This One is For You

This is going to be a fairly sad blog post, because I’ve had a fairly sad past couple of days.  My time in Belgium has officially come to an end and I miss Ghent more than I ever thought I would.  I feel as if I really made a life for myself in that cute little Belgian city.  Reflecting upon this past semester, I can tell I’ve matured, grown, and just generally opened up to new and exciting experiences.

My last few weeks in Belgium consisted of three things:

  • Exams (EW)
  • My 21st birthday (YAY)
  • Packing up my life once again and transporting it far far away (EW)

21st Birthday.

Okay so there is no doubt that one’s 21st birthday is a HUGE deal.  If you’re in the United States that is.  I was always been kind of torn whether I was happy or upset that I’d have to celebrate my twenty-first over here in Europe.  Of course, no big blow out party with a huge bar crawl and crazy stories.  I did, however, get to experience one of earth’s most beautiful natural landmarks, spend much-needed time away with great friends, and visit a new country for my 21st.  My friends were super sweet and celebrated with me accordingly as if turning 21 was a big deal for them (when I know it really isn’t).  Also, while we were hanging out at a typical Irish pub that night, we met a couple of New Yorkers who insisted in helping me celebrate my 21st “correctly”.  All in all, I had an amazing birthday and thank you to everyone who sent me love and kisses.

Bye Bye, Belgium.

So yes, my Belgian life is now basically over.  I’m sad, I really did enjoy Ghent a lot.  I’d say it was the perfect city to adjust to European lifestyle to as an American (of course I’m biased), simply because of it’s semi-american lifestyle and everyone there spoke English.  I was super spoiled with this lovely city.

My five months spent in Belgium resulted in a million stories, memories, and laughs but I won’t get into too many details.  Here are my favorite pictures from the past semester and the stories to go with them!

September – the month of a million awkward hello’s.

The beginning of the Bagatten-squad. This day was great for two reasons: I met Ana and Michelle, and I experienced Flemish fries for the first time!
First day of Orientation for us International Students! There was a great view of the city of Ghent from the 10th floor of our school.
Clemens (Dutch Canadian) had tons of fun at Overpoort that night.

October – finally getting my life somewhat together as an international student so the fun (traveling) could begin!

Day trip to Brugges, Belgium with Michelle!
Bagatten-squad hits up Twitch for Flag Night!
Jure (Slovenian, likes to steal street signs), I dislike him 99% of the time because we share absolutely zero opinions about politics, social issues, etc. But he’s my best guy friend.
This is Elisa (tiny Italian), and I sharing Nutella covered churros in Amsterdam.
The fam in Amsterdam!
Boat trip with bae

November – the month where I spent four days of the week living it up in Ghent, and then the other three escaping to a far away land.

Trip to London with Pin (Finland) for fall break!
Fam hits Paris
I think we were killing time/mooching heat and wifi from a Parisian McDonald’s.
Thanksgiving dinner 2016, I cannot think of a time where I have been more thankful for every single one of my exchange friends.
Puppies in Hamburg

December – Christmas in Ghent

Girls night at Tokyo Sushi before the Ghent Christmas Market!  You can tell I’m all about group pics, right?
One last hoorah before Christmas! Also check Jure’s face.

January – sad, cold, and studying

Literally our first sip sip pic of 2017.
Barbs (Slovakian), Phil (Canadian), and I all celebrate birthdays in the months of Jan, Feb, and March. So obviously a celebration had to occur!
Successful game of Twister


Trip to Dublin with Barbs and Iris (Taiwanese)


My absolute favorite picture from our Dublin trip.
Cliffs of Moher, OMG

So if you looked through all those pictures and didn’t cry, you are stronger than I am.  I can’t believe that half of my dream-year in Europe is over with.

“You will never be completely home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere.  That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”

Mariam Adeney

So my heart is officially spread over 8 different countries, roughly 17 large cities, and about 40 amazing exchange students.  I wouldn’t change these memories for the world, thanks for taking on Belgium with me.

That’s a wrap, Ghent.

Gros Bisous,

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