It’s around 2 in the morning. Clear skies. No rain. My country is up 2-1(Real score 2-2) versus the world’s greatest player Cristiano ( haha just kiddin, i know it’s Messi). A perfect ending to my six month journey within the “Huppy” dutch folk……….. I came back to my room thinking that I was tired and that I would get a couple hours of sleep in so I can catch my 9:50 am flight tomorrow to SFO. Well I’m definitely not sleeping now as I’m writing this blog post. Throughout the last month, I actually thought about what I would write in my last post of exchange ( FYI I’m not going to stop writing). Would I write about the crazy “characters” I’ve met? About my wanderlust like feeling to travel alone? About all the strength’s and weaknesses I’ve identified within myself? About the marvelous landmarks I’ve witnessed? I might or I might not. But what I do know is that while I am typing these letters on this computer screen, I’m handwriting these sentences with my heart. And I think that’s the only way to do it.
Oh man, I could literally just write on and on about everything but I have no choice but to limit this due to time’s sake. Living six months with people from all over the world and traveling through 10 countries is an indescribable adventure that one could only understand through experience. I’m really thankful to have gotten even a peek into the soul of someone living 20( even Californians)-8000 miles away from me.
I love how ……………every country whether they’re asian, european, south american: loves futbol with a religious intensity that I only wish American athletics would have……… how my shuffling brought joy to everyone here even though I never believed it to be something I was really talented at…………. Even though club bed was a shitshow, literally….. every…. single…..exchange student would just be going ridiculously HAM with alcohol to the point of no return……….. those delirious late nights staying at ” Jordan’s Place” just chillin, talkin, gettin to know each other…….. the fact that non-american students have this fascination with “fraternities” based images portrayed by American Pie; I’m pretty sure we can call all of us a “fraternity”…….. those exotic names that gave me a fresh roll off my tongue compared to the names I’m used to back home…….the homies that lent a helping hand on nights I didn’t feel too good……… the moments in class when all the dutch kids were taking notes and paying attention and all the exchange kids were on Facebook and dungli.com to find places to travel to……..the beauty of “The Park” where my photos won’t do it justice; many memories were made there laying in the geese-shit covered lawn; kicking the futbol around and into the lake where someone was then forced to strip and dive into the lake to retrieve it( only when the sun decided to make a special guest appearance though)………The taste of that greasy, 2000-calorie box Kapsalon fries after nights of intoxication( They are pretty much the same thing as carne asada fries but with doner kebab meat)……….the refreshing little rhymes of hip hop, where the homie raps ain’t never gonna stop, bumpin that beat to my main man Earl: Drop………… partnering up on the turntables bumpin that Deep House vibe…….. our entire group separating at Primavera Sound due to sheer intoxication but managing to bump into every person in our group out of sheer coincidence……the ridiculous sound system at Armin State of Trance…….. all the friends from home that came to visit me, hopefully showed ya a good time………..the industrial themed atmosphere of DGTL festival in Amsterdam……. and etc…. etc….. etc…… I’m getting tired…….
It has been quite an experience. I’ve had a pleasure meeting every single person I’ve met on this exchange, whether they’re exchange students, dutch students, masters students, other travelers, residents. Even the California homies whom I will definitely see again back on the “best coast”:). Ya’ll are always my homies and always welcome in Cali. Don’t be surprised if I just randomly hit ya up just to talk! In addition, there are some people that I didn’t get to know as well but hopefully the intersection of our paths in the future will create that opportunity 🙂
I truly feel you’re missing out when you choose to not study abroad. If you’re units don’t allow it or your major’s tough, find some way to at least travel around the world every once in a while. It gives you a significantly better perspective and appreciation for your home and the world. Plus you now have friends all over the world now 🙂 The Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch( gave a lecture titled ” The Last Lecture,” if you haven’t heard of it, check it out) died in 2008 from pancreatic cancer. His book titled ” The Last Lecture” and his youtube video( same name) gives the reader a peek into the life of a man oozing with positivity, enjoying life, building his dreams despite getting a terminal diagnosis. One of the ideas that stuck with me is that: ” I don’t know when I’m going to die. I could get hit by a car tomorrow or be told I have cancer. I don’t know but I can’t control that. The only thing I can control is making the most out of every minute, every hour, every day till that moment happens.” People often forget about their mortality. Live in the moment. We’re all human. It’s an awesome experience 🙂