Hey, it’s me again!
Since my previous blog, I traveled to the Hague, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Gent, Kinderdijk, Luxembourg, and Efteling Theme Park. I would say Period 1 ended on a good note!
For the first time in my life, I traveled solo. I went to Rotterdam and Kinderdijk in the Netherlands, and Gent and Antwerp in Belgium(cheers to Maastricht’s convenient geographical location). It was truly a wonderful experience and I highly encourage everyone to go on a solo trip at least some point in their exchange.
Maybe it is just me, but not having a travel partner for the first time was exciting and a bit of stress! My apprehension before the trip mainly was due to how forgetful of a person I am. I was worried about leaving my passport in the hostel, missing the train, forgetting my charger and so on. Also, because I go to SBE, I did not have reflection week after my final, which was scheduled on the Friday two days before period 2. I could not go anywhere too far and the hostel was more expensive in the weekend, so I decided to visit somewhere in the Netherlands and Belgium that I haven’t been before two days before taking my final.
I did not plan a concrete itinerary and google “must-sees in…” like I would when traveling with others. Instead, I wandered in these cities at my natural pace and tried to let them lead my way. I did miss a bus, haha, and I almost lost my OV chipkaart at the train station, but I made it. It was a feeling that I had never felt before. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to go abroad and see the world. More importantly, I am grateful for myself for seizing this opportunity to make the most of my time here. I was a bit down when I got my final schedule, thinking that I would be stuck in my dorm studying while my friends go on fun adventures in Santorini and Rome. But it turned out great! 🙂
After final, my friend Janice and I went to the Efteling Theme Park for our birthday celebration. Our birthdays are only 5 days apart and we decided to do something fun together! The next day, we went to the Hague with 2 other friends because our friend Tamar, who is from there, offered to tour us around. Having a local guide to show us around is so great! The city was really beautiful and serene which I loved. Though some of the architecture resembled the ones in Maastricht, the Hague was more modern and energetic to me and I could see myself living there.
The following weekend, I went to Luxembourg with a couple of friends. This time my friend Jo who lives there offered to be our tour guide and host for dinner, and we could not thank her enough for that! Her family is the most loving and amazing host: Jo’s mom prepared a great dinner for us, and her dad drove us to the Vianden Castle the next day. We wouldn’t have been able to go there without a car because we had to catch the flixbus at 3pm. Plus, both Jo and her dad were awesome tour guides who explained the history and stories of the site very well. They made our trip incredibly fun and memorable. Sidenote: We all were so excited to visit a local’s home in Europe and even felt a bit homesick when we got there because we had not been in a house for months!
This is a wrap for the blog this month. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I will be heading to Prague with ESN next week and I can’t wait to see the Xmas market there! I will also be going to Poland so stay tuned for more travel photos!