My tropical getaway and proposal!

A few weeks ago I went to a tropical Island to enjoy some time off. My boyfriend and I wanted to relax and have some quality time together. So we decided to go to Cabe Verde and more specifically to the island Sal. After all it was going to be our last vacation with just the two of us..

As I announced in my last blog we’re expecting a baby! We’d already booked the vacation before finding out that I’m pregnant, but the timing couldn’t be more perfect. It was lovely to relax and be together just the two of us. I was dreaming of swimming in the turquoise water and putting my feet in the soft sandy beaches.

So that’s what we did. During the first trimester of my pregnancy I’ve been sick, emotional and very tired. Relaxing on a beautiful island is exactly what I needed. On our first day relaxing is all we did. Sleeping, eating, reading a book and more eating and sleeping. Of course we also wanted to see a bit of Sal.

The following days we went on an island tour and also went on a trip with a catamaran. The island tour showed us the ‘blue eye’. It was a cave with water and when the sunlight hit the water it looked like a turquoise eye. It was gorgeous, but we could only enjoy it for three minutes until the next group of tourists got to witness the beauty.

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The catamaran was very special. We weren’t sure if we would see any whales, small ones I might add, so we weren’t sure what to expect. We were lucky and got to see three families of whales. They came pretty close to the boat and there even was a mother with a baby whale! Of course I saw that as a sign, since we were also there with a baby.

I’ve talked about taking time off and how it can be good for you. Since everybody is telling us that our lives will be turned upside down once the baby arrives, this vacation came at the right time. We saw beautiful things and we had time to talk about everything we hope and dream about. Most talks were about our future with the baby, but also about the future of our relationship.

Secretly my boyfriend was already plotting something about our future. We stayed at a resort where there were many romantic spots. We planned for a romantic stroll and my boyfriend suggested to do it on our last evening. So we went to take a walk and take some pictures. Just when I was taking some pictures of a few flowers my boyfriend had a big surprise.

I turned around to take the pictures and when I turned back around there was my dream man on one knee. Oh and with a ring in his hand. He had a lovely speech and my heart bloomed even more and of course I said yes when he proposed!

And what do we do now? Well preparing for a baby and planning a wedding! We’re thinking of having the wedding somewhere in the beginning of next year. The baby will arrive in the spring, so we still have time for both things. Of course I will update you regularly on everything that is happening.

For now I just want to say that I’m super grateful for having quality time together with my fiancé, enjoying my pregnancy and now also planning for a very special day.

Relax and Unwind

For starters it’s good to get some mental rest and clarity. How can you do that? Do you remember those (video) games or any other machine with a reset button? When it’s overloaded, there is too much information and not working properly? So what did you do then, you hit the reset button. Magically it worked perfectly after doing that.

As people we obviously don’t have such a button. After all we’re not robots, but wouldn’t it be good if you can get rid of the excess information in your head? Start over and feeling all fresh and new. I think taking time off (from work) is like hitting the reset button. Especially when you’re going away and visit new places.

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I’ve had a few busy months at work. I work at an office with a computer all day long and at the end, right before my holidays, I ran out of fuel. I had processed too much information, worked long and intense hours and was tired. Very tired. And when I’m tired I’m also very emotional. So I really needed to hit that reset button. I could hardly bring myself to feel positive, when I’m always positive, which made me even more emotional. Luckily my trip to Turkey was already planned.

So there we went to Turkey and visit the grand city of Istanbul and a little town at the coast. It was my first time there so I had a lot of first impressions. Maybe because I received so much new information, the old (and excess) information was pushed away. I couldn’t think about anything else than what we’re doing at that moment. Living in the now and taking it all in. And of course taking a lot of pictures.

I didn’t realize it would work this way before going on vacation, but perhaps I never needed a break as much as I did now. Being away and seeing all the beauty of Turkey erased the stress and negativity I was feeling before. I was so happy to have that experience with my boyfriend. Side note it was our first vacation together. And as I wrote in the previous blog, snorkeling in the turquoise water made me feel so relaxed.

When did I know the reset button of going away had worked? When I was back home actually. During my holidays I also decided to change some things in my daily routine. For example not oblige myself to “have to do” everything in one day. I also decided not to say “yes” to all events, birthdays and activities. Simply because after work I need some more me-time to recharge.

So when we got back I knew what I was going to change. I felt so relaxed from the trip that luckily I felt positive again too. I still have to be careful not to run around in circles, but it’s a step in the right direction. Now when I wake up and start my day I’m looking forward to see what will happen. I’m re energized and it feels so good.

How to recharge yourself? Well even if you can’t go on a trip, you can enjoy some time off at home and do the same too. Relax in your backyard and read a book. Or try something new and open yourself up to a new experience. When it’s been a little too much we can hit that reset button in all different ways. My favorite though is on a tropical beach with sand between my feet. Just don’t forget to hold on to your newfound happiness when you’re back home.

Check out my Instagram for more pictures!

My escape to Winter Wonderland

Well it always starts with a long road trip. Ok for some of you it might not seem long, but including the traffic jams it took us about 13 hours to go from the Netherlands to Austria. Remember that for Dutch people this is super long, because we can cross our country about 4 times within that time frame. Maybe even more. But the ride also has its charm. At least on the way going there it does. On the way back I’m just tired and want to be home asap.

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During this “very” long ride we had to stop several times. Obviously to get gas, but also to feed the babies and my nephews. Remember my brother and sister are only 7 months old? So now you can imagine where the chaos starts. But they’re also very cute and getting cuter every day. After everyone, except the children, had their shot of coffee we continued the journey.

When finally arriving in Austria, this is where many Dutch people go skiing, we were offered their specialty. Obstler. A fruity shot of alcohol. It’s quite strong and not really my cup of tea, but traditions right? Ok, I won’t fool you, I politely passed this time. And almost every time before that time. Maybe next time I’ll make up for it. Or not.. we’ll see.

And then the next day the snow fun starts. It might seem unbelievable, but my partner in crime skiing was my grandfather. My grandfather who’s turning 80 next week! And he’s still skiing amazingly! He’s also an expert in the beer drinking part during our breaks. My favorite however is the hot chocolate with whipped cream. And of course enjoying the winter sun.

For my nephew, who’s 4 years old, it was the first time taking skiing lessons and that was not his cup of tea. He cried every day in class, the poor thing, even though he said he also liked it. When I tried to teach him my skills he said the class was more fun. I don’t know if that means I’m a horrible teacher or he just wanted an excuse to quite skiing. But he killed it at his competition, well he tried. He actually crashed into a rubber pole, but came in third anyhow and even got a medal.

So how was skiing with the family? Or any holiday? Like I said and you might imagine a lot of people talking at the same time, eating too much, some drinking too much, laughing, arguing and having fun. So yes it was good, but I do need a break now recovering from my snowy break with them.

Ready for take off?

I’d love to say I’m one of those people who’s super prepared for any vacation. But unfortunately I’m not. Or perhaps it’s not unfortunate, because I don’t stress about it either. When I left for Spain, and I’m talking about me moving to Spain, I didn’t even think of buying a dictionary. Ok maybe that would’ve been helpful, but in the end I just bought it upon arrival. So no worries there.

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Some of my friends and family are really good at planning trips. To be more specific the planning of packing for a trip. I’m lucky if I think of doing my laundry on time so I can bring my favorite clothes. But my beloved friends and family make whole ‘to do’ lists and a ‘what to pack’ lists. I sometimes do that, but usually when all the packing is almost done and I just want to check if I have the most important items.

And what do I do when I forgot something? Oh well yeah, then I’ll sort it out once I realize I forgot it. The strange thing is that packing my purse for work is way more important to me than packing a suitcase. And I never need all the extra things I put in that purse. Now that I mention it, that is something to think about. Maybe I’m just way more relaxed when I have my time off. Perhaps it’s a good idea to go on more holidays.

So anyway, I feel there are two groups of people when it comes to preparing for a vacation. There are people who prepare on time, make the ‘to do’ lists, get a schedule and have everything up and running a week before leaving. And then there are the ones who do it last minute, who seem to not have a care in the world and might even be considered lazy.  So which one is better? Being ready for take off way before actually taking off or packing your suitcase while heading out?

Now would it be helpful to find a compromise in planning and not planning the things you need? I think that when you start stressing over something that is supposed to be relaxing, you took a wrong turn. On the other hand sometimes it might be more efficient and in the end relaxing if you finish your packing a bit earlier. Because what I didn’t admit in the beginning is that I’m usually still packing until the night before I leave. I then don’t sleep enough and start my holidays a bit tired. Or very tired. Oh well, at least I’ll have a week or so to sleep in and relax.