Personal diary blog: how are we doing back in Amsterdam?

Last Updated on by Charlotte van de Sande

It is almost June, a crazy idea because that means that we have been back in the Netherlands for 2.5 months. And now I don’t know how it has been for you lately, but for me, it feels like time has stood still since February. As if the intervening months hardly existed. Even a bit like all those memes and gifs that you see with the meaning “2020 cancelled”.

And yet, a lot has happened and changed in recent months. After 10 months of ultimate freedom as we travelled around the world, corona ended our trip on March 17. We flew head over heels from Australia to the Netherlands where we went in quarantine in my old girl’s room for two weeks immediately upon arrival. From continuous outdoor living with no limitations, to a room of 16 m2 and minimal (physical) contact with the outside world. Curious how that was and what else happened recently? You can read that in this diary blog! Oh and definitely scroll down, since I have a question for you!amsterdam 2


Our world trip abruptly ended due to Corona

Many people ask if we are very sorry that we had to return home earlier in mid-March. And the answer is oddly: ‘no’. The last weeks of our trip were the least fun, with a lot of bad luck. We had a (very minor) car accident, more rain fell during these three weeks camping than we had seen in the previous 9 months and the news about corona overshadowed everything.

Of course, we did enjoy Australia, but at the same time, we were obsessed with reading the Dutch, Australian and international news 50 times a day. Corona was always in the back of our minds. When we understood how quickly the situation in the Netherlands changed, we knew that it would probably not be long before we also had to go home.Traveling on a budget trhough Australia budget tips Australia

Back to the Netherlands before the borders closed!

In retrospect, I am very happy with our choice to fly back to the Netherlands before all borders were closed. It has saved us a lot of hassle and if something happens to family or friends, at least we are now close by!

So even though it was a very abrupt end, it certainly felt like the right choice and we are happy to have made it!


Back in the Netherlands

But what then…? Our apartment in Amsterdam was subleased for another 2.5 months. So we were sort of homeless. Fortunately, we have very sweet parents and the decision was made quickly: we stayed with my parents and Ries’. It certainly took some getting used to: going from all the freedom in the world and no one to think about than ourselves, to back into our old room in a house sharing with the rest of the family (because my brothers also lived at home temporarily). But it was certainly fun! After having been so far away from your family for so many months, I can actually recommend everyone to live with your family for a  few weeks!Temporary room Charlotte Weert kitchen

Appreciating Weert and Bilthoven again!

Also very nice: we suddenly started to appreciate the region where we grew up a lot more. Every day Ries and I went out to explore forests, small lakes and other natural areas. Hours of hiking and getting to know a region we thought we already knew and being outside, really nice!

After a few weeks, Ries’ father picked us up and we stayed with him and his wife for 10 days. Because of the beautiful weather that has been in the Netherlands for months, we enjoyed the garden, the Utrechtse Heuvelrug close by and had a drink every evening, followed by an extensive dinner.

And so we covered over two months. During the day we wrote a lot of new blogs (still we are not completely up to date with blogs). And we worked on the website optimization. In the evening we (like the rest of the Netherlands) made puzzles, watched series and Ries rediscovered the Playstation with Fifa.

After several weeks of quarantine and not seeing anyone, we slowly started visiting friends (at a considerable distance). We finally saw our niece again and could admire our friend Christine’s pregnant belly! We visited my grandfather and grandmother every few days when we were in Limburg. Or well, visited … They were at a safe distance, at the garage door and we were 5 meters from the house to chat a little bit!langs bij vrienden


Our home in Amsterdam

Strangely enough, the weeks flew by and before we knew it, we packed up our things to go back to Amsterdam. And no, those were not just two backpacks. We had big suitcases, boxes full of clothing, bags with outdoor gear and backpacks. Where all those things came from, no idea, we always travelled sort of light…  but everything had to go back to Amsterdam. Our tenants rented our apartment furnished, so when we entered it immediately felt normal. They left it tidy and after a weekend unpacking, buying new plants and a filling up the fridge it was really our house again.

Making the house cosy!

Since we won’t be travelling in the near future, we want to make it extra cosy and pleasant at home. So on our first day, we immediately bought a lot of new home decoration. Photo frames to complete our photo wall with new travel snaps, bedside tables, a soda stream (so we no longer buy plastic bottles). Soon there will be a new coffee maker (Ries’s logic: if we work from home all the time, we need good coffee) and a Dyson vacuum cleaner!

This all might sound a bit boring and homely but actually it is nice after not having had a real home for so long. So we enjoy it a lot. Just like we enjoy Amsterdam, because wow how nice this city is without the crowds. Last night we walked along the red light district and the city centre. A neighbourhood that is normally full of tourists, but now completely empty. Really enjoy “our” Amsterdam!

Going on a world trip again after Corona?

We often get the question of whether we will resume our journey later. And the answer is: no. At the moment we have no idea when borders will open again, when you can and may travel again and when it is really justifiable to travel. I’m afraid that may take a while.

Because we do not want to put our lives on pause, hope to get married next year and there are many more fun things to happen, we have decided not to wait until we can continue on a world trip. And after 10 months of travelling, you won’t hear us complain. Because guys we have seen many beautiful places in the world!

But as soon as all goes in the right direction, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will give a green light again, and we do not have the idea that we will ​​endanger other people with our travels, we will of course just go out again!!hiking utrechtse heuvelrug

And what about work and income?

Uh yes, well as you might have guessed, there is very little income from Charlotte Plans a Trip at the moment. One of the industries hardest hit by corona is the travel industry. No one can travel and no one can plan trips. And we feel that too. Besides much fewer visitors, we also have a lot less income. Too bad but very logical.

We are of course in a very crazy period in terms of the labour market. From a shortage of workers and a surplus of jobs, this has completely changed worldwide in a very short time. Now there is a shortage of jobs and a surplus of workers. We are therefore happy and grateful that we both found a great job in no time. Ries started at the beginning of May with his new employer, I will start in a few days, on June 1.working from home

Charlotte Plans a Trip

But of course, we will also continue blogging, there is more than enough to tell and share with you! These blogs may not be relevant right now. Ss soon as you are ready to travel again, you will, of course, now how to find Charlotte Plans a Trip!

Blogging about the Netherlands?

“Why don’t you start writing everything about the Netherlands now?” is a question we’ve heard a few times. We do not exclude that we will write more about the Netherlands, but to be honest, there are already many good Dutch travel bloggers (like Milou from Explorista) who have written nice content about the Netherlands! So it feels a bit duplicated to do that now. And the Netherlands has never been our focus.

But maybe we will write some blogs about Amsterdam in the future. This is our hometown and even though we already know Amsterdam quite well, a lot has changed in the last year, so time to explore all new places.


By the way, there are a few nice blogs about the Netherlands on this site, you can read them here!


And finally a question for you!

In addition, one last question. Hopefully, we will get married next year. Now nothing is sure yet, but we are already preparing a lot of things and that is so much fun to do! Part of our wedding will, of course, remain private (and a surprise for our guests). BUT…. would you like to share more about the run-up to our wedding day?

Simply, personal blogs about how we look forward to this special day, how we plan things (Charlotte Plans a Wedding ;-)), and what’s involved! There are already many beautiful wedding blogs and we do not have the ambition to make a wedding blog. It’s all about sharing our experiences! Stuff like how I asked my brothers as my witness. Or the moment we have had a nice facetime meeting with our wedding photographer in this crazy corona time!

So what do you think? Would you like to read more about our wedding day? Leave a comment below or send a personal message via Instagram or by email! We would love to hear from you and are curious about what you would like to read!

More than 1700 words further and I have the feeling that I have finally updated you again. Till soon!

Love Charlotte and Ries


Are you curious how Ries proposed to me? Click here to read all about this special moment!


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