“Wow your responses are always so quick, yes this is very refreshing after my last experience. Even with the business of moving, you answered and made the changes!”

When I flew to America for the first time, in 2021, I had 2 stopovers. One in Germany and one in Canada. Flying to America for the first time was exciting enough, but in the post-covid era, things got even more exciting. Face masks, having the right papers, extra checks everywhere. The second and third times didn’t go very smoothly either, so this time I booked a direct flight because I didn’t want to have more stress than needed. Just get on a plane in Amsterdam and get off in Portland. This time everything was well organized at Schiphol. I went through all the mandatory checkpoints without any issues.

That moment when I saw the mountains again from my airplane window, I could feel the butterflies in my stomach at the idea that this is my view again for the coming time. It’s odd how this place always feels like home. The peace, the space, here I can be myself. I was wondering what to do first. Hiking?To the forest? Up the mountain? Or just downtown along the water.

All of the above had to wait because I decide to visit the Wooden Shoe Festival in Woodburn. I do see the irony of flying 6000 km to visit tulip fields and standing in front of a mill in large clogs for an iconic photo. Why? Just! Because it’s possible.

The tulips were still blooming beautifully. Despite the $ 15 entrance fee, it is busy, which I am surprised about. In Holland, you can see the fields completely free of charge. When I left Amsterdam, I saw the colorful fields slowly disappearing as we took.

At the beginning of the fields was a small windmill with a few large clogs where you could take a picture. People lined up for the photo. At home, I wouldn’t want to be caught alive in that setting but here I had to have that picture taken. The view over the colorful fields could have been in the Netherlands if the mountains in the distance did not peak above it.

My people in the Netherlands didn’t understand it. Couldn’t I have done this in the Netherlands? Did I really have to fly 400 miles to stand into clogs in front of a mill surrounded by tulips? I could have had the same photo at home, but then I wouldn’t have had my beloved mountains in the background and that was worth the long flight!

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