Experience the Spring!

screech owl

Okay, it is time to admit to the world that L and I are birders. When I think of people who bird watch, the stereotype that enters my head is of an old retired couple in khakis with their binoculars. Just another reason why stereotypes are so silly. The truth is bird watching is probably one of our favorite hobbies to do together. We get excited to see new birds on our travels and often talk about what birds we saw throughout our day. While we haven't quite got to the point of keeping a bird journal, I am not putting the idea past us in the future. We dream of the day that we have a yard of our own and can put up bird feeders to attract them. For now though, we are so happy that we stumbled upon Beleef de Lente or Experience the Spring! 

Beleef de Lente has been going on since 2007 and is brought to you by Vogelbescherming Nederland an independent conservation society that was founded in 1899. Beleef de Lente sets up webcams in the habitats of wild birds here in the Netherlands and you can watch them 24 hours a day (as long as they are at home). Currently, they have pairs of barn owls, tawny owls, and screech owls. As well as some tiny birds, kestrels and peregrine falcons, oh and storks are coming next week!  Our favorites are the barn and screech owls. They have been mating a lot and we are really looking forward to having eggs in some of the houses. 

If you want to experience that joy and peace for yourself please visit the site and pick a bird to watch. What do you think about birding? Have you ever had a unique experience with birds? 


*Photo is from Rotterdam Zoo not Beleef de Lente. 

Until next time,



Goal Setting for 2015

You are never too old to set another goal or dream another dream C.S Lewis

"You are never too old to set another goal or dream another dream" -C.S Lewis

It's that time of year again where people start reflecting on the person they are and make plans to change into the person they want to be. I was never really one for New Year's Resolutions, but I am thinking about setting one or more and really making 2015 my year. 

Having dreams and goals is something I have really been struggling with lately. I am blessed in that so many of my lifelong dreams have come true in the past few years. I have been struggling to set new dreams and goals because it has been awhile since I have had to make new ones and for that I am thankful, but I have been a girl without a dream for quite sometime. 

This has got to change, so I am setting some long and short term goals for myself.

Goal One: Be fluent in Dutch. So much of my life here is in English and it is super easy to get by without learning Dutch, but I feel like I am missing out in so much as well. I live here, I love it here, I need to be fluent. 

How I'll get there: 

  • Practice for at least an hour every day, be it duolingo or from one of the many books I have purchased.
  • Have more Dutch nights at home. Once a week, speak nothing but Dutch and watch Dutch programs from the moment we wake up.
  • Make an effort to have more one on one time with some of my Dutch friends so I can practice. Bake them lots of cake in return for their immense amount of patience.

Goal Two: Write a novel and have people read it. I've been saying I'm going to for years, and now that I finally have it mapped out in my head, I can put pen to paper or hands to keyboard. 

How I'll get there: 

  • Set a goal to write every day. Add it into my daily schedule and hold myself accountable. I know that although I love staying up late and consider myself a night owl, I am actually most productive early in the morning from about 8am to 10am. First thing I am going to do when I get up in the morning is write. 
  • Self-editing will happen, but maybe only once a week. Editing often gets in the way of the writing process and while I do love editing (other's people work) it can slow down the writing process. 
  • Attend my writing group meetings, although this will have to wait until Feb. I love and miss my writing group and it is so great to have a community that encourages you.

Goal Three: Start my own business and become financially independent. I'm not ready to disclose the information yet, but this is something that I have always wanted to do and I feel like I am finally ready. 

How I'll get there:

  • Have a clear plan. This includes a business plan, how to find investors, how to market it.
  • Educate myself. I want to be an expert and in doing that I need to learn as much as I can.
  • Register at the gemeente so I will be legal, I can't do this until I no longer am employed at my current company, but it is coming soon!

These are really my big 3. Of course, there are some smaller ones in there, like I am dreaming of Prague and Dubrovnik and I want to learn to sew.

Do you set new year's resolutions? Do you keep them? What are your goals for the new year? 



Until next time,




Georgia Peach Abroad Kaitlin Selfie

Hey Loves,

It’s been a bit, I wanted to check in. I was super dramatic in the last post and I wanted to let you know that I am doing better, looking forward to what the new year will bring. There are some big changes in the upcoming months, but I want to wait until everything is final before I discuss on here. Don’t worry, not leaving Holland.

So what has been going on with me since we last spoke eh? Well, I’ve been to America! It was an interesting trip home and I plan to share a lot more in a later post.

I’ve also decided that I hate everything I own and most of it was either not flattering or  had holes. So I gave away 5 ikea bags worth of clothes and had to throw out about 3 bags worth of just rubbish. It feels so freeing to have a limited wardrobe actually, to restart from the basics and really build a closet around my style now. Maybe a post about this too, yeah?

Oh and I am on week 2 of no caffeine. It started as part of a week-long detox my friend Anna and I were doing and I decided to continue the no caffeine thing. I actually feel great about it, it was hard for the first two days, but after that so far has been smooth sailing. Anna is actually currently studying to be a nutritionist and we are working on launching her blog in January. I’ll link up so you guys can see it when it launches.

Lastly, Loek and I decided two weeks ago that we would commit to watching a documentary at least once a week. You’ve got to learn about the world you know. I’d like to recommend the ones I like to you.

Therefore, I think you should check out the Internet’s Own Boy. It is a documentary about the life and persecution of Aaron Swartz. If you don’t know Aaron was a computer programmer and founder of reddit, he also helped develop RSS feeds which allows you to read this blog in your reader, and helped allow people to copyright on the internet with the creation of Creative Commons. He did a lot for the modern computer era and the internet as we know it, but the US government decided to make an example out of him. You can watch the whole thing on Youtube and you will be amazed at how the government felt the need to use our tax dollars. Just watch it.

Oh and I am blonde again, not sure how that happened, but I love it! I want to go even lighter!

What about you loves? What has been going on with you?

Until next time,



It's a New Dawn, It's a New Day

Dearest blog, 

I abandoned you for 6 months, believe me when I say it wasn't intentional. But, I can't make myself write when I am sad. You see, I have been struggling with depression since I was 14 and after 14 years of being manageable, it suddenly wasn't anymore. I was naive enough to think that even though I love living here, and live with my other half it wouldn't find me, I could escape its clutches, that my brain chemistry would somehow re-write itself and I could get better on my own. 

 For me, my depression manifests itself as sleeping all the time, reneging on my responsibilities, and being a complete slob and bum who won't do anything to help herself. Loek is incredibly patient, and I do not envy him for having to live with me at my worse. May was the hardest, but when I thankfully decided it was time to admit that something was wrong.I went to the doctor and have been taking anti-depressants since, and I am finally starting to feel like myself again. It's still a struggle, but one that I feel like I am finally getting on top of again. I want to get back to you dear blog, I miss writing, I miss my readers, and I miss the interactions and friendships that came from this space. While I can't promise I won't abandon you again, it is my intention to continue to take care of myself and to do the things that make me happy.


Until next time,




In Memoriam of the Victims of MH17

It is National Mourning Day here in the Netherlands. Words are failing me as I try to describe the shock, heartbreak, rage, fear, loathing, and finally the microscope ping of relief now that some of the bodies have been brought home to Holland. My beloved adoptive country is small, only roughly the size of Maryland, almost everyone I know here has some sort of connection to at least one of the 193 Dutch victims on MH17. I am so proud of how the country has responded to this unthinkable tragedy. If you have a spare moment today please think some positive thoughts to all those affected by this horrible event. Thank you.





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