When I found out that I was moving to Nijmegen for a year, I had some wonderful notions of things that I wanted to do in my year. I wanted to blog three times a week, rent a bike and cycle around the countryside, visit different cities whenever I had a day to myself. Well, reader, I failed miserably on all three counts, but I am not even the least bit sad about it.
Initially, when I moved here, I was a little bit worried about leaving my very new husband behind before we had even made it to our first anniversary. I was worried I would be accused of 'abandoning' the man I love with all my heart, accused of being a bad wife and partner. I was afraid that he would resent me choosing a year of adventure even though I knew he was my biggest supporter. I was afraid I would resent myself for leaving him behind even though we decided together it was the right decision.
Just before I went, I visited some wonderful friends of mine, and we spoke about a time when they were in different cities and how actually, it made them a stronger couple, because they made more of the time that they had together than they did when they lived together. Their sharing of that story gave me so much hope that maybe my decision was the right one. The best one for me and for Stuart. Don't get me wrong, it has been hard. So hard. It gets harder each time we say goodbye, even though the time apart keeps getting shorter. It has also been amazing in ways I never imagined. I actually understand what my friends were talking about. The distance has made me subconsciously alter how i like to experience new things.
We recently went on a lovely holiday together to Belgium and Paris. It was an amazing week. The distance has definitely made us appreciate the time we have together a lot more. Paris was a highl
ight. We went to the Opera Garnier, and Moulin Rouge ticking too big boxes on our lifetime to-do lists, but when I think of our week, I think of how much we just laughed. Our trip began with a hilarious taxi ride across the city in which I was introduced by the taxi driver to the music of Johnny Hallyday, and it finished with us sitting on our own on an open top tour bus in the pouring rain, having a wonderful time watching the souvenir guys appear with armfuls of umbrellas for sale. We made a pretend balcony in our hotel room against the large windows overlooking a little side street, we ate in little cafes around our hotel. It was all so simple, and so much fun. Mostly because we did it together.
As for Nijmegen living. I love it. I think Stu enjoys it too. The city has a laid back vibe with a plethora of terraces for a cheeky wee after-work beer in the sunshine. He is definitely eyeing up my balcony for some sun time over the summer too. After what I consider a very tough last year in Aberdeen (personally) it has been nice to just relax back into myself here. People are so friendly and welcoming. There is always something to do! Last week, I went to a mini festival in my local park that was just cover bands having all the craic. There is always something going on in a very Galway-esque vibe that brings amazing comfort to my soul. I am a big believer that what is meant for you won't pass by you, and this secondment to Nijmegen was definitely just what the doctor ordered for me. Though I am ashamed to admit that my husband actually speaks better Dutch than I do... despite me being the one that actually lives here....
Until the next time...