The Dunes

Significant Something #981 • 2 MINUTE READ
Nationaal Park Zuid-Kennemerland, Netherlands • June 11, 2016

Once upon a time, in between the hurried minutes of my life as a school teacher, I embarked on a spontaneous weekend trip to a magical makeshift kingdom under the moonlight.

Gijs (one of my very favorite simple-pleasure connoisseurs) tapped into my worn-out, city-dwelling soul by extending an invite to “get away from it all,” with the only requirement being a willingness to explore. And so, I showed up in Amsterdam on a late Friday night in June without money, time, or even a plan; carrying only a small bag and my own desire for adventure, instead. Gijs greeted me in his native airport, bogged down by an armful of heavy sleeping gear and an overflowing duffel bag of clothing.

As the daughter of a Scouting Master and the sister to 3 brothers proficient in outdoor expeditions, I was raised with enough camping etiquette to know this was not how one properly prepares for a nature excursion. Additionally, neither of us had a very clear vision of where, exactly, to go. Gijs, luckily, used all his geographic know-how to navigate us toward the sea. By bus, train, unsuspecting Volkswagon hippy-van, and foot.

I should probably apologize to Gijs for my judgment and relentless (albeit lighthearted) chiding along the way, because traipsing through the endless, rolling sand hills with a bulky tent bag and an unraveling duvet, is one of the most charming memories I possess, to date.

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Sand & Smiles

Finally, under a greying horizon of dunes and sea, we staked out a secluded little piece of sand and (illegally) claimed it as our own. The cityscape, far in the distance – yet still visible now, served to remind us of what we left behind.

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Staking Claim

Without the distractions of wifi and adult responsibilities we were left to happily play amongst the fields of mushrooms. Royal rulers of our cozy, little tented kingdom we splashed in the chilly waves of the North Sea, hunted for pretty shells, raced up the steep sides of dunes, chatted whimsically about imaginary places, munched on Dutch cheeses, and filled the quiet spaces in between with the sweet beats of our own hearts. We fell asleep under the soft glow of a large crescent moon, and awakened to the gentle sounds of a sleepy tide.

I arrived home to Prague the following Sunday evening without accomplishing any of my “adulting” priorities. Though I had been gone for barely 48 hours, I had ruled a tiny plot of land for approximately 108,000 seconds, each of which I individually treasure.

And we lived happily ever after. The End.

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Featured images courtesy Gijs Romijn, edited by Nicole
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