BLOG #3 : Netherlands Edition
I am truly embracing the abroad aspect of my studies and have taken full advantage of any traveling I am able to fit in my schedule. With that, I was a week break from my courses and made great use of that time off. My sister from California flew into London and planned a trip for us to visit Amsterdam together. This was the first family member or familiar face I have reunited with since moving to England. When meeting my sister at the airport I instantly was filled with so much comfort and love. I was so excited to be reunited with a family member and experience traveling with one another. This trip my sister gave me full responsibility for navigating us from one place to another. It was reassuring in my abilities as an individual, especially because I am the little sister and grew up following my sister. This trip built lots of confidence in myself and self-reflection of my growth.
After a night in London we flew into Amsterdam the following day and discovered what the city had to offer. We took the train to our hotel and checked in. We spent our first full day walking the city, visiting museums like Rijksmuseum and A’DAM lookout. Walking through the city is a great way to get insight on the region. We passed by many small stores and saw the history embedded in the streets. When it was time for lunch we visited a local outdoor farmer market, which was the best experience for food. This gave us the opportunity to purchase affordable food from local vendors and speak one-on-one with natives from the Netherlands. There was so much culture in the food market and we ate our way through the dutch culture.
There were a handful of other activities we did such as a canal tour and walking through the city center. Overall the city was beautiful and full of life with bicycles in every corner. This trip helped me embrace leadership skills such as taking control over our itinerary and ensuring we were scheduling our activities correctly. Time management has always been a strength of mine but being hand in hand with an unfamiliar area and transportation system really tests your abilities. This entire trip really built confidence in myself and my coordination.
Overall the trip was a great exposure to a new European culture and brought lots awareness of different styles of life. I am grateful I got to take on this journey with a loved one and will forever cherish the memories. Even in moments of doubt I was able to provide my sister with reassurance and make things work. For example arriving at the airport to return home there was a mistake regarding the dates on our tickets. I was able to stay calm in the situation and ask for help from multiple people and customer service lines which eventually got our dilemma resolved and taken care of. Moments of high stress are great practice of leadership skills in keeping calm and optimistic when others are looking up to you.