Holy crap I leave in 7 days.
I have so much to do! Banks to deal with, phone calls to make, people to see.
Then I’m off to the races. Or… Airports.
My emotions are completely jumbled and at the moment I don’t know which way is up – a mix of happiness, excitement, anger, eagerness, sadness and overwhelment (which I just made a word).
I just need a couple days, I think.
In 2011 I left for the trip of a lifetime, as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student to Mol, Belgium.
I had always wanted to travel, and it seemed like the perfect way to do it. It would also look amazing on any university application. So I applied, without my parents knowledge. They actually didn’t know about it until we were on our way to the interview. I never imagined I would be the one chosen from Fort St. John to go that year.
So I arrived in Belgium, at 16 years old, wide eyed and scared. Not knowing a word of Dutch, and wondering what the hell I had gotten myself into.
So as of October 8th I will no longer be a Canadian Resident.
“Belgiuuuum… What the hell is a Belgium?”
“A country in Europe.”
“Oh! It’s that little place in France, right!”
And that’s generally how the conversation goes when I say I lived in Belgium for a year. Once they remember Belgian waffles and chocolate it normally gets better from there.
Now, Belgium is (so far) my favourite country in the whole world, though I may be a little biased. But why? Why have I been there now three times? Why do I keep returning? And why the hell are French Fries not called Belgian Fries?!
Because Belgium is the quirkiest, cutest, most badass little country that has ever made me gain an undisclosed amount of weight, ever. I don’t want to talk about it.
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you – it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your conciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you… Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”
“Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
The flag of Amsterdam. The XXX is actually just a coincidence, and not to commemorate the adult nightlife in the city.
Weed. Girls. Lights. Pot. Party. Europe.
Believe it or not, Amsterdam is my favourite city in all of Europe. It’s beautiful, methodic, peaceful and buzzing with life.
Whenever I tell people how many places I’ve been to, how many amazing things I’ve seen and what my future plans are, almost everyone’s initial response is:
“You’re so lucky!”
And this bothers me. A lot.