We came to a stop right as we were exiting the roundabout. It was the start of my big UK adventure, and it started with a broken car an hour away from our destination.
The car was packed to the brim with boxes of stuff that I felt I needed to bring. Anything from books, to craft supplies, pens, clothes and even a sewing machine. Fifteen moving boxes in total and let’s not talk about all the loose crap stuffed in between.
If anything, I’m far from a minimalist, and this was made painfully clear as we stood there with our car broken down. Someone came to rescue us, but because of the weight of the car, the cable snapped. It stranded us in the middle of roundabout number two.
In hindsight, some good things happened because the car broke down. My dad had to stay longer and got to see more of the countryside. He got to see me settle into my new life in Wales.
It also prolonged the goodbye making it harder by the day.
But we did some great stuff. We went to see St. Davids Cathedral, the St. Davids Bishop’s Palace next to it and we went to the beach. The beach was special as it turned out to be one of my favourite places in Wales. I even cycled there on my Dutch bike.
This year it was six years ago that I moved to the UK to chase a dream I never got to find. Moving out there was not all it was cracked up to be. I fought for it, though, took a job in the big city, moved out there on my own. But I never found my happy place there.
The only time I did was when I was up in the countryside hiking some mountain.
This year also marks the fourth year of being back in the Netherlands. It’s always a bittersweet reminder. Four years ago, I decided spontaneously to go back home. Just as spontaneous as I did when I decided moved out there in the first place.
Now, all those years later, I would have done things differently for sure. I know more, I acquired more skills, and I know better what makes me happy. But would I have changed moving to the UK? No, I wouldn’t.
At the time, all I wanted to do was get out of the Netherlands and move to another country. Chase those big dreams and making them happen. And I did, I went out there, I chased the dreams and came back home with my tail between my legs.
Yes, the fact that I came back does make me feel like I failed in some way. In others, I was brave enough to recognize a situation that wasn’t working for me anymore.
Failure or not. It was an experience that is all mine, something I’ve done and that no one can take away from me anymore. And I’m better for it.