Two and a half months ago, I finally moved forward with the biggest and scariest decision I’ve ever made. I packed up five suitcases, kissed my family goodbye, and got on a plane headed toward my new life on a new continent, across the Atlantic Ocean, in the Netherlands with my love.

 

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/SwidaAlba-8022817/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=4175486">Leng Kangrui</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=4175486">Pixabay</a>
Windmills, Tulips, and more.

I planned this move for about a year and was frequently amazed by what’s involved in organizing an intercontinental move. I quit my job, sold my house, donated or sold most of my belongings, said goodbye to my friends and family, and did my best to mentally process the coming change. I went on more trips, ate out more often, hugged longer, and soaked up and savored every last detail that I knew and loved about my home state, Texas. I cried a lot in the last few months–I felt (and still feel) so guilty that my need to move so far affected so many people that I cherish and love with my whole heart.

 

My tribe on May 21, my last day living in Texas.

I can look back now and understand that while I did the best that I knew how, I didn’t set myself up for emotional success. I incorrectly assumed that accepting this huge goodbye was a destination and not a journey I’d be traveling for the rest of my life. As the date of my flight neared, I only had the ability to see the end of my time in the United States ending, and not that a whole new process was beginning. I’m still trying to not be too hard on myself for that naivety–After all, who can possibly know what this crazy undertaking will be like before they experience it?

 

My life, in 5 bags.

Which brings me to this blog: Alanna Explores. My hope is that I can use this medium to write about and share some of my experiences here in order to both make me feel slightly less far from home and to make this adventure seem a little more relatable, rather than Instagrammable. I’m going to be exploring a whole new part of the world, learning what life as a partner is all about, trying to exercise some self control while eating bitterballen, and taking a closer look at the emotional and psychological impact of it all.

 

We’re jumping into our new life together!

It’s big, it’s complex, it’s not always pretty, but I am so grateful for and optimistic about this life that I’ve chosen to lead. I’ve seen so much beauty and experienced so much love in just a short time here, and I can’t wait to see what pops up next on this wild and wonderful ride.

 

4 comments on “Following My Heart To Holland”

  1. This is a great idea, Alanna – I can read about your journey and vicariously relive my world traveling days through you. You’re wise to realize the journey is just beginning – all my love to you and may you find fulfillment along the way. 😘

  2. I think you are much stronger and doing much better than you perceive you are doing. Every big change in life is iffy. Keep on going, you will get there.😘

  3. What a great adventure it will be filled with ups, downs, highs, lows, positives, negatives…but I believe following your heart is always the best choice in life. As you grow and change, the rest takes care of itself and you can always tweak that path if you so choose.

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