After weeks of studying way more than the WHO recommends for anyone’s well-being, mid sem break was finally there last week. I think I’ve made about a hundred different plans of what I wanted to do before I finally settled on doing a low budget camping trip to the south of the Netherlands. As a matter of fact, it is an issue of ongoing debate whether the province I went to – Zuid-Limburg – is actually part of the same country as the one I grew up in. I wouldn’t say so, and given the fact that I was addressed in German in the grocery store I still believe it is actually Germany. Nevertheless, my student card allowed me to travel to Limburg for free, so I went down there for a break.
I decided to go camping near Vaals, which is located at only 25 km from the train station in student city Maastricht. Easy peasy lemon squeezy, I thought, so I decided to take out one of the bicycles that the Dutch train service offers at only €3.50 a day.
Before I set out to my last trip down under, I bought a couple of spare blades for my razor, hoping that these would get me through the 7 months of my trip. This was quite silly, as with all the swimming and surfing I did in Australia, I ran out of them way quicker than expected. When I needed new razors, I resorted to buying a whole new set from the BIC brand at Woolies, hoping that I would be able to buy razor replacements wherever I’d be in Asia.
This sort of worked, because I did find new BIC razors in Thailand. At least I thought it worked. Until I was in a dim-lit outdoors shower in the mountains of Northern Thailand and I found out that the Thai BIC mostly fits the Australian BIC, but they don’t stay on well if you exert a little pressure. Pretty annoying to have to go looking for your razor blades all the time.
Upon homecoming, I didn’t want to buy a new razor set. It causes so much plastic rubbish all the time! Someone recommended me to give a safety razor a go. Like all the travel gear on my wish list, these razors are pretty expensive, so I had to wait and save up a bit before I could order some. But it’s just really good every time I can buy something that gets me closer to being well prepared for my next adventure!
Sometimes, whenever you merely mention that you eat vegan, some people feel the need to tease you about that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in for jokes – but a lot of meat-eater comments aren’t even close to funny. (Although I do really like this vid, in which all the usual comments are turned around. Shows how silly most of them are!)
Take for example, the “mmmmm bacon” reaction, that is often just posted as a Facebook troll comment. However, once when I was canyoning in Australia I seriously had someone ask me “but what about bacon?” when I said I eat plant-based.
I now have the perfect answer to this question: rice paper bacon. It recently entered the vegan blogosphere and since I was making Vietnamese summer rolls anyway, I could as well give this experiment a go. I love rethinking ingredients; fusion cooking is one of the perks of globalisation. So rice paper bacon it was.
I have a serious case of homesickness. I mean – I’m sick of being home. I’ve been back home for over 2 months now, and I just can’t wait to hit the road again. Unfortunately, I have to stay here for 2,5 more months in order to finish my undergraduate degree. So as much as I dislike being here, I just have to deal with it. And of course I realise that this is such a #firstworldproblem, which helps to put it in perspective, but doesn’t decrease the feeling.
I started reading travel blogs to see what fellow world wanderers do in these cases, and I found myself googleing tips on the topic of how to deal with a lack of domestic violence. No, I’m kidding here of course, but I truly miss my daily dose of adventure in my current, well, 8-8 life (unfortunately, no 9-5 for students).
So I collected a bunch of tips and made a list of how to spend every day of your life as a holiday. It actually took on the shape of one big note-to-self, for I actually knew that I would simply have to carry out all these listed things. However,daily uni life’s stress often paralyses me to the point of spending too much money on comfort food, and making way too long days in uni trying to work my way through the jungle of deadlines.
However, of course I’d feel much better if I’d take a bit better care of myself. Moreover, it is silly to wait for the fun in life to begin only when you board an air plane (or hitch a ride). So today I’d like to share with you: a report of an every (holi)day for me. It’s my note to self in the shape of a report, so as to decrease the gap between my current rushing around like a headless chicken and my ideal self. Something I’ve learnt during my past years in psychology: make your resolutions concrete and formulate intentions, not goals.
Put on a lovely travel song while reading this – here’s my favourite from one of Spotify’s road trip playlists.
After getting the desired amount of 8 hours of sleep (because more sleep is more health & happiness, and less hours to miss travelling), my alarm wakes me up at 6:30. I yawn, I stretch, and I get up and roll out my mat for half an hour of yoga. After this nice start of the day, I get dressed, cook up some oatmeal, brew a cup of coffee and enjoy a quiet breakfast in the morning sun.
Yesterday I had the last exam of my undergrad, hurray! Potentially my last exam ever, but that depends both on whether I have to do a retake (I didn’t study too much for this test) and on my application for a Master’s. However, it felt like a massive relief to have this over with, because last period has been madness in uni. I just have to hand in one more assignment this week and then it’s 2 full weeks of mid sem break!
So yeah, it was time to celebrate last night. After changing plans for about a 100 times (falafel in Nijmegen! Nah, vegan kebab in Den Haag! Nah, Indian food in Amsterdam!) we finally settled on Ethiopian restaurant Sunshine in the Pauwstraat, in the centre of Utrecht. And boy am I happy we did. It’s one of my favourite restaurants in the city, and moreover, Ethiopian has become one of my favourite cuisines because of this cute little place.