It’s a one way ticket to the Netherlands! We’re going by boat in old-fashioned missionary style though it will be a lot more comfortable in 2016 than two hundred years ago. In some senses, it’s no big deal. Amsterdam is an hour and a half’s flight from Belfast and an hour from Birmingham. The level of spoken English in The Netherlands is amazing (embarrassing actually), there’s a Lidl store a few yards from where we’ll be staying for the first couple of months, BBC TV channels come as standard with most internet packages and we don’t even need a visa. It’s not as if we’re going to the other end of the world like some of the rest of our group at IMC.
Nevertheless, buying a one way ticket has a significant psychological effect. We’re going and it’s not just for a holiday or short term visit. We’re going and will have to start building new relationships and new work routines. We’re going and don’t yet know where we will end up living for the long term. We’re going, but not sure for exactly how long or where exactly we will return to in the UK.
Even though I’ve travelled to Amsterdam or Prague many times over the past few years buying a one way ticket on this occasion feels very different. The journey will soon begin!