"After exactly a year, travel restrictions have lifted enough for me to be able to do it at last!"
Finally, the time came around!
You might have guessed from many of my posts that I’ve been anxiously waiting for an opportunity to get back to The Hague again. Well, after exactly a year, travel restrictions have lifted enough for me to be able to do it at last!
Ironically, my trip has coincided with the completion of my photo book of The Hague, where I have collected some of my favourite photos into a collection that truly represents my many good memories of my time here (and that I hope will represent the good memories of others as well).
It hit me as soon as the train pulled into Den Haag Centraal station, and especially as I stood waiting for my usual tram. But not more so did it hit me than when I stepped off the tram in my old neighbourhood. There was just such an avalanche of good memories of almost 7 years living here, which that very street encompassed.
On that street, I had walked to and from work daily. I had stepped off the tram after afternoons shopping or evenings in the city with friends. I had dragged and struggled with luggage on dark nights, returning from trips home to the UK. I had ridden my bike on hot, sunny weekends and pulled the hood of my coat around my ears on windy winter days. I even recall the first time I stepped off that tram there some 8 years ago when I had no idea where I was.
And in the midst of those happy memories and feelings of excitement on returning, there was a deep sadness that this is no longer my home. And it was immensely challenging to hold back the tears as this multitude of emotions took hold of me.
But if what I felt was sadness, it didn't last very long: it was such a wonderful feeling when, having dropped off my luggage at the hotel, I ventured out to one of my favourite cafes in the neighbourhood and was immediately greeted with an excited welcome and given my favourite coffee without even needing to remind anyone what it was 😊
My whole week was incredible from that moment on, doing all the things I used to love to do and meeting friends whom I had not seen for a year. Although a long time, it didn't feel like it and some people I came across had not even realised I had been away for as long as I had; that was somehow such a comforting feeling.
All in all, I drank a lot of coffee, ate a lot of nice food and visited a lot of favourite hotspots. I even had time to take a few photos!
I don't believe I will ever run out of things to photograph in The Hague. Even those iconic places that I have photographed many times already, always seem to have something new to offer again and again.
Inevitably, the day came around when I had to pack up and go back to the UK. It was hard to head off again, but I am somehow reassured that it won't be long til the next time. I returned home feeling so much better for having reconnected to the place that was home for almost 7 years! And of course, my suitcase was a little bit heavier on the way back than when I arrived 😁
In a short while, my new photo book of The Hague will be available on my website 😀 My next blog post will be all about it. I know I have talked about it for some time, but the true 'launch' is coming any day now, so watch this space! 😀📷👍🏻