At 27 years old, nowadays seemingly young to have children, my first daughter was born and it was time for me to step up to the plate. Let go of any aspirations to get my master degree, and start providing for my new family! With a background in Chinese language and culture combined with business and marketing it was only natural that China would be our destination of choice. And several years later, with now a second daughter blessing our lives we started our journey in a small Chinese village with a population of three hundred and sixty thousand. Here our youngest was born and our family of five was complete!
Now there is actually a purpose to starting this story by introducing my children. You see, being the considerate man that I am, with each one of the three pregnancies, I thought it only fair that I too would also gain a few extra kilos, say around six or seven per pregnancy! So in 2019 when I turned 40, I was at that time close to 100 kilos! My life until that moment was all about my work and everything else came secondary. This included my health, my time, my wellbeing and even my family, where I am ashamed to say I missed my oldest daughter’s birthday 6 years in a row. A desperate change was needed!
A few months later when most of the world was still relatively unaware of what was about to unfold, we had just experienced a 6 week lock down in Ningbo, China. (a 12 million people city which also very few people have heard of!) During this lockdown only one member per family could leave the compound, every 3 days, to buy groceries. Not a very pleasant experience as you can imagine. With schools closed indefinitely it was time to make a decision on how to move forward. We came to a decision that we would take the kids back to the Netherlands and enroll them into school there. But not before going on a much needed 2 week holiday first!
Turned out the only two destinations still open for travel were Thailand and Cambodia! With friends of ours in Phuket we made our choice and our fate was thereby decided!
On March 23, 2020 we arrived in Phuket and booked into our Kata beach apartment, a town we had never heard of till that moment! Little did we know that this decision would change our lives forever. Crazy looking back at it now, a special time which I am sure none of us will ever forget. I wont be able to share it all, but what I will say is, I am now 73 kilos but it took losing everything to appreciate the true value of life.
To be continued..
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