As the thunder is rolling in and the rain pouring down, I figured it’s time to write… The journey to and through Switzerland.
The 30th of June I moved out of my non-mobile home in Rotterdam.
All I would like to say about that is; moving out in one day wasn’t a good plan exactly 6 years before, when I moved to Rotterdam, and it still is a stupid idea! But in the end, I managed (while the quark and almond milk was leaking in my bag as I was walking to my van, in the rain, at 1 in the morning…). The moving out was followed by more farewells. At work, I had had lovely farewell drinks (the thunder came rolling in just as the outdoor drinks started, typical…) and dinner with my dear collegues. For friends, I had planned a farewell party at the beach of Hoek van Holland. Thankfully the weather had turned and it was an amazingly beautiful day, with wonderful people.
Time to leave…
The first stop was my dear aunt, who lives in the south of Holland. Close to the German and Belgian border. Something that was supposed to take 2.5 hours, took me about 6. Half an hour into the trip, on the highway, my tire went flat, in a not so safe area. Thankfully, I had just become a member of the Dutch roadservice, who put Lotje on a truck and got me new tires. So, on I went.
In the end, I spent an extra day at my aunt, because I really needed the break. Moving out, working on Lotje, ending my lab career and saying goodbyes, has left me kind of stressed out. I was light headed a lot and I’ve lost some kilos, which for me, is not a good idea. My body had been showing other signs of being unhappy. It usually starts with my feet, then I get spots and if I really push it my hair starts to fall out more than it should. Also, my throat had been giving me issues for quite a while. Pretty amazing, all that my body is telling me. Not that I was doing much about it, but at least I noticed.
So, the extra day was well spent, with really good conversations, lots of laughs, good food, a bit of work and a bath 🙂 happy me!
Then, the journey continued, feeling a bit more rested. Driving through Germany and at the end of the day, staying next to a lake and a forest, my first night alone, abroad. The next evening, after a long and very sweaty drive (driving a long distance, in a camper when it is 30+ degrees, not so awesome… I don’t want to complain, but there you go anyway) I arrived in Schaffhausen, Switserland, where I picked my sister up from the station.
That night she took me to a forest graveyard for a surprise. Something she had been looking forward to experiencing for a long time, I was absolutely clueless.
Around half past 10 the magic started…
Fireflies!! The weather had been just right for them to be here tonight. Apparently, they only have their seduction/mating ritual (at a graveyard, how kinky are they??) in a period of about 3 weeks a year in July in this spot, when the weather is sunny and warm. Magical it was! Al these little lights popping up and fading away all around us (unfortunately, there were loads of mosquitos too…). We walked around for about an hour, till the spectacle had come to an end. I can only guess what happened next 😉
The next days we visited the Rhine Falls, apparently the biggest of Europe. Continued our trip to Zurich and Wilen, where we spent the night. We were totally Bear Gryllsing it by making our Moroccan tajine dinner on an open fire with damp wood. Oh yes, and there was wine :’) good laughs! Finishing it off with riding up the Pilatus mountain and walking around there, admiring the amazing views.
And then the time had come to say goodbye for now, again. I have to say that this time felt a bit more difficult, not because I was afraid I’d never see her again, but now it really was time for me to be alone on the road for a while. In that moment, just after the train, with my sister in it had left, I felt afraid. Afraid of being alone, of everything that could go wrong, of what on earth I was going to do now and where to go… But as soon as Lotje and I drove off, it just was.
There are tears now and then, but there’s also some sort of peace, of not having to do very much. Sometimes finding a nice place to stay can be a challenge, but thankfully there’s an app for that! Park4night has made vanlife (for as far as I have gotten to know it) a lot easier.
In the end, with internet available, it is so easy to keep in touch with loved ones, so I’m never really alone. On that note, I’d like to introduce Jip de kip (the chicken) he’s my fluffy travel buddy, so I’m not really alone after all…