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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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

 

 

 

 

Rhodes Island, Greece

Seven hundred and ninety one digital photos; twenty-five film photos; one hundred and forty phone photos; eighteen pages of stories in my travel journal and one sunburnt nose…

Easter Break was spent adventuring through the Greek Island, Rhodes.

From absorbing ancient history and knowledge, experiencing a new culture and having to make important decisions in new situations, I feel as if my maturity level aged five years during my trip. On April 1st, my flat-mate Tori and I ventured approximately 3000 kilometres to the small island of Rhodes in the South of Eastern Europe until Wednesday 8th April.

The journey began with an experience that I believe is ‘unsayable.’ It was the most stressful day of my life. From the moment we left our flat at 8:25 AM to when we made it inside our room at midnight (including one hour time zone difference) – all we experienced was unfortunate bad luck. ‘Letters to a young poet’ by Rainer Maria Rilke influenced the realization that my experience was ‘unsayable’. The quote, “Most experiences are unsayable, they happen in a space that no word has ever entered,” made perfect sense, although dramatic. Another person attempting to understand my experience is diminished by the positive end result that I made it; therefore, it profoundly minimizes the feelings and emotions of having to make snap judgments and decisions. The next day, a friend sent me an article saying it was Belgium’s worst public transport strike since 2005, which was somewhat comforting.

Waking up in 20-degree warmth looking over the small white-housed village was extremely exciting – I made a mental note to not think about the difficult journey until I returned safely in Maastricht. We spent the first four days in Lindos – a small village of 1000 locals on the East Coast, and three days in the Old Town – a world heritage site from the Middle Ages.

The French noun ‘Flâneur’ describes numerous days of my trip: one who strolls around aimlessly but enjoyably, observing life and their surroundings. By simply walking in whatever direction felt necessary, my mission was to document and observe the culture around me; I took notes, hundreds of photos, recorded what I was drawn too and focused on one thing at a time.

In both locations, I refreshingly explored the historical sites and villages by myself. At least five hours was spent at the Acropolis in Lindos, I read and analyzed everything… Twice. As it was the beginning of April, there were never more than three or four people around me. I loved the symmetry of contrasting the lines of the ancient remains with nature and looking out to the beautiful deep blue ocean over St. Paul’s Bay. In the Old Town, I visited the Palace of the Grand Master and two exhibitions: the foundation of Rhodes from 408/7 BC and Rhodes from the 4th Century to its capture by the Turks. My favourites were the paintings from the 15th Century and the seeing the basic necessities of living in Ancient Rhodes. I found it interesting how highly regarded jewellery was. While wandering and getting lost (the town was created to have a maze-like structure for defensive purposes) through the narrow streets of the Old Town, I loved the splashes of colour and contrasting textures of the paint and cement. Walking in the moat area fascinated me – to completely experience and feel so little next to the town gates and walls emphasized how ancient the town really is.

Experiencing Rhodes was interesting and beautiful. It was a calming location to rest from exams and re-energize for my last seven weeks of classes… Time is FLYING!

In my opinion, any Greek Island appears to be a perfect place to “holiday” – having the beach, warm weather, beautiful walks and captivating, once in a lifetime sights to see.

The photos have more to show than what I can write:

Over looking Lindos from accommodation
Over looking Lindos from accommodation
Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Lines and the sky – Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Lines and colour – Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Steps to Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Contrasts. Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Base of significant statue. Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Lines creating shape and colour. Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Line, shape and colour. Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
The stairs. Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Line. Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Temple. Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Loved looking over St. Paul’s Bay. Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Textures. Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Framing the ocean. Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Acropolis, Lindos
Perfectly straight line. Acropolis, Lindos
Road signs in Lindos.
Directions in Lindos.

IMG_1332

Main street in Lindos
Main street in Lindos
Textures
Textures
Directions & shadows
Directions & shadows
Ferrari !
Ferrari!
IMG_1395
Lindos
Lines, texture, shapes, colour
Lindos
white vs. brick + street
white vs. brick
straight lines and colour
straight lines and colour
Lindos
Lindos
Lindos
Lindos
Lindos main beach looking towards the acropolis
Lindos main beach looking towards the acropolis
Lindos main beach
Cafe on the beach, Lindos.
My entrance into the ocean - slipping on the last step
My entrance into the ocean – slipping on the last step
LOVING the ocean and sunshine
LOVING the ocean and sunshine
Lindos main beach
Lindos main beach
Clear water at St. Paul's Bay
Clear water at St. Paul’s Bay
Lindos
St. Paul’s Bay
IMG_1881
Entrance into Old Town
Moat area outside wall of Old Town
Moat area outside wall of Old Town
Moat area outside wall of Old Town
Moat area outside wall of Old Town
City Wall of Old Town
City Wall of Old Town
City wall of Old Town
City wall of Old Town
Street of Knights vs modern style of living
Street of Knights vs modern style of living
Palace in Old Town
Palace in Old Town
Palace in Old Town
Palace in Old Town
Room in Palace - I was surprised how enormous the fireplace was
Room in Palace – I was surprised how enormous the fireplace was
15th century paintings
15th century paintings
15th century painting of Jesus
15th century painting of Jesus
IMG_1703
Old Town
Line and colour
Line and colour, Old Town
Old Town
Old Town
Colour, texture and line
Colour, texture and line
Love the colour
Love the colour
Old Town
Old Town
Colour in the Old Town
Colour in the Old Town
Love the colours!
Love the colours!
texture, shapes, lines, colours and shadows.
texture, shapes, lines, colours and shadows.
shadows and shapes
shadows and shapes
texture, shapes, lines and shadows.
texture, shapes, lines and shadows.
Old Town
Old Town
Old Town
Street in Old Town
Contrasts + good luck symbol
Contrasts + good luck symbol
Blue Sky
Blue Sky
Colour, shape, line, shadows - Old Town
Colour, shape, line, shadows – Old Town
Street in Old Town
Street in Old Town
Yellow! - Old Town
Yellow! – Old Town
IMG_1749
Street in Old Town
Colour, texture, shape in Old Town
Colour, texture, shape in Old Town
Colour and texture in Old Town
Colour and texture in Old Town
IMG_1744
texture and lines
Beach near Old Town - the ocean dramatically changes colour from light to dark
Beach near Old Town – the ocean dramatically changes colour from light to dark

Flat trip: AMSTERDAM

Two weeks later and I am FINALLY writing. Although it is the day before my Management Information Systems exam, I feel confident in my efforts and that an enjoyable break is much needed…

Throwback to March 14th – the realization that everyone in my flat was free to travel was profoundly exciting. The five of us ventured to Amsterdam for the weekend, stopping in Eindhoven on the way home to watch an anticipated European soccer match. The 6 AM sunrise while walking through Maastricht to the train station began our weekend. Airbnb hosted us in an amazing apartment about 10 minutes from the city center by tram. A rooftop terrace, sauna, and bath made the weekend feel like a detox; it’s fascinating how a change in scenery can offer new perspectives. Spending 40 minutes in the sauna while listening to jazz music was a highlight that I deeply recognize now, after two weeks of intense study. Venturing around Amsterdam’s tourist attractions was picturesque and enjoyable… How wonderful is it that my flat mates have become four of my best friends!

PSV versus Groningen was an experience we would never forget. Watching a soccer match in an enormous stadium packed with passionate supporters dressed up and constantly cheering! Elegant and fast, the soccer captured my full attention for the entire game. It was amusing when players became ‘injured’ and five minutes later could run effortlessly again.

The following Friday we celebrated Filippo’s 24th birthday with a colourful flat party – alongside other exchange students, we all laughed the night away. On Saturday, Siobhan and I watched a Polo Match in the Vrijthof before spending the evening at the Theatre listening to beautiful jazz music at the Maastricht Jazz Festival. My favourites were ‘Go Go Penguin’ and ‘St Paul and the Broken Bones.’

Everything in between these good times has been spent studying at my desk. Learning about deliberate practice and chunking in my Cognition paper, I have put these techniques to practice for my challenging Management Information Systems exam. Two weeks ago, I had little hope I could pass so I feel relieved and content at my preparations to now feel reasonably confident.

Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
IMG_0904
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
I am sterdam
I am sterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Tram
Tram
Amsterdam
Roof top terrace
Amsterdam
The view
Cooking lunch
Cooking lunch
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Canal
Flat mates in Amsterdam
Flat mates
Relaxing
Naps in the train
Blue sky
Appreciating Maastricht
Late celebrations for Chinese New Year
Late celebrations for Chinese New Year
Fil's 24th birthday
Fil’s 24th birthday
Polo Match
Polo Match
Maastricht Jazz Festival
Maastricht Jazz Festival
Maastricht Jazz Festival
Maastricht Jazz Festival
Easter came early from Mum and Dad <3
Easter came early from Mum and Dad ❤ LOVE!!
7:40 PM: I LOVE daylight savings.
8 PM: I LOVE daylight savings

e x a m s

 

 

The last two weeks have solely consitsted of STUDY.

Lots to catch up on, and lots to look forward too…

We've created a silent study area in our kitchen to encourage each other to focus and study efficiently!
We’ve created a silent study area in our kitchen to encourage each other to focus and study efficiently!

 

 

Facilitation and Paris

Wednesday 4th March

The beginning of March saw a weekend filled with stress, study and no sleep. Why? I was occupied with three articles and one chapter to understand and analyse for my first Management Information Systems facilitation.

Calm and talkative, the class created a supportive environment where I quickly regretted my tense attitude. Although, feeling confident made all the hours spent preparing feel well worth it.

27 days until end of exams.

28 days until Rhodes Island.

40 days until Period 6.

And… TWO DAYS UNTIL PARIS.

Monday 9th March

Filled with excitement and anticipation, energy skipped through my veins like magic… The weekend was truly a dream come true. Airbnb provided us with the most incredible location; 6th floor of an apartment with a skyline view of Paris and most significantly… The Eiffel Tower.

The majority of the weekend was spent exploring and learning about the history of Paris with a local tour guide. Here are some of my favourites:

The Opera House – learning about how meaningful the architecture and design was during its creation. The Opera House was created for the wealth of Paris “to be seen,” explaining all of the elaborate details. From studying the Phantom of the Opera at a younger age, it was interesting to hear about how there really is a river underneath the House, which is actually used to support the grand structure.

Rue De La Paix – The most historically elegant street in Paris. Interestingly, it is the most expensive street in the French Monopoly game. The street name means ‘peace’ – due to the luxurious lifestyle of its inhabitants. We learnt about Louis Vuitton and Chanel’s rise to fame and how Chanel’s perfume bottle was inspired by the shape of Town Square at the end of the street. The street also saw the creation of the drink, ‘Bloody Mary’ – thanks to writer Ernest Hemingway.

Le Louvre – Fascinating, indescribable… The architecture was incredible; I feel like I cannot comprehend how grand it is. We spent hours walking around the grounds, noticing everything. When I have a longer stay Paris, I hope to take a tour of the inside.

Dessert – Puff pastry balls with vanilla ice cream, hot chocolate sauce and cream. My sweet tooth was satisfied. It was DELICIOUS.

Breakfast – Enormous pancakes filled with banana and chocolate chips. Aside from ‘All you can eat sushi,’ it was the first meal I couldn’t finish! I didn’t need food again until the late afternoon.

Shakespeare and Company – My favourite part of the weekend. Alongside Anne Frank’s House, it was one of the best experiences I have had in Europe. Created in the 1900s, this incredible bookstore has been the home to many famous authors such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, etc. The history of the bookstore is incredible. Even its location is exciting; ‘zero kilometres’ – the most central point in Paris where all the distances begin.

The BEST thing is that young writers can stay above the bookstore for free if they read a book a day, write a short autobiography and help around the shop… It’s my dream to work there. It was another world.

I bought two special books:

1. “Whatever you think, think the opposite” by Paul Arden. Inspiring, motivating and eye opening, I read the entire book before we reached Brussels on the train trip back. Alongside his other book I’ve read, ‘It’s not good how good you are, it’s how good you want to be’, I believe his books have the ability to change the world. ‘Whatever you think, think the opposite’ explains the “benefits of making bad decisions… It shows how risk is your security in life… And why unreason is better than reason… It’s about having the confidence to roll the dice.”

Two simple yet effective quotes:

  • “If you want to know how your life is going to turn out, you just have to know where you’re heading”
  • “Take charge – Be your own worst critic. When things go wrong, it’s tempting to shift the blame. Don’t. Accept responsibility. People will appreciate it, and you will find out what you’re capable of.”

2. “Letters to a young poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke. This book is about a teacher writing letters to a student who aspires to become a writer. So, I am hoping for some inspiration for myself.

Altogether, Paris reminded me of why I love art, reading, writing and history – and why it is important for me to never ignore or minimise these passions in my life. I also realised how much independence I have gained thus far – simply having the confidence to travel to one of the world’s largest cities with all responsibilities placed on myself.

Tuesday 10th March

This week is going to be at black rapid pace. Hours and hours of reading and case studies are to be completed before my flat mates and I venture to Amsterdam on Saturday and Eindhoven for a much-anticipated European Soccer match on Sunday!

Next weekend I will study… I promise.

Apologies for my photos being in a random order… I don’t know why I can’t move them…

RER sorted!
RER sorted!
Stair case
Stair case
Lights from the seine
Lights from the seine
sunrise
sunrise
sunrise
sunrise
details - Opera hosue
details – Opera hosue
details - opera house
details – opera house
Edward 7th memorial
Edward 7th memorial
Famous street
Famous street
tasty
tasty
The square
The square
Louvre
Louvre
Louvre
Louvre
Louvre
Louvre
Louvre
Louvre
Louvre
Louvre
Looking onto the Champs Elysee
Looking onto the Champs Elysee
Accommodation to the right
Accommodation to the right
beautiful sky and beautiful architecture
beautiful sky and beautiful architecture
love lock bridge
love lock bridge
Notre Dame
Notre Dame
Dinner
Dinner
Balcony view
Balcony view
Night time
Night time
Sunrise
Sunrise
Louvre
Louvre
Louvre
Louvre
Opera house
Opera house
Sun rise
Sun rise
Dessert
Dessert
Night time
Night time
Pancakes
Pancakes
Tips in the bookstore
Tips in the bookstore
Tips in the bookstore
Tips in the bookstore
Colour-coded flowers
Colour-coded flowers
Seine
Seine
Seine
Seine
Notre Dame
Notre Dame
Even the packaging is awesome
Even the packaging is awesome
Shakespeare and Company
Shakespeare and Company