Blog

Posted in Moving

First day of school back in our home country

Luka is starting her first day of school in the Netherlands today. After having lived in Australia for the last three years we moved back to the Netherlands last month. With it still being summer holiday, the new school year did not start until today.

We moved to a new city and Luka is starting at a brand new school. Although she has lived in the Netherlands for 7 years and speaks Dutch, English is now as her native language. At the moment it is easier for her than Dutch. When she speaks Dutch it takes a bit longer, as she translates from English.

No more ‘mama-taxi’ to bring the kids to school. The Netherlands is a bicycle country, where a bicycle is a mode of transport. With separate bike paths almost everywhere and bicycles having many rights on the roads. Most kids know how to ride a bike before they can even walk.

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Flashback to 2008: Luka, not even three months old is riding ‘on’ the bike

As all kids ride bicycles this means that car drivers have bicycle experience as well and know how to pass a bicycle with care. This was not always the case in Australia, where Oliver once got hit by the rear view mirror of a car when riding his bike.

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One thing that remained the same is the lunchbox that she brings to school.

Her school starts at 8.30 am and ends at 2 pm. The difference being that the breaks are A LOT shorter than in Australia.This came as a big shocker to Luka.

Recess:  15 vs 30 min
Lunch: 30 vs 60 min

Another big difference is that there is no school uniform in the Netherlands.

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Luka picked a colorful schoolbag, no more school backpack with school logo

I still remember her first day of school in Australia as if it was yesterday.

Wow, it is almost 2 o’clock, time to pick Luka up again. I wonder how her first day went. I can not wait to hear her stories!

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Posted in Moving, Practical - Living in Australia

Moving back to Europe

With a laugh and a tear we are leaving this great country today. Eight more hours until we are in the airplane. We have lived here for three years and it feels like the have flown by in an instant.

We have experienced a different way of life, met great people, made friends for life, had great adventures and explored quite a bit of this amazing place.

After some hard goodbye’s and continuing to repack our bags to stay under the weight limit we are getting ready to go to the airport.

For the coming 30 hours you can follow our flightsvia the following links: track our flight to Singapore live and our onwards flight to Germany.

Thank you Australia!

Posted in Nature activities, Northern Territory

Cruising the Mary River

Rather than giving any material gifts to the kids for their birthdays, my father decided he would give them experiences instead – specifically tours he had done on previous visits to Australia and which he found exceptional. One of these was a boat cruise on the Mary River.

The Mary River is famous for the large amount of crocs – both “sweeties” and “salties” – lining its banks and inhabiting its waters. However, the floodplains are impossible to navigate by land, which leaves the water the only way to get close to these primal beasts. Continue reading “Cruising the Mary River”

Posted in Queensland, Travel

Walking on the Great Barrier Reef

One of the unique activities you can do on Heron Island is a reef walk. During low tide a large part of the reef gets exposed and you can walk around the little streams looking at the coral from close up. You can join one of the guided reef walk tours, which are included in a stay here. A definite must as well, as it gives you a lot of insight into the reef life and the guides can pick up things and you can touch it. Continue reading “Walking on the Great Barrier Reef”

Posted in Nature activities, Queensland

Diving the Great Barrier Reef

As we wrote in one of our earlier posts, diving the Great Barrier Reef was one of the items that were on my Things-To-Do-In-Australia list. And, over the past three days, I have been able to do just that.

The one luxury accommodation we had booked on our Good-Bye-Australia trip was a 5-night stay on Heron Island. Sitting towards the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, it houses a luxury resort and a research station, as well as being home to a lot of coral, mantas, rays, sharks, turtles and a huge variety of other marine and avian life.

It was here that I was able to enjoy five dives – the first dives I have done in almost 10 years. Continue reading “Diving the Great Barrier Reef”

Posted in Northern Territory, Travel

Swimming in the Best Natural Pool – EVER

Never thought I would use this phrase, as Gorden Ramsey used it in almost all of his Hell’s Kitchen episodes and that got annoying pretty quickly. But now we have been to the best natural pool I have ever been to. The one in Iceland was pretty impressive, swimming in hot water in the snow, but I have to admit this Australian place truly is a little piece of paradise.

Imagine a slow streaming flow of 30 degrees Celsius,  with bright and crystal clear water in a natural surrounding. Yes, that is what we came across in Bitter Springs up in the top end of Australia, as the Northern Territory is called here. Continue reading “Swimming in the Best Natural Pool – EVER”

Posted in Moving, Uncategorized

Ready for shipment

“This is to confirm that our moving team is scheduled to arrive at your address on Monday between 8-10am to collect your belongings for shipping.”. This message popped up on my phone this morning.

Oops, that is an sms with impact. Not that we did not expect it, I did book it after all. But it does make it sound very final. Are we ready yet is a question we hear a lot lately. What, mentally, physically? Continue reading “Ready for shipment”