Days 39 through 42

With days 39 through 42 in the books, I’m pleased to sit down and jot down a thought or two.

How did I do?

I haven’t journaled every evening, so that’s not okay.

My diet hasn’t been great.

Even my exercise hasn’t been great, as the last time I ran was last Wednesday. I missed my Friday and Saturday runs.

But one silver lining is that I’ve been fairly active nonetheless. It was not as busy as the prior week when I was actually on vacation and therefore took every opportunity to explore the park we are visiting. But I still had over 10,000 steps and at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. I’ll celebrate that small win. Considering I had to walk for 20 minutes in the rain one late evening to keep the trend going, I can tell you first hand it’s not easy to do this.

Highlight of the day?

There have been several highlights over the last few days:

  • We hired (rented) two waterfietsen (literally “water bikes” in Dutch), and that was a lot of fun. The whole family went! Even Anabella, who couldn’t get enough of the close-up look at the ducks.

  • Lots of late night swimming at the park’s Subtropisch Waterparadijs (“Subtropical Water Paradise” in Dutch), with slides, lazy river, and infinity pool in the middle of a forest… it’s magical, truly. As the warm water evaporates into the cold air, the mist floating just slightly above the water, disappearing into nothing, the environment it creates is magical. I’m not one for photography, but not owning a high-quality camera in a waterproof case is one of my regrets of this trip.

  • Riding bicycles in this beautiful environment with the kids. A lot of fun. I hired a bike with a wagon for the kids up front to take the twins, and the older kids can ride their bikes. It’s also nice to be in a place where I can tell my girls, “go, ride your bikes, have fun” without concern of a car hitting them, or some risk factor coming to bear.

  • I took public transport (two buses and one train) to get from Hapert, Netherlands to Schiphol International Airport to hire a car we will be using to leave the park on Monday, and the experience was one big highlight. Met a few locals, got to practice my Dutch and got a good view of the varied Dutch scenery from Brabant (woodsy) to Noord Holland (urbaner).

How do I feel?

I am feeling bittersweet. Happy to leave the park tomorrow and get back to “the real world,” but equally sad that I don’t live in such an environment persistently. What are the characteristics?

  • Small town
  • Woodsy
  • Beautiful city center
  • Bike-friendly
  • Trust-worthy
  • Reliable public transport
  • Dutch (OK, this is a bit of cheating… but yeah, it counts…)

But it’s OK - the future is mine to create, is it not? Maybe I’ll create this existence for my family. It would be a travesty not to.

(You have this power too, by the way. It’s your life. Live it proper!)