The view down here

Not too bad actually, we have a 270° view towards Mount Coot-tha and on clear days can see mountain ranges on the horizon.

The full 270° at night:

Project “Make stuff disappear” successful


Time to celebrate, everything has been packed, transferred, stored, cleaned or otherwise processed for the move. Simone and I can congratulate each other on a project executed with all key targets achieved within the set time and budget 😉

Thanks to whoever brought the Lambrusco and conveniently forgot it – not exactly the spumante we typically enjoy, but who’s complaining, right?

Cheers & see you down on the upside!

We’re almost off – FAQ

(I’d love to start this post with an image of our going away party, so send me some!)

It turns out you get asked an awful lot of the same questions over and over when you decide to leave for distant shores. So, to save us some gum flapping, here are the most frequently asked questions about our departure.

When do you fly?
We fly out this Wednesday 10:30 and will land Thursday 19:30 (BNE time) or 10:30 NL time. The flights are SQ323 (AMS-SIN) and SQ245 (SIN-BNE) [and not, as it turns out SQ236 – points for trusting Simone’s memory, some deducation for Simone’s actual memory ;-)].

Where in Australia are you going again?
Brisbane, Queensland; on the east coast of Australia. Brisbane has Flinders’ Reef off the coast and is in the middle of the subtropics. It’s the fourth largest city in Australia, behind Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

Are you keeping your house?
Yes, we’re asking third parties to let it for us to other expats coming to The Hague. We’re leaving the furniture, books, etc. for the new occupants to use.

Are you bringing your stuff in a shipping  container?
Nope, we’re just bringing 200kg of air freight besides what we can bring in our suitcases, using professional movers. This includes Simone’s bicyle and sewing machine and Jaap’s PC and camera equipment. Of course, our motorcycle gear and diving equipment is coming as well.


Do you have a house in Brisbane yet?
No, but we’re moving into the house of a colleague of Simone for the first 4 weeks. Rent in Brisbane is charged by the week and you can move in by the week, so we expect to be able to find something quickly.

Why are you going?
Simone’s employer has asked her to do project there for 2-4 years; so, she’s keeping her job at Deltares and Jaap has quit his job at the CAK to move with her.

Does Jaap have a job there?
Not yet, but there are plenty of opportunities and we’re not at all worried about his employability.

Do your visa cover work for both of you?
Yes our visa cover most eventualities, so starting a business or taking a normal job are all possible. Of course, Simone’s employer is the sponsor, so whether we get to stay for 2-4 years depends on Simone’s job for now.

Will you stay there permanently if you can?
No, we plan on returning after about three years, give or take a few months.

Will you stay in touch?
Yes, read this blog. Of course, you can follow us on any of the social media listed on the contact details page (we’ll update this as we get new contact coordinates in Oz). When we post on this blog, we will frequently publish our posts there, when we think it may interest people.

Put your thongs on: barbie time


Before we head off to Brisbane, we’d like one last chance to say goodbye to everyone back here in the Netherlands. If you’d like to join us for this, you’re welcome at our place on the 12th of December 2015, any time of day after 14:00 – please let us know by mail that you’re coming (and whether you expect to be here around dinner time). If you need directions, check

We prefer you don’t bring gifts, since we won’t be able to bring them with us to Australia anyway. Instead, it would be appreciated if you bring something you’d like to be drinking and relieve us of left over drinks and stuff we’re throwing out otherwise when you go. If you borrowed our stuff, this would be an excellent time to return it – or to remind us to do so conversely.

We’d also like to ask everyone who has a Skype-account, to (re)connect with us on Skype. Jaap can be reached at (Jaap van der Velde) and Simone at SimoneDeKleermaeker (Simone De Kleermaeker). Also, please let us know your current phone number, more so when you don’t have or use Skype.

We plan to leave the Netherlands on December 16, leaving our home in the care of a housing company that will take care of new tenants. We don’t know our final address in Brisbane yet, but we’ll publish it here. We’ll also post semi-regularly to our blog, but we’ll let you know about that on social media (Facebook, Google+).