Paris and Goodbye

Planning the last weekend trip of my exchange was a bittersweet feeling. Organising every minute of the day with exciting activities and time to intensely explore a different side of Paris resulted in the best travel weekend of my exchange.

Every detail – metro lines, screenshots of maps, tour details – was pre-planned and strictly followed. Beginning and concluding our exchange together, Siobhan and I were able to recognise the immense growth and knowledge we now obtain from our vast travels and living abroad. To feel comfortable exploring a city with half the population of our entire country was rewarding and special – accomplishing a dream.

Day one: Saturday 23rd May

Rising at 6 AM to train to Paris. Our 13-minute transition from one platform to another included an unknown connection to another station – we made it with one minute to spare – intense but otherwise simple.

  • Montmartre Walking Tour – Moulin Rouge, 20th century writer’s retreat, local Parisian park, Sacre Coeur, and many fascinating history stories of Montmartre.
  • Arc de Triomphe.
  • Walk through the Champs Elysees, random streets, the seine and explored the Eiffel Tower area.
  • Eiffel Tower – relaxed on the grass with chocolate for 2 hours waiting for the magical moment when it sparkles. Magical.

Day two: Sunday 24th May

Visiting Versailles when I was 11 years old created my passion for history. To have the opportunity to experience what has had such a significant influence on my life was special and the most interesting part of my exchange.

  • “There is nothing more beautiful than nature in the early morning.” Walked through the fresh and peaceful sunrise to the train station.
  • Local French market to collect food for picnic: baguette, brie cheese, chocolate croissant, cherries, strawberries and a nectarine. YUM.
  • ‘Blue Bikes’ cycle tour around the enormous grounds of Versailles stopping at beautiful points to hear about the history of how it was created, maintained, developed and lived in. The nature was symmetrical and groomed to perfection.
  • Picnic lunch at the end of the Grand Canal looking up towards the Palace. Speechless and in awe.
  • More cycling around the grounds. I cannot emphasize how enormous it was. The grounds are free to the public, it’s a beautiful place to run or cycle around.
  • Palaces of Trianon and Marie-Antoinette’s estate and hamlet. I was amazed. It felt as if I had entered another world – to physically be in these places and see the exact rooms where they lived felt unreal.
  • The Grand Palace. Some paintings covered the entire scale of the wall. Rooms were lit with the colour of paintings on the roof. The hall of mirrors displaying the richness and success of King Louis XIV. The bedrooms where furniture has not been moved. The real-life paintings looked as if they were photographs. The elegant and decorative nature of the entire Palace was a dream come true, it was an experience like no other and something I am excited to relive one day.
  • After returning back to the Airbnb apartment around 7 PM, we ended up falling asleep and missing dinner. Alongside the excitement, walking 20 KM took every ounce of energy from us… We were exhausted and fulfilled.

Versailles exceeded everything. It was the best day of my exchange and one of the best days I have had in my life. I felt as if I was living in a dream, I could not comprehend the beauty and history I was seeing and experiencing. Appreciative and grateful that I was able to have this occasion and feel extremely passionate and interested towards everything the day offered.

Day three: Monday 25th May

  • Breakfast at a local, organic café. A selection of French breads satisfied my cultural food cravings… Trying local foods throughout my travels has always been a pleasure.
  • Notre Dame.
  • Left bank walking tour – Shakespeare and Co, oldest tree in Paris, learning about the history of how Parisians lived (the numerous floors to an apartment, the curve in the streets, why some streets are narrow or wide, the significance of a front door), linguistic matters – how the tennis term ‘love’ was created (love sounds like French word ‘egg’ – the ball of Tennis looked like an egg and somehow this developed over time), and the University institute and good luck statue.
  • Shakespeare and Co. Time disappears when entering into this fascinating store. The atmosphere and scope of books completely absorbs me into another world. I decided to focus on the development of a passion: writing. Three books were bought with the intention to improve my skills:
  1. ‘The Elements of Style.’ Written by William Strunk Jr and E.B White and illustrated by Maira Kalman. The book is “the go-to guide when in need of a hint to make a turn of phrase clearer or a reminder on how to enliven prose with the active voice.”
  2. ‘What they didn’t teach you in design school.’ Written by Phil Cleaver. A “guide to visual creativity… “How to create the best portfolio, impress at interviews, develop strong client relationships, and produce great work in the studio.” Although I am not studying at design school, the book completely captured by attention. Alongside having a great passion for art/design, it poses as an exciting entrepreneurship opportunity.
  3. ‘On writing: A memoir of the craft.’ Written by Stephen King. “Part biography, part master class… Tips for the aspiring writer…” Recommended by a staff member, I trusted their experience.
  • Luxembourg gardens.
  • Siobhan’s favourite – getting lost in a new atmosphere and finding our way. 12 years of friendship allows this to work perfectly… Growing up, we would cycle around our hometown with the intention to get lost and find our way home. We walked through beautiful streets and found our way to the Louvre before walking down the seine until we needed to catch the metro to the train station on route to Maastricht. To us, travelling is not all about ticking famous landmarks off a to-do list. We want to dig deeper, observe the natural state and extend ourselves by living in the moment and testing our boundaries by simply exploring. No map, just instincts.

Last week in Maastricht

Goodbye’s are in the near future.

Preparing to leave Maastricht has formed a strange and gloomy feeling. I will deeply miss everything; my flat mates and friends, listening to accents, the determination of students at SBE, the ability to bike and walk everywhere within 20 minutes, eating berries everyday, my personal growth and pure independence, being surrounded by diverse cultures, and travelling.

I have taken the time to write each blog to the best of my ability. I hoped to display the passion and excitement I experienced while living 18558 kilometers from home. I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I have enjoyed writing. Thank you and goodbye!

“I’ll look back on this and smile, because it was life and I decided to live it.”

Exploring Maastricht
Enjoying Maastricht
Enjoying Maastricht
Enjoying Maastricht
Enjoying Maastricht
Enjoying Maastricht
Enjoying Maastricht
Enjoying Maastricht
Enjoying Maastricht
Enjoying Maastricht
Enjoying Maastricht
Enjoying Maastricht
Enjoying Maastricht
Enjoying Maastricht
Enjoying Maastricht
Enjoying Maastricht
Enjoying Maastricht
Enjoying Maastricht
Enjoying Maastricht
Enjoying Maastricht
Montmartre - Metro and Moulin Rouge
Montmartre – Metro and Moulin Rouge
Montmartre - Cafe from movie 'Amelie'
Montmartre – Cafe from movie ‘Amelie’
Montmartre - Best bread/pastry store in Paris
Montmartre – Best bread/pastry store in Paris
Montmartre view
Montmartre view
Montmartre - area where 20th century writers worked
Montmartre – area where 20th century writers worked
Montmartre
Montmartre
Montmartre
Montmartre
Montmartre
Montmartre
Montmartre - Sacre Coeur
Montmartre – Sacre Coeur
Montmartre - Sacre Coeur
Montmartre – Sacre Coeur
Montmartre - Sacre Coeur
Montmartre – Sacre Coeur
Montmartre - Sacre Coeur
Montmartre – Sacre Coeur
Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe - too big for the photo
Arc de Triomphe – too big for the photo
Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe
Eiffel Tower in the distance
Eiffel Tower in the distance
Military School with bullet holes in the wall
Military School with bullet holes in the wall
Bullet holes from WW2
Bullet holes from WW2
Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
All lit up!
All lit up!
Market - Versailles
Market – Versailles
Market - Versailles
Market – Versailles
Market - Versailles
Market – Versailles
Market - Versailles
Market – Versailles
Market - Versailles
Market – Versailles
Market - Versailles
Market – Versailles
Market - Versailles
Market – Versailles
Market - Versailles
Market – Versailles
Market - Versailles
Market – Versailles
Market - Versailles
Market – Versailles
Market - Versailles
Market – Versailles
Market - Versailles
Market – Versailles
Versailles Bike Tour
Versailles Bike Tour
Versailles
Versailles
Versailles
Versailles
Versailles
Versailles
Picnic view
Picnic view
Picnic view
Picnic view
Zoom in of the palace
Zoom in of the palace
Delicious lunch
Delicious lunch
Versailles
Versailles
Versailles - Palace of Trianon
Versailles – Palace of Trianon
Versailles - Palace of Trianon
Versailles – Palace of Trianon
Versailles - Palace of Trianon
Versailles – Palace of Trianon
Versailles - Palace of Trianon
Versailles – Palace of Trianon
Versailles - Palace of Trianon
Versailles – Palace of Trianon
Versailles - Marie Antoinette's Estate
Versailles – Marie Antoinette’s Estate
Versailles - Marie Antoinette's Estate
Versailles – Marie Antoinette’s Estate
Versailles - Marie Antoinette's Estate
Versailles – Marie Antoinette’s Estate
Versailles - Marie Antoinette's Estate
Versailles – Marie Antoinette’s Estate
Versailles - Marie Antoinette's Hamlet
Versailles – Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet
Versailles - Marie Antoinette's Hamlet
Versailles – Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet
Versailles - Marie Antoinette's Hamlet
Versailles – Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet
Versailles - Grand Palace - Where King Louis and Marie Antoinette were married
Versailles – Grand Palace – Where King Louis and Marie Antoinette were married
Versailles - Grand Palace
Versailles – Grand Palace
Versailles - Grand Palace - Chapel
Versailles – Grand Palace – Chapel
Versailles - Grand Palace - Art work on the roof
Versailles – Grand Palace – Art work on the roof
Versailles - Grand Palace
Versailles – Grand Palace
Versailles - Grand Palace - Hall of Mirrors
Versailles – Grand Palace – Hall of Mirrors
Versailles - Grand Palace - View from Marie Antoinette's bedroom
Versailles – Grand Palace – View from Marie Antoinette’s bedroom
Versailles - Grand Palace - Marie Antoinette's bedroom
Versailles – Grand Palace – Marie Antoinette’s bedroom
Versailles - Grand Palace
Versailles – Grand Palace
Garden and Notre Dame
Garden and Notre Dame
Oldest tree in Paris
Oldest tree in Paris
Paris
Paris
Touch his foot for academic luck
Touch his foot for academic luck
Luxembourg gardens
Luxembourg gardens
Paris
Paris
Seine and Louvre
Seine and Louvre
Louvre
Louvre
Love lock bridge
Love lock bridge
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Philosophy of Travel

In the midst of finishing a wine bottle and half of the movie, “Eat Pray Love,” I reflected on my study abroad experience in Europe. Traveling across from the western most point of Europe in Lisbon, Portugal to eastern parts like Budapest and Prague, I have learnt to live life and understand the true meaning of happiness. I have grasped cultures and taught myself to live under certain circumstances, and these life skills, no university can teach me. Most of these life skills lie as potential energy in my body, beneath multiple layers of identities and travel has opened up some of these tulip buds into magnificent flowers.

My happiness matters to me. Travel has made me realize the importance of trusting myself, believing in my self and making decisions for my own happiness. When I traveled to Barcelona and Madrid on my first ever completely solo trip, I spent time doing the things I love and the activities that brought me happiness. Between the two exotic Spanish cities, I saw 25 art museums and expanded my artistic knowledge about some of my favorite artists including Picasso, Miro and Dali, but not limited to these maestros. I saw my favorite footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo, score 5 goals in one match, the highest he has ever scored. I did things I wanted to do. I realized that the most important person in my life is me.

People around me matter to me. Travel has made me see how crucial the people around me are and how strong their happiness is to make me happy; talking to people across the various countries I have visited, speaking to the Maastricht University students and making new friends and forming bonds that last longer than one semester. Earlier, I would be ignorant to helping someone even for a small task, but travel has made me accept that the happiness of others makes me happy. Such a beautiful world.

The world matters to me. 

Beginning of the end…

Looking at my calendar now, I have slightly less than 3 weeks left in Maastricht – time has flown by so quickly on exchange! It has been a wonderful 4 months here in Maastricht and I will definitely miss this place. On the other hand, I am looking forward to travelling after my exams and before I fly back to Singapore (probably the last time in a long while I will get to travel – especially in Europe!)

On a related, more positive note, I spent more time this month exploring the Netherlands and what it has to offer – one of which is Keukenhof (which I mentioned in my previous post). It was a really nice place, my first time seeing so many flowers blooming at one location – bar the high entrance fees and a huge crowd of tourists from all over the world. But it’s no wonder that there’s so many tourists as you will be awed by the colours, the variety and the sheer quantity of flowers – definitely worth a visit you decide to come to the Netherlands for exchange during this period!

Keukenhof
Keukenhof
Flowers, and more flowers
Flowers, and more flowers

Apart from that, I also went to celebrate King’s Day in Amsterdam on the 27th of April. It was a really huge event with different music festivals held in various places all over in the Netherlands. I went to the one in the Olympic Stadium, and it was so great that I even forgot to take more photos of the place! Awesome DJ lineup (although I must admit I didn’t know of most of them), but I think one will definitely be able to find some music that you like especially given the different stages available as well. It was my first time attending such a large-scale outdoors music event (we don’t have them much in Singapore) – I guess it’s one thing off the bucket list for me.

King's Day!
King’s Day!

But besides that, another thing that has been going on for me is of course the 2 courses I am taking at SBE. Having already experienced one whole period of PBL, I think I was definitely more comfortable with the structure of the classes now in period 5 – in terms of knowing what to expect and how to prepare for class. Although I am used to presentations back in my home university, there is definitely more opportunities / presentations required here as you are required to do facilitation / group projects / research tasks, which I really feel helped me to improve my public speaking skills. And right now, it’s crunch time for me as I have two separate group reports to submit by the end of next week (although it was really interesting to work with a really international group for both of my courses).

Well, I think this marks the last post I will be making on this blog – I hope you enjoyed reading them, and it is helpful for you to consider coming to Maastricht for your exchange programme! If given another choice, I will still definitely choose to do my exchange here again! So to end off, if you do decide to come to Maastricht (and I hope you do), I wish you all the best and more importantly, enjoy the experience!

View from my room
View from my room

ENJOY YOUR LIFE!

How time flies! I have been lived in Maasticht for 5 months and this is my last month before I go back home. Frankly, although I miss my family very much, I also can not stop thinking my life here, especially the friends I made here.

Life now goes smoothly and I really enjoy it. I chose corporate finance this period and it made me know more about how to make an investment and how to evaluate the different portfolios. May be I could try to make some money by applying the knowledge that I learned from the class, like investing stocks which have high expected returns 🙂

In order to fulfill my after-class life, I applied for being a volunteer of international case competition in Maastricht university. It is really a unforgettable experience and I made a lot of friends from different countries of the world. The one who left a deep impression to me was a girl from Brazil. She came to maastricht just for travelling at first and after she knew the information about ICC, she soon applied the volunteer for it. She was really into doing volunteer works. She told me that she had ever worked in a clinic where some people who were addicted to drugs were sent here to stop eating them. She said the best part of the work was when you saw those people can reborn after your help, especially young people, you would feel that you are the happiest person in the world. Although there was no salary for the job, there was something much more important than the money. I appreciated that I could know her though this volunteer activities, since she opened a new window for me in my life, that is do not hesitate to lend your hands to others who need your help 🙂

Since in period 5 we had a lot of holidays, I could made use of the time to travel in Europe with my friends. Last time I went to Spain with a girl who was also an exchange student from Peking university. When we ere in Madrid, she said that she made a friend from Madrid last time when she was in youth hotel in Portugal and since now she was here, they could make an appointment. We met on the sol square. The Spanish girl was very enthusiastic and she showed us the beautiful night view of Madrid on the top of the gallery building. We also gave a pair of chopsticks as a gift to her and she tried to use them to eat when we had diner together. I like Spanish people! Because their enthusiasm!!!

I recently have read a few articles about exploring the meaning of the travel. For me, travel has no meaning. I go to travel is just because I enjoy the feeling on the way. Compared to stay the whole day in a limited room, I prefer to going outside to feel the real world and breath the fresh air, smelling the gentle breeze. I am excited every time I travel to a totally new place. I enjoy the feeling that exploring the completely unfamiliar place by myself. After I find the location correctly, I will be full of achievement and be proud of myself. And the most important thing to me when travelling to different places is that I could experience the local lives there, which I could not learn from the textbook unless stay there in person and talk to the local residence. Every time after I finishing a trip, I will make an article to record my experience and search the phenomenon that I can not understand on the internet or watch some documentary to learn the knowledge about varies buildings or cultures I saw during the trip.

Anyway, I am looking forward to starting a new trip and I hope that you could also enjoy every experience you have ever had.:)

Spanish Sun

“Everything flourishes and grows in the sun, humans included.”

To welcome the beginning of summer and our last month on exchange, Siobhan and I travelled eight hours to Palma de Mallorca, an island off Spain.

Scorching Spanish sun, ridiculously cheap gelato, crystal clear ocean, narrow streets, hay umbrellas, soft sand, pastel walls with contrasting shutters… The five days of serenity, beauty and peacefulness in Mallorca captured our hearts.

This beauty of exploring and experiencing is the juicy meat in the middle of the ‘travel’ sandwich. Hours of dedication and concentration are required to make the most of travel. The organisation is what holds everything together, like the bread of a sandwich.

Understanding airports, catching buses and trains, standing in queues, ensuring personal safety, boarding planes, breathing pressurised cabin air, booking accommodation and transportation, security, understanding a new society… Feeling excited and anticipated versus fulfilled and exhausted. Travel is more than the interesting and beautiful destination. It’s the whole process that makes it memorable.

~

Returning to Maastricht was filled with fun: Summer Deejays Festival, Tori’s 22nd birthday party, boat party to Belgium, day trip to Amsterdam and the exquisite Keukenhof flower exhibition. The weekend will be occupied at the festival in the Vrijthof and Ballet in the Theatre.

Flying
Flying
Palma Habour
Palma Habour
Palma
Palma
Palma
Palma
Palma
Palma
Cathedral. Palma
Elaborate architecture. Cathedral. Palma
ENORMOUS
ENORMOUS
Colour in Palma
Colour in Palma
Colour in Palma
Colour in Palma
Colour in Palma
Colour in Palma
Colour in Palma
Colour in Palma
Colour in Palma
Colour in Palma
Colour in Palma
Colour in Palma
Colour in Palma
Colour in Palma
Beautiful street
Beautiful street
Palma
Palma
Palma
Palma
Colour in Palma
Colour in Palma
Streets in Palma
Streets in Palma
Palma
Palma
Palma
Palma
Dinner!
Dinner!
Comtesa
Comtesa
Comtesa
Comtesa
Comtesa
Comtesa
Comtesa
Comtesa
Comtesa
Comtesa
Comtesa
Comtesa
Comtesa
Comtesa
Comtesa
Comtesa
Comtesa
Comtesa
Happy New Zealander's!
Happy New Zealanders!
Illetas
Illetas
Illetas
Illetas
Illetas
Illetas
Illetas
Illetas
Illetas
Illetas
Sunset
Sunset
Biking to Summer Deejays
Biking to Summer Deejays
Happy flatmates at Summer Deejays
Happy flatmates at Summer Deejays
Amsterdam central train station
Impressive. Amsterdam central train station
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Yummy
Yummy
Kuekenhof
Kuekenhof
Kuekenhof
Kuekenhof
Kuekenhof
Kuekenhof
Kuekenhof
Kuekenhof
Kuekenhof
Kuekenhof
Kuekenhof
Kuekenhof
Kuekenhof
Kuekenhof
Kuekenhof
Kuekenhof
Kuekenhof
Kuekenhof
Kuekenhof
Kuekenhof
Kuekenhof
Kuekenhof
Festival in the Vrijthof
Festival in the Vrijthof
Boat Party
Boat Party
Sunset from Boat Party
Sunset from Boat Party
Boat Party
Boat Party
Boat Party
Boat Party

Period 6 – time is flying

“But that’s the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don’t want to know what people are talking about. I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, and you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.”

  • Bill Bryson

 ~

 

Reflection, achievement and failure has occupied the last three weeks. The first half of period 6 has FLOWN by.

 

Exams

Cognition, learning and human performance

Alongside a final grade of 75%, each week I developed enormously due to the freshness of learning about compelling and valuable topics. The course focused on memory, judgment and decision-making, creativity, errors and expertise in relation to self-development and corporate cases.

Management Information Systems

Too much disappointment, I failed the final exam so dramatically that I failed the entire course.

277 pages of study notes were read during hours and hours of concentrated effort, discipline, confusion, sacrifice, and exhaustion… To the moment where it all clicked… All to fail…

Failure is an awful feeling; however, everything happens for a reason. I pushed my academic boundaries so excessively that I valued my progress of learning and persistence more than what I could ever value a successful grade.

I realised there is always more. You can push your boundaries to infinite dimensions. Maybe if I had just passed, I would have thought that was my limit.

 

New Classes

Ethics, organisations and society.

I love how the focus is not on profit-maximising strategies.

Refreshing and inspiring, the unique methodologies are (what I believe) the key aspects to a successful business and happy life.

The foundation of ethics is based on Ancient Greek philosophers: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. They teach us action guides on how to make moral judgments in all situations. After observing the way of life from Ancient Greece during my time on Rhodes Island, I am excessively amazed by the way they looked at life. Having placed such philosophical reflection on the center of our moral existence motivates more to place more significance on my basic and complex decisions. Drink more water, feel content with one row of chocolate, observe nature more, focus less on long-term goals and more on short-term.

Both presentations on Corporate Social Responsibility have been successfully completed. Aside from weekly literature, I have one report until it’s all over! I will miss the vibrant and competitive atmosphere at SBE.

Understanding Society

“What experience do you have in econometrics and statistics?”

  • The question we had to answer when introducing ourselves in the first tutorial.

The word ‘econometrics’ had never made an appearance in my life, and statistics – well, numbers don’t mix well with me. Nonetheless, I was confident in my ability to learn something new. Through the enjoyment of academic challenges, failure or doubt didn’t pass through my mind. I felt determined and enthusiastic to try my best to understand what felt like a new language.

Clouded with the initial disappointment from failing my MIS exam, I debated the decision to drop the course. I accepted the fact that I had 0% chance of passing – my brain is not wired to understand and apply what I was learning about; however, could I simply continue the course with the pure intention to simply learn as much as I can and push my academic boundaries. The answer to me was clear – never give up and learn as much as I can while I have this opportunity.

However, there is a difference between giving up and knowing when you have had enough. Studying all day every day on a subject that makes zero sense to my creative brain is mentally, physically and emotionally draining. Having minimal energy to even talk to my flat mates and no time to relax influenced me to drop the course and focus on learning as much as I can in my other insightful and interesting course and to truly enjoy my last three weeks in Maastricht.

It transformed from being a painful decision to an energising outcome. I forgot the feeling of having free time from not needing to constantly study.

 

LinkedIn Lecture

SBE organised an evening lecture by Bert Verdonck – a LinkedIn expert and trainer. Elaborately, I scribbled down pages and pages of useful notes to improve my basic page. I am incredibly thankful towards the University to host such a valuable lecture.

I learnt that LinkedIn is a proactive tool: a visible platform to share knowledge and information in a reactive and proactive way without expecting anything. The two biggest problems for users are not including clear goals and not knowing the people who are in the best position to help you reach your goals; enforcing a quality network over quantity.

Advice for other students who have recently created a profile and feeling clueless:

  • Add all work experience. Include examples and what made it life changing.
  • Always have a professional profile picture.
  • Follow the top companies you want to work for.
  • Don’t be afraid to look at recruiter’s profiles.
  • Include passive strategies (integrating rich media and other platforms).
  • Include active strategies (status updates, sharing information).
  • Share what opportunities you are looking for.
  • Facilitate your friends and other connections.
  • The ‘real’ power is second-degree connections.
  • The five minute success strategy: 1) Define your goal. 2) Think of the people in the best position to help you reach your goal. 3) Go to connections. 4) Browse search network: look at common connections. 5) Ask connection VIA magic mail. – It’s always better and easier to be introduced – The “know, like, trust” factor.

 

Kings Day

Kings Day is a national holiday dedicated to dressing in orange and celebrating the King. Siobhan, Titi, Filippo, Stefano and I ventured to Amsterdam to experience the ecstatic Dutch celebrations in the canals before attending the Kings Day Festival.

It was an incredibly fun day! Filippo and I went on terrifying carnival ride to view Amsterdam’s scenic horizon. Party boats filled the canals with music blasting to satisfy the people in the streets. After walking 5 KM through the city, we reached the Kings Day festival where Siobhan, Titi and I scored the best spot to spend our evening listening to famous artists. The train ride home was occupied with random fits of laughter due to our complete exhaustion.

 

Brugge

With a rapidly declining countdown on my wall, everyday I am reminded to do something special. Having no classes on a Thursday and feeling on top of my workload, I joined a friend from New Zealand for a day trip to Brugge.

Brugge is one of the most beautiful small towns I have experienced. ‘Flâneur’ was the mission – to simply walk around, appreciate the Belgian beauty and take plenty of photos. The transformation of winter to spring is what drove my desire to return to the first town I visited during my exchange in Maastricht.

 

~

“Travelling and living in a foreign country is about feeling positively uncomfortable. Its purpose is to derive questions, challenge limits, push emotions, and stretch dimensions of the mind. Travelling teaches you that a positive attitude grants complete power over all situations. Being happy, grateful, accepting and curious allows nothing to get in your way.”

  • Deanna Morse

 

Maastricht in April. When the sun shines bright but the air has a soft chill
Maastricht in April. When the sun shines bright but the air has a soft chill
Maastricht decorated for Kings Day
Maastricht decorated for Kings Day
Joshua's 21st at All You Can Eat Sushi
Joshua’s 21st at All You Can Eat Sushi
Kings Day, Amsterdam
Kings Day, Amsterdam
Scary ride!  Kings Day, Amsterdam
Scary ride!
Kings Day, Amsterdam
Kings Day, Amsterdam
Kings Day, Amsterdam
Kings Day, Amsterdam
Kings Day, Amsterdam
Kings Day, Amsterdam
Kings Day, Amsterdam
Me, Stefano, Siobhan, Titi and Fil. Kings Day, Amsterdam
Me, Stefano, Siobhan, Titi and Fil. Kings Day, Amsterdam
Kings Day, Amsterdam
Kings Day, Amsterdam
Kings Day, Amsterdam
Kings Day, Amsterdam
Kings Day, Amsterdam
Kings Day, Amsterdam
Kings Day Festival, Amsterdam
Kings Day Festival, Amsterdam
Kings Day Festival, Amsterdam
Kings Day Festival, Amsterdam
Brugge
Brugge
Brugge
Brugge
Brugge
Brugge
Brugge
Brugge
Brugge
Brugge
Brugge
Brugge
Brugge
Brugge
Brugge
Brugge
Brugge
Brugge
Brugge
Brugge
Brugge
Brugge
Brugge
Brugge