I have been meaning to update this blog for, well, about two months, but at first exams got in the way, and then preparing for the move got in the way. I really wanted to write the standard end-of-the-year post because 2016 was a big year for me, but I guess it's a bit late now. Who knows, maybe I will write something anyway. I make my own rules here.
But let's go back to what I was saying at the beginning - as of ten days ago I have been living in Leiden, a small town near Amsterdam. I will be staying here until June, for the whole of the Spring semester. After spending the first week at a friend's place, a couple of days ago I moved into my permanent accomodation. The previous tenant had left the place in an absolutely disgusting state and I spent almost two days deep cleaning it! It's only starting to feel like home now. I still feel like I'm on holiday and I haven't quite realized that I'm going to spend the next five months here. That might not seem like a lot but... it actually is. Half a year of my life.
Last week we had our orientation week and it probably was the most exhausting week I have had in quite a long time, both physically and emotionally. Moving to a different country alone and having to interact with strangers every day, for the entire day was a lot for an introvert like me... but I am so happy I did it. I did feel a bit uncomfortable at times, yes, and sometimes there were awkward silences and sometimes I couldn't remember how to say something in English, but I never felt anxious or in extreme discomfort... and that was surprising to me. One night my group organized a potluck dinner; everyone brought something to eat and stories to tell. There we were, a bunch of young people from all around the world, sharing a meal and getting to know each other. That was the moment I realized how lucky I was to be sitting at that table.
I can't wait to see how this story unfolds.