Well I can officially say I have landed on dutch soil. After months of anxiety and excitement, all my dreams have come true. I am in The Netherlands. It is unlike any place I have seen. After a three hour delay, a 7 hour flight, losing the suitcases, and being awake for over 24 hours. I finally made it here. It is such a weird concept to know that I am 4,000 miles away from home, living on another continent.
As soon as the plane landed, I cannot even describe the excitement that came over me. It is thrilling to know that I am starting this journey, and experiencing it with all of my friends.
As soon as we got to the airport, we went to get the bags. After I got my bag, we waited for the others to get their bags too. We waited 45 mins for the other bags to arrive and they never did. After we dealt with the bag situation, we went and found our guide and living coordinator, Daniel. He was such a friendly person to meet after experiencing all the craziness with the luggage.
We sent our luggage on a taxi (which I was terrified about, after the others had just lost all their luggage). All my shoes and precious cargo made it safely. After we left our luggage we took a train from the Amsterdam airport to Leiden.
It was a double decker train, one of the many new things that we saw. We rode in a car with a guy from Holland and he could definitely tell that we were American (That was not hard to do at all, we all looked lost and dazed).
As we rode the train, we looked out the window and all we could see was fields and farm house. A friend then comments, “Hey look, we took a 7 hour plane ride and it looks like Illinois.” The dutch man then laughed and he began talking to us. Asking us many questions about where we were from? What we were doing in Holland? Quite a friendly person.
It’s bizarre to think that people see these things everyday and do not even think about how unique this is to a foreigner. I am here for an hour and I am in awe of everything. All the people, the canals, the buildings, the food, everything.
After we finally made it to the living quarters, we went out for lunch. I had one of the best lunches (I probably only thought this because I had not ate for hours and airplane food is not satisfying). It was very comforting to know that many people here speak English and they all are so friendly talking to you. Everyone can tell that we are outsiders, but we managed our first day.
After lunch, we decided to walk around a little. We walked and walked for hours it felt like. We got a glimpse of what Leiden has to offer. We looked at the buildings, all the canals, all the bicyclers, the coffee shops, windmills, and of course, all the heineken bars. It’s such a unique experience to walk around and hear so many different languages.
I have been up for over 30 hours and all I can think about is cuddling up in my bed, at what is now 8pm.
I can say that it has been a very successful day. Even though I am so tired, I could not be happier being here and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week brings.