“Take only memories, leave only footprints.” – Chief Seattle.
It was exactly a year ago today that I stood at my door, bags packed, ready to spend the next six months of my life in The Netherlands.
Whenever I go on any adventure or start anything new I can always feel my last minute doubts. This time last year, I had been doubting why on earth I was packing my bags and moving to a country where I didn’t know anybody. All I can say is this: Thank goodness I did.
My wall at university is covered in photographs, and as I sit here now and try to find the words to describe my time on Erasmus, I am transported back to Zwolle. I look back with only happy memories, as if it was yesterday – I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.
Looking back now there are so many memories – Memories that I shared with some truly incredible people. Every single day was an adventure: from finding our first supermarket in the snow to our first trip to the lake in the summer. Every day brought something new. Here I’ve narrowed down my top five Erasmus highlights:
- ‘ The Cycling’
I couldn’t not put my bike at the top of the list. Cycling in The Netherlands is the most incredible experience. Everywhere is so pretty that even taking a quick trip to the supermarket was enjoyable. It meant trips to local villages to try ice cream, trips to the lake to go swimming and transport to uni every day. It was my little baby and got me through like a trouper.
2. ‘The Road Trip’
During one of our holidays from university, a few friends and I went travelling across Europe. We hired a car in Amsterdam and spent a week travelling in Germany, Czech Republic, France, Luxembourg and Belgium. It was one of my favourite trips. We saw so much in that week, and I couldn’t have asked for better company.
- ‘The Festivals’
The Netherlands was definitely a place that could host a good party. I was lucky enough to attend multiple festivals and carnivals during my stay. Each one brought an atmosphere of fun and joy and the background of it all was beautiful. I danced to new music, met new people and wore an awful lot of orange.
- ‘The Talk Show’
Erasmus not only brought me social adventures, it also allowed me to experience journalism in The Netherlands. I interviewed famous Dutch film directors in Amsterdam for a TV company, made a radio show and hosted a TV talk show. I worked with people from all over the world. I challenged myself and succeeded in areas I never believed I was capable of. So for that, it has to make it on the list.
- ‘The Family’
I couldn’t go through the highlights without mentioning the amazing people I’ve shared it all with. Those people became my family during my time in Zwolle, and I am so grateful for everything they taught me. Every day they brought me laughter, and they made the experience so special for me.
Now, back home I can’t help but feel like something is missing… My adorable Dutch bike, the beautiful canals, or the amazing people that I spent my days with. It’s not that I am not happy here, it’s that a part of me is still there. But that’s part of the beauty of travelling.Tweet