“Traveling — it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”Ibn Battuta
What a whirlwind of a week it has been! As many of you probably know, my time abroad has been cut short due to the coronavirus outbreak. This was incredibly unexpected and though I am sad to be back in the United States, I am incredibly grateful for the almost 2 months that I had abroad.
Not much happened from the time I came back from Dublin, mainly because I had a nice weekend to explore Maastricht and catch up on school work. Every time I venture out into Maastricht, I fall more and more in love with the city. Having an entire weekend to explore it by bike and just take in everything is truly unforgettable.
Two of my friends from my home university also came down to visit me for a day, which was nice because it is always fun to see familiar faces. I got to show them my favorite parts of Maastricht, like the squares and the river. We also discovered some cute stores, like a store dedicated to Nijntje*. It was beyond fun to catch up with them and learn more about everything that I have missed out on at home!
*Nijntje, or Miffy in English, is a bunny figure that is essentially like the Hello Kitty of the Netherlands. Kids grow up with Nijntje lunch boxes, or stuffed animal nijntje.
My last day in Maastricht felt like a fever dream, and still does to this day. I woke up to hear that I had to return home immediately, which is quite a way to start the day. Over the next 24 hours, I had to pack up my entire room (which made me realize just how much stuff I actually bought while abroad), clean the room, return my bike, buy some last minute souvenirs/memorabilia, grab food and drinks, then catch a bus to the airport and fly out the next morning.
I am still in shock over everything, and part of the reason why I am writing this last post is to try and process everything that has happened. As I mentioned before, I could not be more grateful for the experiences I have had just from being abroad for almost 2 months. I was able to set foot in five countries, re-learn how to ride a bike, introduce myself in Dutch, and meet a plethora of truly amazing individuals who have helped me to form lifelong memories (as cheesy as that sounds). The circumstances were not ideal, but I will return and continue the adventures I had planned. As for now, dank je wel en tot ziens (thank you and until we meet again 🙂