In between lands

Lying in bed and listening to jazz music seems like a theme while writing these blogs. At the moment I am in the Netherlands but in a few hours I’ll be back in London in my small room and dirty kitchen. Luckily, there are a few things I do look forward to. Going to taskmaster, salsa, swimming and seeing the final cut of the documentary we made. There are also things I am dreading. Being in London, not getting enough sleep. hanging out on Tuesday with classmates I don’t click with, having to go down three flights of stairs for my laundry, being alone during weekends and the deadline for the photo book. If I am honest I am actually also looking forward to some me time. Just hanging out in the bath tub and reading a book. The habit of walking at least 10,000 steps is something I took with me to the Netherlands. The habit of not drinking alcohol and brushing my teeth not only in the morning but also in the evening is something I want to keep up with too. Alcohol is going well. Unfortunately peanut butter – Dutch joke – , I didn’t brush my teeth in the evening on two occasions. I will try to keep it up though in the future. I am still not drinking which I am proud of. There is one more thing I am looking forward to: going to Sky Garden with Theo.

What I am really looking forward to is going back to the Netherlands. To my little city that sometimes feels like a village. There are so many people I just know there and I come across just by walking on the street. I didn’t know that I loved that so much! My city is so beautiful. I can’t imagine living somewhere else. I love Zwolle. I mean I love Edinburgh, Bristol and Haarlem as well. But the bonds I have made with the people in Zwolle are everything to me. They are home. And I am looking forward to going home.

London was tougher than I thought. I was scared before I left and actually really wondered if it was the right decision. I was also dating at the time. Haha, luckily, I can resume my dating days when I return. I think I can properly reflect on my trip to London when I am actually finally back in the Netherlands. I have already printed photos and bought a photo book. This is the first time I’ll make this photo book differently. Being in London and following the class about photo books and seeing an old photo book in Camden town changed my idea of how to make one. I’ll use little corners to keep the photos in the book and I’ll be able to write text under it. I am looking forward to that.

I hope I will slow down a little once I am back in Zwollywood. Get more sleep and feel less impatient while waiting for a red light. I also love the Dutch language. I always longed to speak English and was happy for every opportunity I got to speak English but I must say I enjoy speaking Dutch. Also something I came to learn. I guess it’s loving both languages and unfortunately just being slightly better in expressing myself in Dutch. I have always known that I would never emigrate. Although the thought popped into my head twice which astonished me. But at the same time longing for Zwolle is also very prominent.

Why you say? Why do you want to be in that small town? London is much more exciting! Well, I like to bike through my city and enjoy that a park is only a five-minute walk. That a shop is only a two-minute walk and that there aren’t too many shops to choose from. I only miss a Tiger Tiger. That is a fun shop. I think I’ve become so used to Zwolle. I’ve lived there for nearly eleven years now. It feels like a safe place. But you never know what the future holds. But you know, I might just grow old in Zwollywood.

I enjoyed spending a week there. Seeing friends. Being in my favourite park. The sun was shining. The blossom on the trees. One was so pink. Bright pink. I don’t think I’ve ever seen something like it before. I am so happy to be full of bewilderment. I also got the chance to play games in an Irish pub with my friends and go dancing afterwards. That was a good night.

Goodbye, until next time! And soon in low lands hahahaha. x

Traveling isn’t always easy

Traveling can be lonely and confronting. I have to say my experience in London hasn’t only been positive. As many things in life. It’s more something in between. I have to say that it was also hard. I didn’t get much sleep. I was either doing a lot or wishing I could do more. I was constantly on a train, bus or tube. Busy tubes. Canned in like a sardine and loud squeaky noises that makes you want to put your fingers in your ears. Feeling lonely on the bus. Feeling lonely at a remote place. I guess you can feel lonely anywhere. Back in the Netherlands or in London. But I have to say I just feel slightly safer in the Netherlands surrounded by people who know me and I have bonded with. I am very grateful though for the bonds I have made in these few months. I hope I will be able to meet these nice, funny, open and socially very intelligent people again. But I am so glad to be home for one week. My city is quiet and green. There are no sirens going off every second. I know I have to go back to London but I’d rather not. I have to go back because I have deadlines. I am looking forward to the viewing of the documentary I was part of. Making that documentary was a good experience. I am also looking forward to going to Taskmaster with Theo. It is one of my favourite shows. I only have to go to London for three more weeks and then I can finally settle back into my own home.

Yesterday I spent with my housemates. We all made a dish and enjoyed each other’s company. We had good laughs. Nice to see them. Today I’ll meet another friend. I had a walk in the early morning since I didn’t sleep that well. It was nice to walk around at sunrise and see how beautiful my city is. ‘My’ city. The city that I live in.

Currently I am lying in bed and my cat decided to join me. He is snoring. My plants didn’t all survive but I’ll try my best to revitalize them and I am considering shipping my plant from London to the Netherlands. It is a fig plant. Big and beautiful. The first thing I found consolation in. Who knows, the fig plant might get a beautiful spot in my living room.

A remote place called Severn Beach.

Adventures in Scotland

Since I left my uncle Pat in Kilmarnock, I stayed in a hostel in Edinburgh. I think my uncle needed some time by himself. It did hurt to leave early but it was the best thing to do. I went to a hostel for the first time by myself. It was scary. It turned out to be a really nice hostel with really nice people. I met a woman named Becky. I think she took care of me in a way. She always had food for me and was always up for a chat. For her breakfast and dinner together were her favourite times of the day. It was a special connection. She is also really funny. We played pool and I taught her how to play it and two other girls joined. I got to spend time with them during the day too. It was nice to be able to spend time with people more around my age. Who knows, after this I might visit a hostel by myself again.

After the hostel in Edinburgh, what a beautiful city, I got to spend time with a really good friend. I have known him for 10 years now and we know we will be friends until we die. We just love each other and we go really well together. It is nice to have him over. We are staying in Glasgow at the moment. We have also visited Dunure. This is the place where I scattered the ashes of my dad with my moms. It was really special to be able to visit this place again. There is a wee castle and beautiful rocks. It is pretty remote. We enjoyed our time there together. Took plenty of photos and I took some shells and a rock with me. I saw a few flowers bundled up together suggesting that other people were being remembered there too. It’s a beautiful place.

We’ve also visited Stirling and enjoyed our time in a church and a graveyard. A bit random maybe but it was interesting. We talked about death, politics and religion. Other times we talk about love or friendship. We also got the chance to sit in a beautiful cafe that looked like a cave and had homemade rhubarb lemonade. Lovely. Just lovely. After that we accidentally got the train to Edinburgh and I decided I hád to see Becky. My friend wasn’t really up for it but it was close by and we didn’t stay long. He actually felt energized after seeing her. So that’s really good. Of course, she had a little meal for us ready and we had a good chat and a good laugh.

We’ve also been out to the club which was something my friend was really longing to do. I was quite tired but I found myself wanting to go and also wanting it for him. It was a really good night out and nice to be so comfortable around each other and dance like nobody’s watching. We walked back to the Airbnb which was a shorter walk than we thought. My friend, who was a bit tipsy, told me how much he loved me while we walked home. It was a good walk home.

And tomorrow I’ll finally actually be home. Only for a week. But home. I’m longing for it. After that week it’s one more month in London and then I’m really finally back home.

Encourage me in my adventures and I wish you the same too! Until next time! x

First week of Scotland

This will be my last morning in Kilmarnock. I’ve just put on some jazz music. I am still in bed and I am going to tell you all about my week. I’ve visited several places of which I loved Edinburgh the most and that is why I have decided to stay there for a few days in a hostel. I have never stayed in a hostel by myself before. But I have stayed in hostels before. That was last year in the summer in Ireland. The place I met Silke who came to visit me in London a few weeks ago. It was nice to be on a group trip back then. That is why I have booked another group trip this summer. It will be to Italy. I am not sure if you can be in love with a country but I think I am. Let’s see if the love is true. It’s something to look forward to. For now, I am leaving my uncle’s place in Kilmarnock and traveling solo until upcoming Wednesday. My friend JJ from the Netherlands will be over. Can’t wait.

I climbed a mountain in Edinburgh. I’ve also bought a new hat when I was in Ayr. I’ve also visited Irvine and Troon of which I definitely recommend the views from the train and Troon itself. Ayr and Irvine were less my cup of tea. I suppose that is the way to discover. Just go and see. What I love about Edinburgh is the historical buildings. Also gothic is my guess. It is impressive. Steps that go up a mountain. I always love that. A Scotsman in his kilt playing the bagpipe. Edinburgh is the place to be.

My uncle is now 75 years old and we went out to dinner with his daughter and granddaughter. That was really nice. He also showed me his workplace where he volunteers. He is a busy man for his age. He bakes his own bread and goes to meetings in the evening. I am thankful for the meals and chats I had with him.

Let’s hope the hostel will be good. And next week, you’ll hear more about my adventures. Take care where ever you are. X

Bye London!

I am on the train to Glasgow, Scotland. The sky is grey and outside it is cold. Luckily, I am wearing a jumper and my iconic red winter coat. Inside the train it is nice and warm. Nice to relax after I waited for two hours on this train. I have brought a book that I bought for three pounds in Hastings. That might come in handy while I am going to be on this train for 4 and a half hours. I’ve also packed food and drinks. I’ll be leaving out of a rucksack for 21 days. I’ll also be visiting the Netherlands for a few days. I can’t wait!

These photos are all taken in Hastings. I like escaping London. There is a lot I like about London. The diversity. The beautiful parks. Salsa temple. But I have to say I love a place where everything is in close proximity and where there aren’t sirens going off every second. Hastings; I would have never had thought of it if I didn’t learn about this place via my education. The battle of Hastings. I came across a place in the train on my way to Hastings called Battle. I also visited the castle which was once owned by William the Conqueror. Good to refresh my historical knowledge a bit. In Hastings they have this festivity where they all dress in green leaves and giants walk through the city and they bang on their drums as you can see in the second photo and in the first photo you can see the place where I bought my book for three pounds.

This weekend I’ve also visited Camden Town with Theo. An international student who is from America. He and I became good friends. We’ll be going to Taskmaster at the end of April when I am back in London for one more month. Something to look forward to. Theo is great. He is funny and a good listener and up for anything. I think we are going to miss each other. Who knows, I might be able to visit him in America and he might be able to come to the Netherlands.

And last but not least being in London gave me the opportunity to reconnect with a childhood friend. We went to see the famous boat race between Cambridge and Oxford. Within one second you will have seen the rowers go by on the river Thames. It is sooooo exciting. Just kidding. We went to Holland Park, which is really beautiful. Especially the Kyoto Park in it. We saw cranes and coots. A peacock, squirrels and huge fish. I thought it was a circus fish because it kept on doing loops.

Uni is going okay. I mean I thought I would be finished with the photo book but unfortunately, I still need to make the photo book a bit bigger in order to let the envelopes fit in it. I still need to finish my work books. They are basically diaries of your progress. I really can’t wait to see the documentary. I am truly considering also working as an interviewer. Love it.

I hope you are having a good time wherever you are and if you feel like reacting to this blog or just contacting me, feel free to do so! Keep you updated! x