Now that I have lived abroad for a longer period of time, there are some things that I have taken for granted in The Netherlands, that I now see in a new light.
- Being able to ride your bike everywhere. Isn’t that just great? You are not dependent on public transportation, you won’t get stuck in a traffic jam and you can go wherever you want.
- Knowing exactly what to get where. I guess this is true for everyone’s hometown or country. You know which stores to go to for certain items and you know about fair prices.
- There is fresh air in The Netherlands, which allows you to breathe. In Jakarta, there are no parks and smog is everywhere. I mostly noticed this if I got back from being in a natural setting outside of the city, and I felt like I was choking when I got back to Jakarta, but it usually just took me a day to get used to it again. But still, I prefer a place with at least the illusion of oxygen.
- You don’t have to go far for the actual oxygen. A lot of the Netherlands consists of land, and it is easy to go out of the city to go there, be it by car or even on these amazing bicycles I missed so much (although riding a motorbike was tons of fun too).
- You can drink water out of the tap. Isn’t that just great? Not having to buy a bottle, drinking some water while in the shower… I’m always drinking water, so this is something I really missed, a lot!
- Having personal space and room to live. In Jakarta, everything is packed pretty tightly, be it the people on the street or the buildings that are so close together. There are no open spaces except for the roads, and even those are always packed. Sometimes I just want to extend both my arms and spin around. I cannot do that there without hitting an Indonesian.
- Having all my stuff. Actually, this is weirdly not something that I missed, but I’ve gained a new appreciation for it nonetheless.
This is one of the things I love about travel. It makes you realize what you do and do not have, and most importantly, what you do and do not need. And I’ve come to learn that I don’t need a lot, and that I already have the world.