really spend the holidays abroad: at a camping place at the Biggesee in the Sauerland, Germany. We were surrounded by hills, which to us looked like high mountains. Remember we lived in the north of the country, where you don’t even have proper hills. Despite of the rainy weather we loved it there. And we visited another castle: Dillenburg. My parents just knew what I loved. If it had been up to my sister we would have stayed on the camping for ever. Back to the very south of Limburg in the summer of 1989, with trips to Bokrijk in Belgium, and Monschau.
In the summer of 1990 my mother took me to Paris, where she had lived for half a year, to celebrate my secondary school exams. I also remember a day trip by bus with a friend to London when I was old enough, about 16 or 18 I think. It was just a short visit, but we loved it. The last time I went abroad with both my parents was to Denmark, in the early 1990s, where we spent time camping on the island of Funen. Probably that’s where my long time love for Denmark comes from as I have been there numerous times since. Later trips with my mother took me to Prague, the South of Poland and Vienna. Alone or with friends I have been travelling at least once a year when it was possible. I just love travelling and seeing new things, and I don’t think that will ever end.