I come from a small country called The Netherlands, for many people better known as Holland. Why we are better known as Holland is a mystery to me. All I know is that we have provinces called North and South Holland that cover the part of the country with all the well-known Dutch cities. Since I come from the south I am from The Netherlands, not Holland. Get it?
Currently I find myself in a country on the other side of the world called Australia. I never have to explain to people where Australia is. This might have something to do with the size of the country. Australia is about as big as the whole of Europe, and it has lakes that have more square meters than my home country. I always wonder why people ask me whereabouts in The Netherlands I am from. Maybe they just hope I will say Amsterdam so they can tell me what an awesome and high time they had.
Being in Australia has changed my perspective on the world’s time and space dimensions. Whereas in The Netherlands, a country you can cross top to bottom in 3,5 hours, you have to plan a trip to Amsterdam, here, you drive the same distance to work. Going to Amsterdam for a day is just not worth it. Imagine sitting on the train for an hour and a half. Let alone going spontaneously. Here, I’ll happily sit on a train for over a day, seeing nothing but kangaroos, trees and sand along the way.
People say Australia is flat, but they have obviously not visited The Netherlands. We ride bicycles because we don’t have hills. The highest hill is a speed bump. Here I am skiing off Australia’s highest mountain. Whereas the swans here are black, at home they are white. The differences between these countries are enormous, but by now I call both of them home. After all, isn’t home where the heart is?