Living in a foreign country is always an adventure! As has been mentioned in previous blog posts, moving to another country is not always as rosy as some people may let you believe, but neither is it something not worth trying! It will hopefully give you some invaluable experiences and many new friends. And once you take the big step of moving abroad for the first time, your second or third or fourth moves may prove easier as you already experienced what it is all about in the past.
For me, one of the best parts of moving around Europe has been the opportunity to discover the uniqueness and hidden treasures of each country and their different cities! When people ask me where I feel most at home or where I think it would be best to live, I simply cannot give an answer because all places have great aspects to them. For the past seventeen years there hasn’t been just one place that I call home, but rather the number of places I call home has grown over the years. And there hasn’t been just one place which “has it all”, but rather, after you move on to the next place you realise what you are missing from your previous homes!
There are some things that you really look forward to when going back to a place where you have lived before, and it makes every journey feel like a new adventure even though you know the place already. Here is a selection of some of the very familiar things that instantly give me that feeling of being back home again!
- When I go back to my home country Finland I immediately feel that I am back home when I walk in the woods and pick juicy blueberries and enjoy them on spot (they obviously taste nothing like the ones you buy in the shop) or go into a bakery and inhale the wonderful smell which reminds me of my childhood (smells definitely trigger some very vibrant memories, maybe you have noticed that too!).
- When I go back to my second home Brussels in Belgium, I look forward to sitting at my favourite terrace at Place Sainte-Catherine/Sint-Katelijneplein, enjoying the beautiful view of the cathedral and the multicultural atmosphere, never knowing which language to speak so I always end up speaking a bit of everything which always works in Brussels!
- When I travel back to my third home Maastricht in the Netherlands, I always find myself appreciating the directness of the Dutch (no, it is not rudeness ) as you will never have to wonder what they want or what they think, as they will simply tell it to you directly in a no-nonsense style – makes life easier!
- I haven’t (sadly!!) been back to my Erasmus home Budapest in Hungary since I came back from my study semester abroad, but when I go there again I really want to take a ride on the beautiful ‘yellow’ metro line (Line 1), which by the way is the oldest metro line in mainland Europe, built in 1896! There is something inexplicably cozy about that metro line with its beautifully decorated platforms and wonderful little wagons, so give it a try if you’re there and hopefully you will find it as cozy as I did