#arounDINHeurope: the beginning!

SO I haven't posted an entry in like agesss. Sorry about that (not that anyone cares but still.) But I have good reasons! A LOT have happened over the past 3 months or so. I'm sitting in a campus café in Bonn, Germany reflecting over this super exciting and learning journey that I've been experiencing. Doesn't that sound pretentious? Hehe.

I still remember the first moment that I sat on the train from Frankfurt to Cologne after 21-ish hours of flying (and transiting - which, in my opinion, is better than sitting on a plane for a straight 12 hours because that just ain't cute for your butt and thigh and everything else), seeing the German scenery for the first time - windmills, big beautiful fields, mountains, SNOW (albeit only on the ground), and I had a moment (cue the dramatic music). I was so tired, but so happy and thankful that I was actually given the opportunity and capital to be in freaking Europe for 5 months! If you ask me 5 years ago I'd be like - no way. So despite all the personal turmoils that I was going through at that point of time, I was like - heck, why should I let negativity control me when in fact I can focus on the positivity, the now, and enjoy this crazy wonderful thing that's called Europe - when I can. Of course, it's always easier said than done, and more often than once (even until now - yeah I'm kind of desperate like that) certain things still get to me. But I just have to look out the window and remind myself - hey, you only have 3 months left here, so BREATHE IN and LET IT GO.

 This is me amazed at the wonder that is the Airbus A380. Also my 2nd default face for selfies (because I look weird when I smile)


 #pretentiousphotography feat. Selfie Stick

I think this is the Cologne central station 

 Cologne Dom! It looks spectacular and kind of scary at the same time haha.

View of the Dom from the bus station. I was waiting in the rain and 5oC cold for the bus to Brussels I think. 

FOOD! Going straight to Brussels after reaching Cologne is actually the best decision that I made because I was so lonely in Germany haiz. 

And meeting this wonderful girl is a plus plus plus #dinhruineurope 


BEER! First of many, many, many, many... 

Mussels & lobster #livingthelife 

I'm also really grateful to have good friends that remind me to do what I want and follow my instincts (cliché but true). Like when I thought there was nothing else to do in Brussels after the first day (just like everyone else said), someone reminded me about the importance of spontaneity and randomly exploring places, streets and areas that are not necessarily "touristy" or "interesting" - which is totally what I would usually do, but somehow got lost during that time (probably due to the craziness of travelling that I've been going through during that week.) Which was how we explored things like:

A random Tin Tin mural that we found!

 My shop! It's literally my name and initials heh.

That cute couple on the wall! Haha

 Being touristy with the Atomium


 Mussels & lobster part 2. HAHA


 Like seriously.

 I mean


 I see an original Michelangelo piece! Woots #artsy. Also I tried to evade the ticket counter but failed HAHAHAHA

Back to Cologne and greeted with this beautiful (albeit edited in this photo) scenery

So at the end I spent like 5 days in Belgium? Much much longer than expected but honestly I would love to stay longer. I guess one of the things I learned about myself is how I'd love to just be familiar with one place instead of just touch-and-go visiting to say that "I was here." (I do love posting photos at the different places so that my Instagram photo map looks cool though. Oops #socialmediageneration #showoffonly.)

Before I left for exchange, I was so confident being all alone and stuff. I mean, I've been kind of riding solo for the past 7 years or so - living in Singapore, navigating life through the beat of my own drum. But being thrown away to a completely different place, again, at the age of 22, is really a much different experience than leaving home at 15. I was so excited when I left for Singapore - my first time overseas, living the life that I've dreamed of (social mobility and all that jazz), exploring a whole new world. But suddenly at 22, while all of the things above remain true, it suddenly feels like more things are at stake. The friends you have suddenly become more important, the events you miss suddenly become more tremendous. I tell this to everyone that I talk about this issue - maybe when we get older we just become more emotionally attached to our surroundings, and find it more difficult to get out of our comfort zone - which explains why old people are so stubborn lol. Finding the balance of staying true to yourself while exploring different sides of you is really not easy. I'm that kind of person that once inspired by someone, I would try to emulate that person's traits that I admire so I can be a better person (of course not always successfully, e.g. emulating Bey's work ethics is kind of impossible for a lazy bum like me.) Being out of my comfort zone here in a totally different environment makes this battle even more obvious (which is why I suddenly went into a rant about this - sorry lol) and I really have no conclusion - we'll see how it goes. #quarterlifecrisis?

I should end this entry here considering it's a pretty weird mix between ranting/reflections/showing off my travelling kind of entry. If you made it to the end, congratulations! If you want postcards, drop me a message or an email with your address (even if you don't know me and just happens to stumble across this blog - I think it'd be pretty fun to get a postcard from a random stranger hey,) and I'll send you one! Yay!

In the meantime I should start writing postcards that I'm supposed to write 2 months ago HAHA and maybe move on to the next few entries - writing down the experience while I still remember them. Tschuss! 😘

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