I’m home. I may not be for long but it feels good to be here.
So much to process from this trip, as is the case with any trip, but this one in particular felt different from any other.
My dad summed it up pretty accurately as he reflected on his last trip to the Netherlands, “Stepping into that country felt like I was coming home.”
As with many of my revelations it took food for me to feel just as my dad described. Each bite was familiar and deeply comforting. With the anticipation of experiencing an entirely new culture I was greeted to one I had already known. At first I felt disappointed by this as it’s typically it’s the differences, when traveling, that evoke change and awe in me. As the trip rolled on I realized that what to me had seemed like a typical childhood was one that was deeply Dutch. The country, people, food, and traditions were already a part of me. Through this understanding I learned much more about myself, my family, and a deeper knowledge of the culture in which my family originated.
I leave the Netherlands with a great sense of pride, a hunger to learn more, and a strong fervent to instill in my children much of the traditions that marked my childhood. I also leave with boxes and boxes of Hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles typically served on white bread with butter), inspirations for many meals to come, stronger family relationships and new friendships with family I had never known.