I leaveBursting with ideas and super motivated Henny and Patrick left tonight in a new episode of I leave to the quiet, French village of Benayes. The couple left Vlaardingen behind to start a Chambres d’hôtes and stroopwafel stall, but soon leakage and vermin threw a spanner in the works. And so Henny and Patrick had to change course.
Close to Rotterdam, Henny and Patrick lived in the old herring town of Vlaardingen. The two have been a couple for fifteen years, but they were ready for a new challenge. And so Henny and Patrick decided to pack their bags for a new adventure in France and start a Chambres d’hôtes. Patrick also took his beloved van with him, because he wanted to turn it into a stroopwafel food truck. “If it works, we’ll have a gold mine, I think. That’s what we’re going for”, Patrick fantasized.
The couple bought a dilapidated farmhouse from 1850 in the quiet village of Benayes. With a construction budget of 25,000, Henny and Patrick planned to make several guest rooms and completely refurbish the building, but it soon became apparent that their piggy bank had to be spent on completely different things. On arrival, Henny and Patrick discovered that there was a major leak, caused by a frozen water pipe. And they also turned out to be bothered by pests. ,,One day it will be ready, however difficult it may be, the way there,’ said Patrick. He was determined: “One thing is not an option and that is giving up.”
One day it will be ready, no matter how difficult it can be
Meanwhile, Patrick still had the desire to start a stroopwafel food truck with his van and of course everything had to be arranged for that. However, that dream was soon shattered when it became clear that he would not be licensed. ,,I must have three years of experience or follow a baker’s training. So yeah, that’s not helpful. Then just come up with something else”, Patrick remained positive.
Finally Patrick’s eyes were opened: he didn’t have time to go after his stroopwafel dream and therefore decided to finish his van. “Then it will most likely go on sale,” he concluded.
After months of toil, a much later opening than planned and thousands of extra euros spent, Henny and Patrick were finally able to open their home to the general public. Henny thanked her guests in French in style and a tear was shed because Henny’s mother was unable to attend the big moment due to health problems.
Henny and Patrick did not regret their adventure. In fact, they planned to enjoy their farm even more and even fantasized about the next cottage, somewhere by the sea. “The hardest part is over. I think we now have moments more often when we say: today we are doing nothing, today we are going to enjoy our life.”
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