It’s been over a month since I wrote a post and a lot has happened in that space of time. The biggest being, that at the end of June I finished my Erasmus in the Netherlands and moved back home to Ireland.
The end of my study abroad was full of last dinners, birthday parties, tattoos, thunderstorms and goodbyes. Here’s a highlight of the best bits.
A (guided) Stroll Through Utrecht
I wanted to learn as much as I could about Utrecht before I left. So one humid Wednesday, myself and my friend Fef met a walking tour group under the Dom Tower. We got shown local history and saw all the hidden spots of our little Dutch home.
Pride in Utrecht
I’ve never actually been to a Pride festival before this one. The canals were decked out with parade boats and the city was so colourful and happy. It made my heart feel so warm.
The same day as Pride was also the day of one of my housemates birthday celebrations. We had a get together with all our friends and surprised Kaitlyn with a cake we had baked. I love celebrating the birth of people, so I was in my element.
I had many last dinners with different groups of friends before I left. One of the nicest/ scariest was in The Streetfood Club. Why scary you ask? Well, you see that little candle next to me in the picture above? Five minutes after that picture was taken, that little candle set my hair on fire. Let me tell you here and now, you don’t feel fear until you smell the scent of your own burning hair. Thankfully my friends spotted the flames (literal flames) on my head and helped prevent minimum hair loss. Honestly you can’t make this stuff up.
Getting My First Tattoo
Haha yes, you read that right. I’ve been wanting to get a tattoo for years and I had this one specific idea in my head, but never knew how exactly to get it done. Then my friend Kaitlyn said as a joke, we should get tattoos before we leave and I started seriously considering it. After a bit of thinking the idea of what I wanted and where I wanted it came into my head and I felt a sense of calm, like ‘yes this is it’. After some encouragement from my friends and a search for tattoo places in the area of Utrecht I eventually took the chance. A few days later, before I flew home, my lovely friend Manon and I cycled to a small town called Zeist just outside Utrecht. And it all went fine! I have a very small pain threshold, but this honestly did not hurt. Just imagine a cat scratch and that’s how painful it was. At the same time, my tattoo was very small with not much detail, so we were done in ten minutes. I am genuinely in love with it and where it is placed. Now whenever I look at it, it feels like it’s always been there.
Packing and moving out (with the help of my Mom)
My Mom came over at the end of my Erasmus to help me move out and bring all my stuff home (I had acquired a lot of things). When we weren’t organising my suitcase, I showed her all my favourite spots in Utrecht and I even booked tickets for us to see the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, which I had done a few years back. My Mom is not a massive fan of travelling, so her coming over by herself was a big deal. There was a point where I thought she got on the wrong train from the airport and she hated Amsterdam and the craziness of it. But she liked Utrecht and we went for many fabulous brunch and dinner dates.
Now That I’m Home…
And then just like that I was home for good.
I’ve been home five weeks now and started an internship with a magazine in Dublin once I got back. It’s going really well and it’s so refreshing to be doing something different with my summer.
My first weekend back in Dublin, a friend from my class in Utrecht was in Dublin for a few days before she got her flight home to Canada. We went to Pride, which was happening that weekend, and we also took the train out to Howth and walked along the cliffs.
Other then that, my American family have been around the last few weeks. So I’ve been up and down the country in between Dublin and home, trying to see as much of them as I can.
All in all, I finally feel like I’ve settled back in. The first week back I was on a high and too busy to think. But then once everything had settled I felt out of sorts, not sure where I wanted to be or what I wanted to do. Thankfully though, that feeling has passed and I feel a lot better about being back home.
With all of that in mind, hopefully now I’ll be back to writing on this blog more regularly!
Have a lovely weekend x