Friday, August 23, 2013

Same, Same, But Different

Well readers, this is my final blog post. The reason I chose this title for this blog post is that vendors in Southeast Asia love to say this phrase. For example, if you were to ask "do you have those shoes in blue?" a normal reply would be "No red, but they are same, same!" So just like Asia to Europe, it's all full of the same, same amazing people!

After Vietnam, I returned to the Netherlands for about 2 weeks to close out my 8 months of crazy traveling. I said my final goodbyes to my favorite stores like Aldis and Albert Hijn, my favorite bars like Masy Mas and Odessa, and all of the canals. Aside from resting after 4 weeks in Asia and trying to take in the price shock from Vietnamese Dong back to Euros, I did manage to have a few adventures. I took a trip to Groningen way up in the north of the country (big university town) and took a bus and ferry to the island of Schiermonnikoog (still can't pronounce it). The island has no cars, a few buses (the transportation in the Netherlands never ceases to amaze me), and as usual loads of bikes (Thomas and I rented a bike for two). I also took another trip to see my friend Soleil in the very residential town of Purmerend (it's one big suburb of Amsterdam). From there Soleil and I biked through 3 very adorable towns like Edam and Vollendam (SO MUCH CHEESE). Additionally, I had to make one last trip to Amsterdam to soak in all the sights of one of my favorite cities. Even though my bike was stolen on my last day (that solved the problem of selling it!), it was a sad sad goodbye to all of my friends, all of the memories, and my home away from home. Then it was back to NJ for a week for some quality parental time and up to Worcester to get back to Clark.

I just want to thank everyone that took the time to read this, my parents who selflessly supported and helped me fund all of these adventures, Ashley Lynette for tackling Asia with me and proving its totally possible to spend 24/7 with someone and come out loving them even more, Thomas Westerhout for being my favorite Dutchie around, the couchsurfing hosts that generously took me in, fed me, and showed me their cities, and to all the friends old and new I made traveling the world. If you ever need a place to stay or travel advice, never hesitate to contact me-- I have A LOT of paying it forward to do.

Here's just a sample of all the wonderful people I met:

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