So I booked my flight to Costa-Rica! I’m arriving at Playa del Coco in less than 25 days. Time to panic! Time for travel preparations! Anyone who slightly knows me, knows I work best under stress and in chaos. I’m one of those people that can get the best results last-minute, which drives my friends crazy sometimes. But this time things are different, I’m leaving for 75 days to Costa-Rica and then come home for like 10 days to then set off again first to New York and then to Hawaii (for a month!!!)…. Short summary; I will barely be home in the next 4 months. So before I’m setting off to Costa-Rica there’s a lot that needs to be sorted. Mostly small stuff, but that is what makes it all so much harder to manage this time around. Add up to that, that I need to find 2 new tenants for the rooms in the house that I live in AND that I need to find a suitable contractor to renovate the bathroom… yeah. Panic time. Oh and did I mention I’m also waiting for my university to grade my thesis?
Right so first things first. Like I said, I perform best under stress. Mind you, healthy stress! Not the type that makes you wake up in the middle of the night bathing in sweat. Fortunately for me, I still sleep like a baby. When I have a lot of different tasks to do I tend to start working with to-do-lists. I work with colours and get fulfilment out of ticking a box. Quite often minor things end up on it, but those are for me the most important ones to write down. Minor things always slip between the cracks when my workload increases. My lists keep me sharp!
Working at the V&D aka 4 weeks full-time Black Friday.
One thing that doesn’t help managing my schedule is the V&D. The V&D is, well was, one the most known (and probably biggest) Dutch warehouse chains that sadly went bankrupt at the end of 2015. Think a classy Walmart, or a store like Marks and Spencer. After they went bankrupt all their stores (62 of them) closed their doors and over 10.000 people lost their jobs. A massive hit for a lot of people and in honesty a black day in Dutch history for a retail store that existed over a 100 years. When the stores closed their doors there was obviously still a lot of items left in the store and after a couple of months, the lawyers in charge of dealing with the bankruptcy decided the best thing to do was open the doors again and sell all the remaining items. So new personnel was hired and I managed to score myself a job as a cashier! The first week was absolutely mental, I truely understand why there is only one Black Friday a year in the USA. We’re 3 weeks into this now and it is madness. But with all of that said, it is also so challenging and fun. Like I’m having a great time dealing with all this chaos. The only annoying part is that my schedule keeps changing (mostly losing out on days) so it’s super hard to plan other (business) appointments. Anyways, hopefully, they still have work for me next week, because as busy as I am…. the money is more than welcome obviously!
When you own a house and you travel!
Right so, I have my own house. Sometimes this is a gift and sometimes this is a curse. There have been many times that I wished I did not own a house and just lived in a small student room or something. The last few years I’ve really come to realise how possessions possess you. For me there was a time I felt that owning my house was giving up my freedom, there is just so much responsibility that comes with it. You can not just pack your rucksack and leave. Having said all that, I also appreciate my house. It’s a safe haven. I’ll take a picture some other time of my attic (my room) when it is organised, but trust me when I tell you I have a lovely safe place where I really feel at home. So to just give it up… no thank you. I just need to put in extra effort to make it work.
To financially deal with travelling, studying and owning a house I came up with the solution to rent out a few rooms. This does not only make things on money side a little bit easier, it is also a lot of fun (with the right roommates!). In the time that I’ve been renting out rooms I’ve had many different nationalities staying and most of the time it’s been great fun. I am starting to notice the age cap increasing though between me and the tenants. See I was like 24? 25? when I started doing this and students around 21/22 would rent the rooms… not a big deal but now I’m nearly 30 (do not get me started on this) and it’s different. Not bad, just different. Anyways, both girls that are occupying the rooms this year are leaving whilst I am in Hawaii. So I’m already trying to find new people that I have a good connection with and can commit so early towards a rental agreement. I’m super fortunate that my neighbours are willing to be involved and will be able to let the new tenants in the house whilst I am enjoying Hawaii. It’s having helpful people like them around, that makes this even remotely possible. But you can figure how much managing this consumes! It looks like I’ve found one suitable tenant, an 18-year-old student from Romania that seems really nice so I’m super excited about that.
Selling my car and eating everything in the pantry …..
The hardest part of my travel preparations is selling my car. I’ve had this car for the last 6 years and honestly, I’m still in love with it. Keeping a car whilst I’ve no idea when I’m back for a longer time in The Netherlands is not an option though. Well, it’s always an option if you like to throw away money. So I put up an ad and am now in the process of awaiting inquiries etc. I truly hope it sells before I leave The Netherlands though, but not too soon… like in 23 days pretty please. So if you’re looking for an amazing Land Rover Freelander, get in touch!
Another thing that I’ve started doing is trying to eat everything left in the pantry. Coming up with meals that use mostly pantry ingredients etc. I’m hoping that when I leave there’s pretty much no food left. I hate wasting food! This is also the time where you learn that having 5kg of pasta might be a bit overkill, and so is having 12 cans of tomato soup. You can guess how varied my meals are at the moment.