A small child in Wales.....many years ago!
The world seemed very small in my home town of Newbridge around 1960 when I suspect this picture was taken.....has his view changed......what do you think?
In my head it was only yesterday that I set out with a one way air ticket from Cardiff Airport to The Netherlands. About to embark on a new chapter, living in a new country.
That was in January 2011..... 3 years ago!
As with all changes this one has not been without its difficulties and hardships requiring compromises, however I would still maintain that it was the right move to take.
It has given me not only the opportunity to view the UK from a different perspective. It has also enabled me to view up close the workings and mindset of my adopted country The Netherlands (not to be confused with Holland).
Regarding the UK, there are things such a the etiquette around queuing that can engender stress. With distance these often become endearing qualities.....the Dutch can spell queue, however have no idea on the definition of the word and as such are freed of all social constraints.
What can I say about life here in the Low Countries? The Dutch have a reputation for being direct, which is true this can take incomers by surprise at first, however it is an admirable trait as it removes any possible misunderstanding.....and saves time.
As a trading race, they are also tolerant and welcoming of others.....with an eye on the deal of course! The Dutch have many sayings, one that I like is that all visitors arrive as strangers, but leave as friends. This is very true, I have found The Dutch to be friendly particularly if you make an effort.
As I embark on my fourth year away from home I feel as Welsh as I ever have, Ddraig Goch remains intact. I think that I also have a wider focus that comes from the added perspective having had the chance to view the world through a different lens.
The small boy playing in his garden - my dad still has the shed - had little idea of how the world was going to change in his lifetime.
Who knows what the future may bring....whatever it is embrace it.
I wish you the New Year that you would wish for yourself....