The Holiday And The Day After

My darling sister,

When I imagine someone we don’t know reading our blogs, they might think I am permanently on holiday in France whilst you are working hard in Belgium. Well, for the past week they would have been right!

For the first time in years, I granted myself a local holiday. To experience the holiday vibe in France once more, but also to spend some quality time with my dear friend Anne, who came over from Amsterdam. I must say, the result was both amazing and intriguing — even better than I had expected.

As Anne and I have been friends for over a decade, it was amazing to spend a vacation with her! Finally there was enough time to properly catch up. Well, you know how it goes 😉 On the other hand, we also got to rediscover certain…uhm…personal boundaries. Going out for an evening or enjoying a coffee/dinner together isn’t quite as intense as waking up in the same apartment every day (for a week). The question arises whether our wishes, quirks, rhythms, and needs match on a holiday level too? It’s an opportunity to get to know each other even better — during the good as well as the bad holiday moments — and it will put any friendship to the test. A test we passed brilliantly!

For me personally, of course, there was the additional discovery of what it’s like to be a tourist in my own city. Because even though it’s only been 6 months, I do live here now, so a holiday transforms me back into a tourist. Well, kind of.

I’ve been to more restaurants, parties, shops, and sights then I would ordinary visit in a week. Seeing this area through Anne’s eyes, answering all of her curious questions, and reliving the Dutch-French cultural differences made me fall in love with the Basque Country all over again. Such bliss!

What intrigued me most, is what happened after our holiday was over. After I had hugged Anne goodbye, I sort of expected to feel a resistance toward going back to my “normal” life. Normal meaning the daily routine of going to business meetings, writing our business plan, writing these blogs even… In the past, when a holiday was over, the difference between all that freedom / spare time and my normal life would feel huge and weigh on me. I’d be dreading to go back to school or work. This time, though, I felt really happy.

Happy because I did NOT feel that difference. Happy because I’d had such an amazing week with one of my best friends to look back on. Happy because I had such great work to look forward to. Happy because, in THAT moment, that was simply all I felt.

That, and a little tired — I gotta stay honest here 😉

So yes, there you have it. Short and sweet this time.

Happy kisses!


Hey Sister, are you curious about us? We are Cathy Kwanten & Pauline Siebers, and you can contact us at