This time is different

Rudimental – “Home”

So there I sit on the balcony of the third floor apartment in the southern parts of Amsterdam and I am trying to feel like 3 years ago. 2 days ago I successfully defended my thesis: I am an engineer now – officially. I haven’t done much the last couple days. Mainly watching movies, some daydreaming, somehow managing to accomplish at least the minimum tasks regarding the preparation for my journey. It was supposed to be an 2,5 month trip through India and Nepal but now all is set for a 12 month world tour. Either way it will be my longest trip so far.

3 years ago I went backpacking in Peru. The thought of spending 4 weeks in a South American country on my own filled me with a sense of wonder and awe while I set on this very balcony counting down the hours till I had to leave. This time is different.

Instead of feeling the roads ahead opening up I am very aware of the doors closing behind me. I got my degree. I am leaving Amsterdam. I am leaving the Netherlands.

As the train pulls out Amsterdam the well known succession of streets and houses flies by the window. I am leaving the city for good. And she has put her prettiest dress on for the occasion. It is dusk. Amsterdam is at its best at dusk. Just after rush hour before the nightlife begins. The darkening, grey-blue sky provides a contrast rich background for the fading sunlight accentuating the red houses. The car and streetlights add nuances. And the big, lid living room windows promise warmth and shelter – home.

I have lived and worked in three different countries over the past 10 years yet I have no idea where home should be. It always seems to be where I am not.