Monday, January 28, 2008

Why We Are Here

Annalise asked 'What made you decide to settle in the US?' I thought this was interesting enough to dedicate a post to.

I always thought we would be here only for a few years. We knew for sure we wanted to get back to civilization. Somehow life doesn't always happen the way we envision it though. And here I find myself, not only still living in the US fourteen years after we arrived, but in the process of becoming one of them.

Biggest reasons:
  1. The freedom to homeschool our kids, which is almost impossible in the Netherlands;
  2. So much more space than we have in the Netherlands, all around us are woods and mountains, instead of other people;
  3. Lower taxes (even if I recognize that that also implies less social security);
  4. A way bigger house and property than we ever would have been able to afford in the Netherlands;
  5. The fact that the Netherlands simply has gotten too small and too full for me. Oh, did I mention it is too flat too?
When I go on vacation, even to the Netherlands, I can have a wonderful time. But there is this really good feeling when I drive back through the mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont, and I realize that this is my home. I don't feel at home in the Netherlands anymore. I don't expect that I ever will move back to the Netherlands, even if I keep the possibility open that I might want to move to a different country some day.

Sometimes, while visiting my hometown, I meet old friends who have lived their whole life in that town. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around that. I feel blessed that I have been able to see more places, and have been able to experience living in different countries.

Claire, I'll talk about your question about fluency tomorrow, I want to get some sleep now ^^


Anonymous said...

You are right in that the Netherlands are flat, full, etc. I myself would love to move to another (European) country, but alas, the hubby is set in his ways and would only consider moving if he were the first to go in a box, and the last to be unpacked... We make do with a large house in the "dorky" Northern part of the Netherlands, were civilation as the Dutch city slicks know it, doesn't exist. And I'm glad for that. It's a compromise, and I would trade for Vermont any day in terms of the scenery, but you have to make do with what you got in life!


txmommy said...

You always have an interesting perspective on life. Thanks for posting this.
It looks like the girls are having a good time visiting their family!

harri saptadi said...

no wonder our french-dudes call your Holland ... "Pays-Bas".

veganbaby said...

You know, I always wanted to live in the Netherlands. It would be nice to try to live in a different country.