I am a 20 year old girl from California, and I am studying abroad in the Netherlands for about 6 months, in a small city called Maastricht. Maastricht is located in the province of Limburg, the south of the Netherlands. Belgium and Germany border Maastricht, and so many places are close by. An hour flight got me to Dublin, Ireland, a four hour car ride got me to Paris, France, an eight hour bus ride got me to Prague, the Czech Republic - you can probably get the picture. It truly centers Europe and has became one of my favorite places on this planet. I chose to study here for this very reason - I knew that I wanted to travel and see the world. And meeting people from all over the world comes along with it. I have grown to have a deep infatuation with my life here.
I learned a lot about Dutch culture while being here. I learned a phrase: "Doe maar gewoon, dan doe je al gek genoeg" which translates to "behave normally, that's strange enough." That's an interesting life expression to me. I don't know how much I agree with it, but I understand where this society is coming from. This country is so special and beautiful, especially Maastricht. The Netherlands LOVES to celebrate life. I love that. Life is so short, why not celebrate it to its fullest capacity? And be with people who maximize your happiness. I have learned to remove toxic people from my life because it is not worth it to keep them there. Why not be the happiest person you can be? I have learned so much more about myself on this journey, than I have in my lifetime. I have learned to channel my inner bliss and live my life for me. I needed to learn this.
Life makes sense sometimes. I needed to leave the U.S. to realize that.