With the end of 2013 came several other endings in my life. My adventures in the Netherlands came to a close and I am now back in Ireland, partially homeless, but back to work and quickly falling back in love with the hospitality industry again. I said goodbye to the wonderful people I have spent the last 15 months with, unsure as to when I will see them next. I have officially completed my masters degree and will be graduating in June. I am no longer the eternal college student, which will be an adjustment in itself, however for the first time in almost 8 years I have these things called days off and frankly, I have no idea what to do with this free time! With all these endings going on, quite a few people have remarked that I never concluded my Dutch Adventures with a blog. I am honestly overwhelmed by the amount of people who have joined me over the last few months and even more touched at the people I know in my personal life that also tuned in, even just a couple of times. I am genuinely touched at the feedback I have received, so because of this, I give you the end of my three months in Holland.
My closing weeks in Utrecht were spent intensively working and preparing for final presentations. Very boring! Somehow though, I managed to squeeze in a bit of fun with my friends, going for dinner & drinks, revisiting the places that I loved and truly taking in this charming city that I called home for three months. I lost count of the number of times I took the ‘long’ way home around the park just to catch a glimpse of my favourite house with the two-story-tall bookcase! Those last few weeks reinforced my love of the country and I fell head over heels for it again – the culture, the people, the lifestyle, the buildings, the parks, the canals. On my last day, I had to sell my beloved bicycle. I was heartbroken. My bike was my baby and it felt like I was losing an integral part of myself. It was like I was giving my child up for adoption. Luckily, I found it a good home with a lovely French girl who promised to send me pictures of it via Facebook from time to time, just so I knew it is being treated and looked after well!!
Those last few weeks also taught me a lot about myself. Without sounding too cliché, I met someone who I spent a lot of time with and in turn, made me question a lot of things I thought I knew. I’ve never thought of myself as typically Irish, but I quickly learned that I am very much an Irish cailín, and also that I am hugely proud of this fact. As I’ve previously said, the Dutch are very direct people; the complete opposite to the enigmatic Irish, which was extremely refreshing! Ironically, I am fully aware of how cryptic I am being right now, so I’ll swiftly move on…
I’ve been told that Holland has changed me. And maybe it has. Little did I know three months ago that a little bit of my heart would be left in a country that means so much more to me than I ever thought it could. It simply means that I’ll have to go back at some stage to reclaim the part of me that I’ve left behind!
Until the next time,