The Kraan family about their emigration to Luxembourg: ‘Extremely hectic and intensive’

The Kraan family about their emigration to Luxembourg: ‘Extremely hectic and intensive’
The Kraan family about their emigration to Luxembourg: ‘Extremely hectic and intensive’

What can you see in A House Full of Emigrates?

“In the program, two families from A House Full are building a new life abroad. The Jelies family is exchanging Tollebeek for Spain, we are going to manage a campsite in Luxembourg. It is a kind of combination of an emigration program and… A House Full: it is about the emigration process, but also about the daily ins and outs of us as a large family.”

Why did you want this?

“Whenever we were on holiday in Luxembourg, we thought: how nice it would be to run a campsite here, in such a beautiful country that has so much to offer. It remained just a dream, until Ivan suffered a pulmonary embolism in 2018 and things were not going well for a while. Then we made the decision and said: life is short, we’re just going to try.”

How did this campsite come your way?

“We heard through other Dutch people who run a campsite in Luxembourg that the municipality of Mersch was looking for new managers for the campsite. When we applied, I thought they would laugh at us, as an inexperienced couple with nine children. But in November 2022 it turned out that we had succeeded after all. In three and a half months we arranged everything: from the sale of our house in Boskoop to finding schools for the children. We moved at the beginning of March.”

How was the first period in Luxembourg?

“Very hectic, because we only had three weeks to prepare the campsite. The restaurant was still a ruin and our apartment was not ready yet. In the meantime, Stan (14), Julia (11), Anne (7), Olav (6), Sara (3) and Elin (1) had to get used to their completely different lives. It was actually crazy, when I think about it now.”

Did all nine children move with you?

“The oldest two boys, Sam and Quinten (19), stayed in the Netherlands. They were still in the middle of their training. That remains difficult, but luckily they come by regularly. Eldest daughter Marlynn (22) and her boyfriend have moved with us. They help us run the campsite. That is necessary, because it is a large campsite with a restaurant, camping shop and mobile homes.”

How do you look back on your first year in Luxembourg?

“It was extremely hectic and intensive, but also incredibly beautiful. We learned a lot about the country and running a campsite, and from each other. Ivan and I have been partners for a long time, but now we also had to work together with each other and our daughter. That wasn’t always easy. But we wouldn’t want to go back now. We have a lot of ideas for the new season. It can only get better.”

A House Full of Emigrates can be seen weekly on KRO-NCRV on NPO1 from Friday 2 February 2024.

The article is in Dutch


Tags: Kraan family emigration Luxembourg Extremely hectic intensive


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