Happy MovingFeet Valentinesday!
My dearest Aberdeen,
Tonight is my last night sleeping on your lovely grounds. Tomorrow I will set foot back on home land. You have put me through hell and heaven and here is my ode to you.
I was amazed by your gray streets. The sunshine and rain you gave me the first few days made me see the streets in all its beauty and ugliness. The granite your houses are built of, sparkle in the sun and make a gray day even more depressing. Little castle-like buildings made me realize I was actually in Scotland.
The mountains and hills surrounding you are absolutely stunning. I loved being so close to the sea. In the few months I was here, I have seen more sunshine than rain which was a total surprise to me! This allowed us to enjoy all the little trips we made to see those mountains, hills and sea in beautiful sunlight.
No matter how ugly some of your residents are, they are one of the nicest people I have come across. Always willing to help, wishing you a nice day and in for a small talk. Just sitting on the bus into town hearing them speak in that heartwarming accent always put a smile on my face.
One thing that made my jaw drop, happened when I was waiting for my bus. There was no pushing, no angry looks, only a neat line of people, patiently waiting their turn to enter the bus. No matter how much it was raining. I might have made some people angry by not realizing there was a queue the first few times, I apologize for that!
The contrasts between people here made me think of the city in a different way. The homeless people sitting on the streets till the sun comes up and the shiny new cars driving by, showing off. This all because of the oil that is hidden just off shore. Giving people great lives, attracting the less fortunate.
The thing I want to thank you most for, is what you have taught me over the last few months. Never have I had such a hard time at some occasions here. Somehow, somewhere, I found the strength to hold on and never give up. You showed me how much I can do and I will always be grateful for that.
This is not a goodbye, this is a see you again sometime. Although I loved the snow the last few days, we didn’t get to go on our little road trip because of it. This means I have to come back to see all the things I still want to see! Hereby I promise you, I will be back one day.
So thank you once again. I can’t wait to go home, but you will always have a special place in my heart. I will miss you Aberdeen.
Once again I got the question what I actually want to do once I finish my tourism degree. Except this time the person in question kept asking and the final question was what tourism is for me. What is travelling for me? Why do I find travelling so fascinating?
Cultures was my first answer. When I travel, I want to see the culture of the country. The deepest layer of the people, their routines and how they live. You haven’t seen a country until you really feel the culture.
Just now I have an exam coming up about globalization. One of the most interesting aspects is how it effects culture. Is the whole world really turning slowly into America?
No. Compared to some other travelers amongst us I might have little travel experience, however with what I know and have seen around me I honestly think America can not take over the world and change all the cultures. We will not turn into McWorld.
People might walk down the street in Indonesia with their Starbucks coffee, pass 10 McDonalds, watch American TV shows and want the American dream, they will still go home, take care of their loved ones, do their rituals. The values and believes they inherit from their parents and society are so ingrained, I think it is almost impossible to change that.
The outside of cities might get an American feel to it, but what keeps culture alive is the people themselves. As a traveler you have to go off the beaten track, talk to the locals, experience their daily routine and get a feel of their culture. That’s what travelling is all about for me and that’s what I find so fascinating.
Christmas is over, New Years has gone by and I’m back in Aberdeen. Time to get serious and start my exam preparation! I’m just having a little trouble concentrating.. I just finished my third cup of coffee and can’t find my concentration anywhere. Everything distracts me and I find myself doing anything but studying..
So I might as well put my time to some use and write!
Being home for Christmas gave me space to breathe again, relax and live my life. 19 People at one big table, enough wine, a 5 course dinner and the traditional singing of childhood songs gave me the ultimate Christmas feeling again.
New Years was spent here in Aberdeen with 2 good friends of mine. We read on the internet that Amy McDonald was going to perform at a street party so we wondered down the main street only to find it empty.. The security people hadn’t heard of anything major going on in the streets so we gave up and went to a pub. Later on we found out we were 4 years too late to see Amy McDonald.. Oops! We still had a fun night with a bit of disappointing fireworks but started 2013 as you should: partying it up!
With only 2 more weeks left in Scotland, 2013 is going to be the year of staying home for me. Being abroad for most of 2012, it is now time for me to be home.
Keep the earth below my feet
From my sweat, my blood runs weak
Let me learn from where I have been
After a birthday beer at the airport with my friend Mike, who I have spend last weekend celebrating our birthdays with, a short flight and a rainy Dutch welcome, my feet have taken me home. 2 Weeks of catching up with my friends and family and all the other joys of being home.
One of the first things I had to do, was say hi to my dad.
Now it’s time get my Santa outfit and running shoes on. Running 5K in the cold and rain, but everything for charity! And a little bit for the social side of course.
Happy to be home again!