With a jet-lagged head, I step out of the car. It's gloomy and drizzling of rain. I tighten up my raincoat and scarf.
My two months in the Netherlands had been nothing but summer and the sun. In Melbourne, winter had definitely taken a long stretch into what is supposed to be spring.
With a big swing, I throw my backpack over my shoulder, put my camera bag on my belly and grab my overloaded trolley in my right hand. It`s literally a handful, moving to Australia. But at least I`ve got a bit more options now in my wardrobe than the 4 outfits I had been wearing in South America for two years.
I look up. A little sign with the number '76' on it, hangs next to the door. `It is a small pink, wooden house, with roses in the front garden`, Robin had explained to me through a text message. The house in front of me matches the description into every detail. There`s no doubt about it, this oddly romantic cottage is, without a doubt, my new home.
It had been only one day before my departure to Australia that Grant and had I found out it wasn`t working for the both of us. For both our sakes I had decided to find my own place. Robin, Maggi and their housemates Jim and Sarah, who was on holiday for 3 weeks, appeared to be four guarding angels and offered me to sublet the room for the time being.
With firm determination, I squeeze myself and my bags through the tiny gate and drag my trolley up the two steps leading towards the front door. I knock on the front door and immediately hear footsteps approaching. Robin opens up the door with a big smile on his face. “Hello! How are you doing? So funny to see you here! From Panama, to Colombia to Australia. How was your flight?” We finish our greeting with the traditional three Dutch kisses on the cheek. “Yeah so good to see you too!” I shout out loudly. “Shhht, softly! Jim our other housemate is still sleeping and Maggi is not far behind either. “Ah, sorry” I quickly apologize. “Come, I`ll show you the room,” Robin says and signs me to follow him.
The room is small but has everything it needs. There`s pictures of Sarah and her friends on the wall. In the left corner is a small desk and chair, underneath the window a bed with a little night cabinet squeezed in between. In the other corner is a small wardrobe with some cloth hangers above it and a big mirror next to it. “It`s a bit small, but it has everything you need,” Robin whispers softly. “It is perfect Robin, thank you. Thank you so, so much. Without you guys, I would probably have ended up in some kind of a hostel.” “Ah no worries Sanne, all good. Make yourself at home and I speak to you tomorrow. I really need to go to bed now. Tommorrow is going to be another day at the office, unfortunately.” “Yeah, no worries. Off to bed, quickly. I`ll unpack some stuff and will get into my own bed soon as well.” Robin walks back to his own room. I close the door, grab all my bags and put them in the corner. I sit down on my bed and grab some photos and postcards out of my bag. The framed photo of me and my best friend Jorien is getting the prime spot next to my bed. The goodbye card from my parents gets a place on the mirror, so I see their kind words every day. The card of Isabel with `For you sexy bum` comes next to it. I go back to bed again. Sit down and look around. It`s quite ironic. I've moved around so much ever since I started college, that it only takes a few photo`s and postcards to feel at home. Above the desk hangs a massive map of Australia. “Well Sanne, Australia is maybe not what you expected it to be, but there`s enough to explore to make it worthwhile!” I say to myself. “Let`s start tomorrow with Melbourne. I look around the room one more last time and switch off the light. Let the new adventure begin…
After a burn-out it was time for a change. I quit my job, sold my stuff and bought a one-way ticket to the Dominican Republic. What was supposed to be a 4 month adventure turned into 2,5 years and counting......
Photo by: Vanessa Marques Barreto