The encounter between Marleen (Netherlands) and Titia & Peter (Wales)

 

In February, I flew to Chepstow. Chepstow is a beautiful small city, about 20 minutes drive from Bristol. My host, Titia, picked me up from the bus station. We didn’t know each other but from the start Titia was incredibly open and enthusiastic. I had the impression that we could have a great time together!

A perfect couple

 
 

 

Titia is Dutch and her boyfriend Pete is from England. Titia moved to Chepstow, to go after the love of her life. Titia is working at a sales department at a data storage company, and Pete is a master with food. He has a startup in melted cheese, where he sells great dishes at festivals. So actually, he is a true kaaskop (cheese head), just like they call the Dutch! A perfect couple, so to say.

Sunset in Chepstow

 
 

 

On the first day, Titia was busy in and around the house. The perfect opportunity to explore Chepstow. Titia drew a map for me, we had a great laugh because of her drawing skills, but it worked! I enjoyed the beautiful sunset and in the evening we went to a pub nearby, and savored a glass of wine.

Cheer up the rugby team with the locals

 
 

 

The next day was grey and wet. Welcome to England, was Pete’s joke. Pete taught me how to properly pronounce British words…. I adore the language. After roaring with laughter when trying to teach Pete Dutch, he handed me a red shirt. Time to go to the pub to cheer on the Rugby team of Wales. I ordered some tea, but that was a mistake! No one orders a tea in a pub. I adapted and my next order was - of course - a cider.

With that cider in front of me, I feasted my eyes on liveliness of rugby. Men and women shouting, but knock yourself out, right? Luckily the team had a great victory, and no one got disappointed.

After the match, we had the fish and chips. I could not leave the country without having tried this oh so traditional dish. I almost ate Pete’s portion, I didn’t think I’d like it that much because I usually don’t dig fast food.

 

Surprise party

In the evening, we went to a surprise party for one of Titia’s colleagues. It turned out to be a round of laser game! Everyone created nicknames, and then the game began. I turned out not to excel at lasergaming, so I filmed everyone else. It was great to meet her colleagues, and talk to other people. Of course we got hungry, so naturally, we all ended up in the pub again.

Motor biking

Next morning, I did some running while the sun was rising. When I returned I was very surprised. Pete was going to take me on his motorcycle for a road trip! I happen to be an adrenaline junk who loves action. We crossed and accelerated through the country. I will definitely come back to Wales when I have my driver license. Shakingly I got off the motorcycle to go hiking in the woods. I spoke with Titia about her life abroad, how she manages her homesick moments. We talked a lot about traveling, the thirty-something dilemma (applicable to both of us :-)) and family.

A great glimpse and a memory forever

This encounter gave me insight about how it is to move to another country (I will move to Australia and try to live there for some time) and how you can manage homesickness. It was great to be in Chepstow which I probably wouldn’t have visited if Titia and Pete were not my hosts. It was amazing to be part of their daily life for a weekend.

My hosts let me know that they looked in a different way to their own life and area where they live in. They appreciated it much more than before. They saw their own environment through my eyes. I saw beautiful nature, great people around and a many of fun things to do.

It was such a special experience, a memory forever. I made new friends, whom I will see in the future for sure!

 

 

Video (incl. video on homepage) and blog by Marleen Hoftijzer