I’ve been in Europe for almost three months now, and considering I came here right after my Thailand trip in May, with no set plans, I’m honestly surprised by how well things have worked out. This has been my 3rd summer in Europe, and this time I didn’t backpack in the traditional sense.
Instead of trying to fit in as many countries as I possibly could, and staying in hostels – meeting mainly Americans, Canadians, Brits, and Australians – I’ve been living and traveling with European friends.
Besides a weekend trip to Paris, I’ve spent the majority of my time from June-July staying with Dutch friends in Amsterdam and dating/living with a Dutch guy, which has given me a much deeper look inside Dutch life. I’ve met my Dutch boyfriend’s friends, family, and have been introduced to his world. Having never dated a foreign guy in his own country, it has definitely been a new experience, which comes with the good and the bad.
This time in Europe, I was able to pull back the tourist layer, live like a European, and see Europe through Europeans’ eyes. It’s given me a whole new perspective on European life. Now it’s the end of July, and Holland has actually started to feel like a home – not just a beautiful country – which makes leaving that much more difficult.
Holland – Amsterdam, Buren, Kraggenburg, Groningen, Rotterdam, Julianadorp, Den Helder, Texel
France – Paris
- Spent three weeks living and working (remotely) just outside Amsterdam with three Dutch friends in their Dutch home
- Finally had my own room again after 3 months of staying in hostels!
- Celebrated my German friend’s birthday in Amsterdam one weekend
- Finally got over a heartbreak from a previous travel romance and moved on
- Started dating another Dutch guy, who I had first met in Thailand. (Guess I have a thing for the Dutch.)
- Spent 5 days in Paris where I met up with a travel friend, and ran into another friend from back home
- Celebrated the 4th of July in Paris!
- Experienced Dutch farm life after spending some time at my boyfriend’s parent’s farm house (population: 1,500)
- Got a taste of the Dutch student life in Eindhoven & Groningen
- It’s very common for 8-15 students to share a Dutch style house together, which I found rather interesting
- Spent the rest of July in Holland with my Dutch boyfriend living in Groningen, traveling around the country on his motorcycle, and seeing the country through his eyes #summerlove
- Witnessed 3 guys get busted for drugs by the French Border Control while traveling to Paris by bus.
- While bike riding to the bars one night in Holland with my boyfriend and his friends, I crashed into one of his friends!
- After spending a week with my boyfriend AND his parents, I reached a breaking point where I just needed my own space again. (After traveling solo for so long, it was definitely an adjustment to be traveling with a boyfriend and his family.)
- Attended a Dutch birthday party for my boyfriend’s sister. I didn’t know anyone and everyone was only talking in Dutch, which made it very difficult and awkard to join in on any conversation.
- Finding out my Grandpa was in the hospital
- Having to say good bye to my Dutch boyfriend, not knowing if I’ll ever see him again
Photos of my travels:
Holland Farm Life:
Holland Road Trip:
Upcoming Travel Plans:
After traveling for almost 6 months and very low on funds, I’ve been struggling with what to do next. My plan was to head back to Southeast Asia after spending the summer in Europe, and get a job there teaching English. Yet, falling in love changes things. I can’t bring myself to officially end things with my Dutch boyfriend…
I applied to teach English in Spain back in March, and now that looks like the best option to be able to legally work and live in Europe long-term. Unfortunately, I applied late and I’m on a waiting list to be placed at a school. I also have to apply for the visa in the U.S.
So, as much as I want to keep traveling, I’ve decided to head home for now. It’ll give me a chance to work and save up some money again before I get my placement in Spain, which should be within the next month or two.
I’m not really looking forward to going home, yet at the same time I’ve had enough bouncing around for the last 6 months. I want something stable again, if only for a short while.
Florida here I come.