Onwards and Downwards

Once upon a time… I was dreaming of going back to Australia.
Now my flight is booked and my last day at ReachLocal is getting closer. For almost 5 years, this silly office in Amsterdam Zuid was my second home. The place I spent most of my waking hours, a job where I grew up, laughed and cried, but most of all: where I had the pleasure of meeting the most wonderful people. Sticking around longer than the average soul didn’t only mean I got to know most of the mood swings of our platforms, it also meant I had to say goodbye a lot more often than I would have liked. Sometimes people spread their wings to expand their horizon, other times they were forced to leave due to financial setbacks.
Whatever the reason was, one thing I kept hearing afterwards was that their new job was great and they had learned so much new stuff, but they definitely missed our people. When the phrase “ReachLocal family” was used, it always sounded so American (no offence!), but it was true. We honestly cared about each other. Each leaver left a little hole in my heart. Just like every one of them made me think if I should be next. If I should start looking around for something new as well, since that seemed to be the normal thing to do. But I wasn’t ready yet. It felt like I wasn’t done. Why would I quit while I still enjoyed going to work every morning?
In the end, the answer was surprisingly simple: Australia. For someone who’s older, it probably sounds trivial, but in a few months time, I’ll be turning 32. 32! When I was little, I thought people in their thirties are all grown up, married and with children. Grown up, OK, but children? Not yet, please! But I can’t deny my age is influencing my decisions. I’m almost sure I will want to have children in a couple of years time. Which means this is my time, THE time to still enjoy travelling by myself and explore different cultures far, far away.
And there’s another reason… I feel a bit embarrassed to admit it because it has to do with a cat. Just like going back to Australia, getting a cat has been pretty high on my wishlist for a long time (- her name is going to be Noodles, just so you know). The problem is, I live on 50 square meters, on the 5th floor of an apartment building. Locking up a cat in my home and leaving her alone all day with hardly any space to move around would be too cruel. So I need a bigger house. Preferably one with a south facing garden so I can enjoy the last bit of sun after a hard day of work. Where on the weekends, I can peacefully read a good book while I sip my green tea and the grass tickles my bare feet. (You get the picture. ;))
However, my very annoying, deeply rooted urge to revisit Oz is standing in the way of my garden and my Noodles. Once I spent all my money on a brand-new house, and I’m sitting on the couch, cuddling my cat, how can I still go travelling for 2.5 months? Exactly, I can’t. So I’m afraid the only solution is to make that life-changing trip first, because I know I will regret it if I don’t. Does that sound like a good enough excuse to you? 😀
Onwards and downwards, I’d say; I’m off to Australia!