Travel Dreams

Today it snowed in The Netherlands, and all the adults went out to take pictures and the kids went out to scream.

The last time it snowed here we were also in a Dutch suburb on a wacky vacation in a conference center hotel in the middle of nowhere.

We found ourselves there, strangely vacationing, due to a former hobby of mine – recklessly and endlessly booking hotel vacations in places I hadn’t been or wanted to go. Or sometimes places I knew nothing about, but simply liked the pictures.

For a few years after I moved here, this was my passion. I was so excited to live in the vicinity of so many holiday destinations. I had a running list of all the places I needed to go. I would endlessly scroll travel websites into the night, and reserve, always with free cancelation: villas in Spain, bed and breakfasts in France, lodges in Germany. Most of the time, I would keep them just long enough to cancel free of charge. But sometimes, instead, we’d book a ticket there and fulfill whatever dream I had booked.

These dreams were sometimes closer by to accommodate my preference not to fly too often. So the last time it snowed here in The Netherlands, a rarity in this green land, my husband and I found ourselves in a business conference complex nestled in the Dutch woods. We were the only visitors not in suits and business casual wear. Not there for work, but there for free breakfast in the woods. In reality, we were only 40 minutes from home.

It is so nice to take walks in the woods in the snow. The silence snow brings reminds me of home, of the peace that comes with a fresh fluffy blanket covering the world and hiding its imperfections.

Today, I think we all needed that blanket. Something to remind us that nature can still be beautiful, no matter where you find it.

In this second storm, I realize we live even closer to that strange conference center we once visited. And even though traveling is nice, staying close to home gives magic too.

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