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Leaving Holland Going To Belgium

I’m leaving Holland now and have a strange feeling about the place.

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I departed from Rotterdam this morning. I’m riding the train down to Brussels now. What can I say about Holland? It’s like walking into your room at a five star hotel: you’re immediately smacked by its sparkling cleanliness, its perfect folds and placements, its masterful order and ambiance — it seems like a place that should have a “Do not touch” sign hanging before it, a place that gives the impression that you were the first to ever defiled it. More like a showroom than a country.

“This place is perfect,” I found myself saying without the full positive emphasis of my choice adjective. I found myself really wanting to leave.

It was the same anxiety that hits when you’re almost out of a horrible/dangerous/difficult place and you pay very close attention to every detail of your actions on the fear that you’ll screw something up and get trapped there.

Why would I feel like this in what is probably the nicest country on earth? A place where people — even randoms in the streets and in the shops — were nothing but engaging, accommodating, and, contrary to how the Dutch seem to like to think of themselves, polite.

I’m not sure.

I’m also not sure why I’m going to Brussels. My meeting there was cancelled. I really don’t have anything to do there. Although I have the better part of a week before my next meetings in Germany. I suppose I will keep going to Luxembourg, finish a couple articles, make some videos for my daughter (she likes to watch me on YouTube), and, yes, maybe even a take a few moments to actually…yes, be a real tourist.



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Filed under: Belgium, Netherlands, Travel Diary

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3720 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: New York City

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