Quietness is also very high on our list. With quietness we don’t mean completely deafening sillence, we mean to hear the sounds of nature. Right now here in the Netherlands it is never really quiet. Not in our home, not on our roofterrace, not at work, not on the beach, not in the forest, not at night. The only moment that it is close to the silence we miss so much: in the early morning in the weekend. We have constant noise around us from people, cars, phones, airco’s, planes, music from neighbours and the list goes on and on. You might think we are complaining, but it is the way it is. I mean we live in the center of our city with restaurants as our neighbours, of course they have guests (because they are all very nice to visit sometime!), an aircosystem and noise from the kitchen.
In South Africa it is different. Well it is different in the place we want to live in. It is in the middle of the bush. Nearest neighbours are like a kilometer away. All the noise you hear is just the noise that you create yourself. If you want to enjoy the wonderful bird sounds you can, if you want to hear jackals at night you can, if you want to hear and feel the sounds of snapping branches because a herd of ellies (elephants) is visiting you can! Just thinking about it provides a relief, but the real think is simply wonderful.
Would it help to move to a different area in the Netherlands? If this is what we want we have to be honest with ourselfs: it is not literally impossible in the Netherlands. Even when you live near the Veluwe you hear noises, like planes coming from or going to Schiphol. We looked for alternatives here, but there are none. Plus there are no Ellies to be found in the wild here in the Netherlands.
Wiebe & Melanie