Lately: Crossing the North Sea
Hi there, long time no lately. You know the deal, life has been happening. Since the last Lately update, I’ve crossed the North Sea. Twice! By plane, mind you, but you probably got that. I’m a good swimmer, but don’t expect miracles. Seriously though, I’ve been having a great time. I got to visit Manchester and Nottingham when I spent a weekend with my parents and sister in England. I also went on an amazing trip to Ireland’s Ancient East. It was the realest craic ever! Look at me being all lit with the lingo. I should probably stop embarrassing myself now and face the facts. I can’t keep up with the youngsters anymore.
Nottingham, Peak District & Manchester
I hadn’t been to England in years, so I was really excited to go back. We didn’t manage stay long enough, kind of like how (half) the UK prematurely ditched the EU. Just kidding, we would have liked to stay, but we were short on time. Since my sister will be studying in Nottingham soon, my parents and sister had booked the trip to check out student housing and such. I decided to tag along, like the professional familial parasite I’ve become. My mother and I strolled around Nottingham in the evening hours, I love it when the sun sets so late in summer!
The next day we drove to Manchester, passing through Peak District on the way there. The district looks exactly like what you would imagine the British countryside to look like. Manchester has its own character, definitely a cool place to walk around. There’s too much too talk about here, so you’ll have to keep an eye out for posts about England!
Exploring Ireland’s Ancient East
In June, I was lucky enough to go on a trip to explore Ireland’s Ancient East for We Are Travellers, an awesome Dutch travel website where I also regularly blog. It was a fantastic experience. I visited so many spots I had never heard of before, like Rock of Dunamase and Jerpoint Park. I feel like I’ve learned a lot more about Ireland’s history and culture. In short: Ireland is a goldmine for ruins/abandoned building lovers like me. I got to see many mysterious medieval ruins that I can’t wait to blog about. I also had a great time admiring the quaint little town of Kilkenny and discovering Waterford city. My blog post about Rock of Cashel is already up, check it out if you haven’t already! On the way back to Amsterdam, I was welcomed by this insanely orange sunset. I couldn’t believe my luck.
Goodbye Lunch in Utrecht
Within a few days, I hopped from Dublin to Amsterdam to Breda to Utrecht. I’ve also been travelling within the Netherlands quite a bit and it was especially nice to be back in Utrecht. Lots of people who come to Holland never really leave the Amsterdam area, but Utrecht is just as lovely and less touristy. I met up with a friend from college for a goodbye lunch. She has already left for Singapore now! The day started with buckets of rain and later transformed into the perfect summer day. I had a blast just hanging around town. I may have also had ice cream, who knows.
Making Summer Plans
Summer is here and I’m definitely not planning on spending the whole season in the Netherlands. Summer is more of an abstract concept here anyway, not an actual thing. July and August are more like a rainy pre-autumn period with sporadic episodes of sunshine. Since we’re not ready to take the risk with the Dutch weather, my bestest buddy Esther and I met up in town (Breda) and planned a few days of epic fun in Venice. Yes, you heard it right: Venice, Italy! I’ve visited Venice once before, but this was way back in the day when I was still wearing pigtails, flared purple jeans with red sneakers, and blue glittery sunglasses. Ah, the early 2000s *shakes head*. Forgive me, I was a naive 10-year-old. Blame my parents.
Heading Back to Amsterdam
I haven’t really talked about it before, but I’ll be moving back to Amsterdam soon! To be completely honest with you, it’s not because I’ve missed it too much, but because I’ll be studying at the University of Amsterdam again. I applied to the Cultural Analysis research master program and was accepted! I recently met up with friends from college and snapped these Instagrams. The weather was 100% perfect. We had lunch at the waterfront, walked around the city centre, definitely ate ice cream, and chatted the hours away.
Life has been busy, so I’ve already started writing the next Lately update. You can expect another one soon! I’ll be in Belgium for a few days and after that: Italy, I’m coming for you. Hide your gelato and pizza, we will devour it all! In the meantime, check my Insta for real-time updates.