So much happens in the span of 7 days. We have so much information zooming towards us from all angles, at all hours, it can be difficult to find the time or head space to reflect on what we’ve just done, or even what we’re currently doing. But in this crazy age of Instagram, I find myself taking tons of photos every week that can document how I spend my days; what I do, what I notice, where I wander. I’m hoping, while also giving a little window into my life abroad, Wonder & Wander will help me appreciate the past week in lieu of just hurdling into the next one. Because as we know, “life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.”
Autumn is upon us here in Holland, meaning it is often rainy and windy and cool. But this past weekend was really nice, so I went running a few times on this pretty trail near my house. I don’t run all that often because I seem to have perpetual shin splints (so annoying, so painful) but when I do, I always feel refreshed and clear-headed… especially when the route is this lush! Don’t these shades of green look like mid-summer?
I got my first care packages in Amsterdam! The first was from my dear friend Michelle and had the cutest little stuff in it from her recent trip to Georgia. She even made hand-sewn tea bags for the loose tea because she wasn’t sure if I had a tea strainer. Such a gem of a person. <333
The second was from my mom and had a bunch of cool souvenirs from Portland, a few books, 4 bottles of glucose tablets, and a whole lot of movie-theater butter popcorn (!!!!!!!!!!!) The essentials. Thanks, mom.
I’ve only been here for a month (I can’t believe it’s already been a month, though, eeeek) and I’ve already met a lot of great people. And to be honest, I haven’t really even tried to meet people much yet. This month has been a lot of just ‘figuring stuff out’ and trying to navigate and taking a Dutch course and adjusting to everything. Most of my friends here are also au pairs from all over the world, which is cool because we’re all kind of in the same boat. I’d like to go to some Meet Ups, like language exchanges and book clubs, so I think I’ll dive into more of that once my language course is over!
This past Sunday was a gorgeous day, so instead of the 20/30 minute bike ride or the 1o/15 minute tram, I decided to take an hour-long walk to the center of the city to meet a friend. Walking is still, and probably always will be, my favorite mode of transportation. It was really nice just listening to music and sporadically stopping to take pictures, and I noticed so many things I don’t see when I’m quickly pedaling by. I was 20 minutes late meeting my friend (Sorry, Kate!) but…. it was pretty cool 😉 Then Kate and I continued to stroll around for the rest of the afternoon, popping into random shops, getting coffees and pancakes, and ended the day by people-watching with a pint of beer at an outdoor café. Pretty ideal.
Sometimes I just stumble across a quote that really stays with me, or seems really relevant at the moment. This one has been spinning in my mind all week:
And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good. – John Steinbeck
(Ok, technically I didn’t take this last picture this week. I took it a month ago in Iceland. But look how moon-like Iceland is! I love it.)