As you know, I don’t always share too much about my personal life on the blog. Only topics that are really important. Mainly I share these snaps on my personal instagram which is private because, nosey aunties, right? But since telling my grandfather about my interfaith relationship, which you can read here, I’ve wanted to talk more about my relationship and parts of my personal life. So let’s dig in…
- (Dad and Rita)
Mark’s parents live in Holland and have a house in the UK, so his mum divides her time between both countries. Mark had spent some time living in Holland so goes back every year or so to catch up with friends and his parents – it really is a home away from home. I’ve been out twice before but when I told my twin sister Rita, that I was going, she immediately jumped on board with her other half – Tom. I also wondered if my dad wanted to come and to my surprise he agreed so we booked the flights right away.
Two days before going away, I became ill. It usually happens once a year and I was burnt out. Burnt out from working full time and blogging in the evenings and weekends, in addition to trying to maintain a social life. I was gutted but was in bed resting for two days before catching a flight the out there.
The first day we got to their house and had a night in – giving everyone a good chance to get to know each other. We cooked gourmet (gourmetten) which is where you grill your dinner – it’s a Dutch tradition around Christmas time. Instead of one person cooking for a number of people, you all cook together, it’s a social thing which was quite different and was a bit of fun.
The second day (Good Friday) Mark’s dad took my dad flying in his aeroplane. It’s only a two seater but it was mentioned before our trip and I know dad secretly was looking forward to it. While they went up in the sky, the ‘kids’ went to Amsterdam for the day for lunch and to explore the city. Amsterdam is always beautiful with its canals, cycles and beautiful architecture.
- Look how happy Dad is!
When we met up with the parents, my dad was grinning from ear to ear. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him that happy, he was on a high (literally) after being up in that plane. Quote – ‘it was a really personal experience’ only two people in a plan flying.
Our third day – was everyone’s favourite day – we went to a village called Gieethorn. We rented another car and we all took the 2 hour journey to this village known for its beautiful small canals and old thatched-roof farmhouses. Rita had seen this online and was determined to explore this new location, none of us had ever been there before, so it was a real delight for everyone. We hired a boat and enjoy the peaceful serene ride until our boat broke down. We were all in hysterics, someone came and fixed it – turns out a plastic bag had got sucked into the motor.
Our fourth day – Easter Sunday – was the reason I wanted to go to Holland during Easter. A year ago, Mark’s dad had sent me a photo of the most beautiful tulips. They were at Keukenhof, known as the Garden of Europe. It is one of the world’s largest flower gardens and you know I love flowers. I told myself last year that I would go there, the following year so we did. All weekend it threatened to rain and raining on this day would have been gutting for me. Luckily the weather held out, all weekend in fact, and the gardens were more beautiful than I imagined. It was something ticked off my bucket list.
Our last full day was a laid back one. We had been quite busy the past few days so wanted a relaxing one. We went to Rotterdam and had the most amazing lunch. I had this bacon, goats cheese and sun dried tomato salad, it was so good. Marks mum, Rita and I spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the shops. I spotted the prettiest yellow coat – it was love at first sight. Mark’s mum kept saying how amazing it was and how much it suited me. I agreed but didn’t want to buy straight away. Funnily enough we went into a few other shops and there was a girl there with the same coat and she must have come into 3 or 4 of the same shops – it was a sign. I was gifted the coat as an early birthday present from Mark’s parents, ironically I bought my mustard yellow coat from Holland a few years earlier.
Throughout the whole trip, everyone was really relaxed and comfortable, especially my dad. It was a very respectful and relaxed trip, in the sense that both families were respectful of each other. An example being that my family don’t eat beef so his family were accommodating of this.
It was so reassuring that my dad was enjoying himself and getting to know everyone properly. I wanted to share this trip on the blog because going on holiday with your family and future in-laws isn’t a done thing in the South Asian community.
Like I’ve said before, they don’t take you seriously unless you’re married. It takes time to change your way of thinking, especially if you have been brought up in a strict South Asian household. Something different like interfaith relationships can be considered bad because some people can be ignorant and not give it a chance. It was important for my dad to get to know Mark’s family as it gives him reassurance. Reassurance in the fact that when we eventually get married, he knows what his daughter will be marrying into – a good family.
To sum up – this trip was far better than I ever imagined. My two families combining into one with no tension just love and respect. It was extremely worthwhile for our family to do this, even though we had never imagined doing it. It was so beneficial for us and it can be for you too. If you’re in a similar situation – having that time with both families can really help people to relax and get to know each other. It means no-one is a stranger and they’re already becoming friends and family before you’re married.
Due to it’s success we’re already looking forward to our next gathering!