The weather is fabulous, wish you were here

The other day, a friend and I were complaining about the unusually wet weather in Atlanta, and she asked me where the sun went.

“Holland,” I told her, and it’s true. It’s like Mother Nature decided to switch things up this year, whisking our sun across the ocean to dry out Northern Europe and sending their low, leaden skies to dump torrential rains all over Georgia. Vampires get more sun than I’ve seen this past month, and I found myself wishing I were there instead of here, homesick for a place that’s no longer my home.

Strand-014-500x375There are so many things I miss about the Netherlands, especially when the weather is balmy like it is now. Lazy days on North Sea beaches. Biking through fields of flowers. Amsterdam and cafes and canals and french fries with mayonnaise. Friends and family.

Before I moved to Holland all those years ago, I never really gave much thought to the fact that I’m an American. My nationality was as much a part of me as my curls and hazel eyes. And then suddenly there I was, in a country where I knew exactly one person. I was a foreigner, an outsider, an expat. Ugh! It didn’t take me long to detest the word expat. Am I less of an American patriot just because I moved to a foreign country? I daresay anyone who has  ever been in an expat’s shoes will tell you the experience only heightens their feelings of nationalism.

But after more than a decade in the Netherlands, I’m part Dutch, too. Some of my favorite places on earth are in the Netherlands. Some of my favorite memories happened there. Some of my favorite people still live there. It took a long time and an enormous effort to put down roots, but then suddenly, without my even noticing, they took hold and became firmly entrenched. There to stay, even if I’m not.

Even though at this very moment, I wish I were.

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About Kimberly S. Belle

Kimberly Belle grew up in Eastern Tennessee, in a small town nestled in the foothills of the Appalachians. A graduate of Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, Kimberly lived for over a decade in the Netherlands and has worked in marketing and fundraising for various nonprofits. She's the author of two novels, THE LAST BREATH and THE ONES WE TRUST (August 2015). She divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam. Keep up with Kimberly on Facebook (www.facebook.com/KimberlyBelleBooks), Twitter (@KimberlySBelle), or via her website at www.kimberlybellebooks.com.

Posted on July 26, 2013, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Christy Hayes

    Kimberle,
    How wonderful to have two countries that feel like home. I wonder if your friends in Holland are ready to send our sun back?

  2. So cool that you have that experience in your heart, Kim. To know two countries well is really something that the majority of people don’t ever experience. I lived in Madrid for just one year and even that made me so appreciative of my true home of the U.S. Maybe one day I’ll go back but I’m not sure.

  3. Maybe if I buy some tulips, the sun will come back to Georgia???

  4. I’m up on the Canadian prairies and we’re getting lots and lots of rain, too. I’m coming to Holland with you, Kimberle. 🙂

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