So Climb That Mountain

Inspiration, Travel
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Tod Mountain, Sun Peaks Resort (August 2017)

“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in your office or mowing your lawn. Climb that god damn mountain.” 
– Jack Kerouac

Why Do You Go Away?

Inspiration, Travel
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Friendly Cove, British Columbia, Canada (August 2016)

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
– Terry Pratehelt

And That My Dear, Changes Everything

Events
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands (August 2016)

“I urge you to travel. As far and as much as possible. Work ridiculous shifts to save your money. Go without the latest IPhone. Throw yourself out of your comfort zone. Find out how other people live and realize that the world is much bigger than the town that you live in. And when you come home, home may still be the same. Yes, you may have to go back to your same old job. But something in your mind will have changed. And that my dear, changes everything.”
– Unknown

Be All There

Travel
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Grote Kerk, Breda, The Netherlands (July 2016)

“Wherever you are, be all there.”
– Jim Elliot

I have been fascinated by the beautiful church of Breda since I first saw it. It is stunning at all times of day and night. It stands proudly in the bright sun and even on gloomy, cloud filled days. I can even see from the window of my flat which is a treat. Today, I finally climbed to the top of the tower of Grote Kerk. I have been meaning to do this for many months, and I was waiting for the perfect day; though with a lack of time and a lack of sunny afternoons, now proved to be a good as time as any.

The tower is 320 feet in height and it is the fifth tallest church tower of the Netherlands. It was built in the late-gothic style as a church and city tower between 1468 and 1509. The main purposes of the tower in this time were to indicate special moments and events for the church through bell ringing, indicate the time, and give alarm in times of fire and war to citizens of the area. There are 287 steps up to the look out point. In clear weather, one can see as far as Antwerp and Rotterdam.

The views from the look out gallery were stunning. It was great to see my beautiful city of Breda from another angle. I’m still very in love with this quaint, Dutch town and I will be sad to say goodbye when the time comes.

(For those who may be wondering, it costs five euros for a guided tour to climb the tower. For more information, click here.)

Video Blog – June 2016

Inspiration, Study Abroad, Travel

Well, June has been another month of exciting adventures to say the least! A lot of miserable rain, incredible live music (such as Paul McCartney and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers), numerous birthday celebrations, camping, getting lost a few times, and exploring new cities in the far south of Holland and Germany.

“Take me to the docks, there’s a ship without a name there,
And it is sailing to the middle of the sea.
The water there is deeper than anything you’ve ever seen…
Jump right in and swim until you’re free.

I will remember your face,
‘Cause I am still in love with that place.
But when the stars are the only things we share…
Will you be there?

Money came like rain to your hands while you were waiting,
For that cold long promise to appear.
People in the churches started singing above their hands,
They say, “My God is a good God and He cares”.

I’ve got a plan, I’ve got an atlas in my hands.
I’m gonna turn when I listen to the lessons I’ve learned.
I’ve got a plan, I’ve got an atlas in my hands.
I’m gonna turn when I listen to the lessons I’ve learned.”

The Travel Bug

Inspiration, Travel
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Mdina, Malta (May 2016)

“This is why once you’ve traveled for the first time all you want to do is leave again. They call it the travel bug, but really it’s the effort to return to a place where you are surrounded by people who speak the same language as you. Not English, or Spanish, or Mandarin, or Portuguese. But a language where others know what its like to leave. Change. Grow. Experience. Learn. Then go home again and feel more lost in your own hometown than you did in the most foreign place you visited. This is the hardest part about travelling, and its the very reason why we all run away again.” 
– The Purple Buddha Project

Nothing Is Black & White

Inspiration, Travel
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Kasteel Steen (February 2016)

“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.”
– Mark Jenkins

Weekend Adventure In Luxembourg City

Travel
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Luxembourg City, Luxembourg (November 2015)

I decided to take a weekend off from doing schoolwork and explore a new country! I spent three days in Luxembourg City, on a solo adventure, where I found lots of beautiful, old buildings, new friends, and vibrant culture.

I was pleased to learn that my French skills were sufficient to converse with locals. French, English and Luxembourgish are spoken throughout the small country. A highlight of this trip was couch surfing with my new friend who planned excellent activities for us that she knew I would love. We visited an outrageously expensive art shop where we ogled at how much the items cost and went to a music festival to listen to some Dutch and Austrian bands. We had great conversations and I’m so glad that I had the chance to now call her a life long friend.

Another memorable moment was being completely lost in the City Centre by myself and happening across a Christmas Market. Here I found many local artisans and delicious food vendors, cheery Christmas music performed by live musicians, and tasty beer. A funny (and strange) occurrence happened to me when I was touring inside a cathedral one morning. A bus load of Asian tourists came in for a free organ concert that was about to occur, and all of them proceeded to take my photograph. Why these people were interested in having photos of damp, young backpacker in their holiday albums, I will never know!