Love My Life

16 years old | Amsterdam | New York City

First pic of 2014! Happy new year and make it a good one <3
31. December 2013

This year has been a good but also a bad year. I had many ups and downs and I’m very proud of everything I achieved this year. Exactly one year ago I was standing in my living room back home in Amsterdam, that was the moment when I realised that I was really leaving my safe home for this big adventure. With a glass of champagne in my hand looking at all my loved ones around me, I started crying. Crying because I’m was going to miss them so much, crying because of the fact that I was going to do this on my own, finally hit me but I was also crying because I realised how lucky I am with the life I’m living. I’m appreciating my life everyday a little bit more. This year I got closer to all my best friends and I know those friends are the ones I’ll grow old with. This year I had my first serious boyfriend and my first broken heart. This year I left home for something new, something that’s almost over now.

I’m already half way through my exchange year and can’t believe how fast the time went by. I’ve met a lot of new people who changed my life, some in a good way and some in a bad way. The one person who I’ve met this year who changed my life the most, is myself. I changed, I grew up and became a complete different girl than the one crying on new years eve last year. 2013 was a good year in many different ways, I wouldn’t do  anything any different if I had the chance to. So everyone who’ve been by my side in 2013, thank you! I will face 2014 with a big smile because 2013 showed me that nothing can ever bring me down! Have a happy new year everyone!

Feeling like a real American
Red Velvet Snowflake Cupcakes
8. December 2013

If you’re from The Netherlands, December 5th is on of the most important days in the year. It is a holiday for little children but no matter what age you might be everyone enjoys it. It is about an old man who lives in Spain with his helpers and in the last two weeks of November he comes to The Netherlands by steamboat to bring all the kids presents everyday till Decmber 5th, that is his birthday. December 5th is also known as Pakjes avoid (present night).

It has always been a big thing in my family, my life always felt like a fairy tale during that time of the year. This is the first year I wasn’t able to spend this special day with my family, that made me a little sad. The morning after December 5th I came downstairs and saw that my host parents had put my shoe on the table and filled it with presents and candy, that night we had a Pakjes avond with the presents and candy that my mom sent me from home. This made me realise that even when I didn’t spent it with my natural family that it doesn’t mean that I wasn’t with family!

Happy Sinterklaas
28. November 2013

Today will be my first thanksgiving and I wanted to dedicate it to my exchange year. I am so lucky that I have the opportunity to study abroad  and to be able to experience live somewhere else. I had lots of ups and downs in the past 4 months, more downs than ups but I learned from every moment. One thing I learned is how many amazing people I’ve met. This started at camp, I’ve made some amazing friends there whom I will never forget! I met some amazing people in New York City, and I got to know the city a little better. When I moved to Dansville I experienced how it is to live in a big family and at school I met so many amazing friends. I made friends there who will always have a place in my heart, I miss them so much!

When I moved out of Dansville I’ve met two very special persons, Bob and Bonnie! They’ve helped me so much and they mean a lot to me. They helped me getting my motivation back to continue my exchange year instead of going home. I’m so thankful that I’ve met them and they feel like my second parents. 

I’m thankful for my new family who opened their hearts for me and let me live with them for the next 7 months. I’m thankful for the amazing friends I’ve made here at school. I love being here and spending my time with all of them.

Another thing I’ve learned is how much I can miss people and that I should never take anyone for granted. Within 4 months I found out who my real friends are back in The Netherlands and who stopped caring after I left. I’m so thankful for the ones who keep texting me and who keep telling me they miss me. Sam, Britt, Lisa, Rosalie, Gladys and Fabian you are amazing and thank you for being there for me, I love all of you!

I’m also thankful for my family. My parents for letting me go and follow my dreams. My brother for always being there for me and giving me the brotherly advice I needed. And of course, my grandparents for making this whole adventure possible, without them this would’ve been just a dream instead of reality! 

26. November 2013

About two weeks ago I moved to my new, third and hopefully final host family. I have two parents and a seventeen year old sister, they are so nice! I got welcomed in an amazing family and I’m so thankful for that. In the first week we went to Virginia to visit a college for my host sister and then we went to Tennessee to see my host moms sister and her boyfriend. It’s so nice to meet all these amazing people and see more states in this country. I’m finally settling down and feeling comfy.

In the mood for christmas 😍😍