Video Blog – August 2016

Travel

Well everyone, I have returned to Kamloops, British Columbia and I have begun my last year of university to complete my double degree in Tourism Management at Thompson Rivers University. This will be my last video blog for a while, as the most excitement I will have over the next few months will be drinking coffee, hiking in the Thompson Okanagan, late night study sessions, and catching up with friends and family. The past month was filled with a mix of emotions, exciting adventures, and fantastic memories. It began by celebrating a dear friend’s birthday in a small village of the Netherlands, and ended by hiking through Cape Scott Provincial Park, along with an exploration of Vancouver Island all the way from the bottom to the top. All I can say, is thank you dear world, for the beautiful memories. It’s already time for a new adventure!

Video Blog – July 2016

Travel
July was an incredible month filled with amazing memories and smiles shared with friends. I graduated from NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences. I cycled to Belgium, and to the highest point in The Netherlands, where I was able to stand in three countries at one time. I spent many afternoons and evenings in Valkenburg Park, by the beach, or at free electronic dance parties in the city. I attended the largest dance music festival in the world, Tomorrowland; where I felt free, inspired, and united along with 100,000 rave lovers. Among other things, I have also been saying goodbye to friends as they are slowly heading home for the summer or relocating for new endeavours. I am returning to Canada in a few short weeks, though rest assured, I will enjoy every moment to the fullest.

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.)

Life Is A One Time Offer

Inspiration, Travel
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Netherlands-Belgium Border (July 2016)

“Life is a one time offer. Use it well.” 
– Unknown

This weekend, I was able to check another item off my bucket list! I cycled from my city to a small village in Belgium called Meers. The round trip was close to 40 kilometres and I completed this in just a few hours. Best of all, the weather has been finally looking up as it did not rain all afternoon.

The Breath Knocked Right Out Of You

Inspiration, Travel
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Valkenburg, The Netherlands (June 2016)

“Sometimes is knocks the breath right out of me, realizing how lucky I am to be here and alive with you. To be the one you feel safe with. To be the one whose ones you curl up into when its cold. To be the one whose mouth you drowsily kiss when you are half asleep in my  arms.” 
– Beau Taplin

Carpe Diem

Inspiration, Travel
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Kinderdijk, South Holland (May 2016)

“Stop waiting for Friday. For summer. For someone to fall in love with you. For life. Happiness is achieved when you stop waiting for it and make the most of the moment you are in now.” 
– Anonymous

Kings Day. Best Day.

Events, Study Abroad, Travel

Kings Day is by far one of the best days to be in The Netherlands!

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Kings Day (Breda, April 2016)

I was lucky and one of my very best friends surprised me with a gift for my first of hopefully many Kings Days to come. In the gift was assorted silly clothing to wear, all orange of course, orange tinted sunglasses, a crown, balloons, chalk, and tasty Dutch treats. For breakfast, we had a puff pasty filled with slaagroom called tompauce. These are decorated with orange icing especially for this holiday. Fun fact, there is a 600% increase in sales of tompauce on this holiday compared to any other day. I shared much of my candy and sweets with my room mates as well, and we decorated our flat with orange balloons.

The holiday is a celebration for the Kings Birthday, and all throughout the country there are city wide parties with a sea of people dressed in orange. As I mentioned before, I went to the 538 KoningsDag festival which amazing beyond my expectations. But in the city centre there were multiple free stages that people could enjoy and the terraces of many restaurants were open.

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Sunset Over Eva Simon’s Set (Breda, April 2016)

The weather was not the best, with some rain, some hail, and some cold wind. But that didn’t stop anyone from having an amazing time! I had so much fun spending time with my friends and dancing the entire day away. Artists like Martin Garrix, Tiesto, and Hardwell perform all over the country with multiple shows. Martin Garrix performed around one o’clock, and unfortunately we missed him as we were waiting in line. After his set, he was off into his helicopter for another set in Amsterdam. Unreal!

I was the most excited to see Armin Van Burren during this festival as I had not seen him before. His music was great, and he played one of my favourite songs by Alan Walker called Faded. The ultimate highlight was seeing Tiesto and Hardwell (both Breda born Djs) perform at the same time during a rainstorm. Easily 20,000 people dressed in orange were moshing and thrashing to heavy beats, and cheering in the rain. Seriously, that’s a moment to remember! I am so grateful to be living in a country where there is such a prominent festival and electronic dance music culture. This REALLY is my kind of place!

There truly is no party like a Kings Day party!