Summer Wrap-Up: The Netherlands + Minnesota

Summer Wrap-Up: Netherlands + Minnesota -- Em Dashed

This past “summer” in the Netherlands was pretty much what I’ve come to expect after two years.

It was cold. It was cloudy. It was wet. I grumbled and pouted and questioned nearly every day why I had chosen to live in such a godforsaken place, which I can only assume means I should get my Dutch passport in the mail any day now. (“Je bent één van ons. Veel sterkte.”)

But as much as I know you all love to hear me complain (why else would you be here?), I am also aware it can, like all good things, become tiresome. So rather than simply rant about Dutch weather, I’d actually like to rave — just a little — about Minnesota’s.

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Thoughts on “Going Home”

Thoughts on "Going Home"

When you’ve been living abroad for as long as I have, the idea of “going home” starts to become a bit fuzzy.

Though I use the word frequently — both to refer to my apartment here in Dedemsvaart, and my hometown of Minneapolis — if someone were to straight up ask me what I consider home, I wouldn’t be able to answer. At least, not in the traditional sense.

That’s because I don’t really think of home as a place. There is nowhere, physically speaking, that I “belong” more than anywhere else. My immediate family resides in Minneapolis; my boyfriend lives in the Netherlands with me; my friends, close and distant, are strewn all over the globe. There are spots throughout New Zealand and Australia that were absolutely critical in the development of who I am today: Kaikoura was where I got my first overseas job, Queenstown was where I stopped caring what people thought, Melbourne was where Simon and I first lived together.

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Besides Amsterdam: Travelers Share Their Favorite Dutch Spots

Favorite Dutch Spots

Until I moved to the Netherlands, I didn’t realize the extent to which Amsterdam really steals the spotlight from everywhere else. The amount of people who assume I live there is kind of staggering. (In case you’re new around here: I don’t.)

Maybe people are genuinely under the impression that, once you’ve ticked off Amsterdam, there’s not much else to see here. After all, the Netherlands is a teeny-tiny country; how much more can there really be?

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Why Travel Has Everything To Do With Your So-Called “Politics”

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“This friend of mine, we have really different views on a lot of things–but we just don’t talk about politics!” Sound familiar?

Or what about this one? “This is not the place to discuss politics. This is a travel blog/make-up channel/fashion account. I don’t follow you/read your posts to hear about your ~causes~!”

Well, I’m calling bullshit.

I have never understood why some people think they can and should divorce issues of basic human rights from their relationships with other people and their everyday lives. Because, please, make no mistake: when people say “politics,” they nearly always mean “basic human rights.”

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The Best Day Trips from Melbourne

Day Trips From Melbourne

Melbourne is no stranger to praise or acclaim. The city has been hyped as the world’s most liveable for years, topping lists left and right, and generally garnering a reputation as The Place To Be. There’s festival for every season, a market for every budget, and a restaurant for every taste. (There might not be a café for every hipster, but it’s probably as close as you’re gonna get.)

Melbourne is also the perfect base for some awesome day trips — whether you want to meander nearby, or explore deeper into country Victoria. Here are a few of my favorite options (listed from closest to farthest).

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Peninsula Walk – Kaikoura

Peninsula Walk - Kaikoura

Most people know Kaikoura, New Zealand for whale watching. Maybe they visit for its nearby colony of seals, or to eat some super fresh seafood (Kaikoura, in the Māori language, translates to “meal of crayfish”). Maybe they’re just lured by the stunning scenery of a peninsula surrounded by sparkling water and snow-capped mountains.

These are all pretty good reasons, and Kaikoura lives up to every one. But for me, it represents something else altogether.

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