If you had told 18-year-old me that I’d be excited about going back home after living in the Netherlands for four years, I would’ve called you a liar. As an (barely) adult, I couldn’t wait to leave the island, because I was bored of it. It felt like I had run out of interesting things to do and to learn. I couldn’t wait to leave and go somewhere where I would have all the freedom in the world. And where there would be so much to do. I could travel to other places and countries. There were so many amusement parks I could visit. I couldn’t wait for the number of possibilities I would have.
And it was true: The Netherlands was and still is an amazing place to live, especially after you’ve left an island where you felt trapped. But I’ve missed my island, and I’m really excited to go back even if it’s just for a year.
This opportunity is sponsored by the mandatory internship I have to do to finish my master’s degree. I’ll be interning for about 10 months and I look forward to it. I’ve missed not only my family, but a lot of other things I did not expect to miss so much.
Who would have thought that I, a self-proclaimed busy bee, would miss Aruba’s relaxed culture? I certainly didn’t, but now I realize that I do. As much as I love how quickly things move in the Netherlands, it also means that I have to move quickly through things. That means I barely, if ever, get a chance to really enjoy and appreciate the things I’m doing. Maybe it's just who I am, but I don’t think the culture is doing me any favors either. Maybe going back to a more relaxed culture will remind me of how to relax and take a breather, and maybe (hopefully), I can bring that back with me once I get back here.
I’ve also missed the food and the people. I do not only miss eating Taco Bell almost on the daily, I also miss simple foods like Trix or the noodle soup (you know the one). It’s not that you can’t find any of those in the Netherlands, but getting them is not easy (or cheap). And the people? At times, I miss being able to speak my mother tongue. Though I can't complain, as I sometimes hear other speaking it in public. But maybe that just makes me miss speaking it even more?
Lastly, it might be incredibly idealistic (and maybe a bit narcissistic of me), but I want to contribute and give back to the island that has given me so much. I’m sorry I didn’t appreciate it when I could've and should’ve, but I do now, and I hope that counts for something. Hopefully living on the island for a year will help me decide whether I want to go back after my studies.
In conclusion: I can't wait to go back home, as there are so many things I've missed about it. I also can't wait to be able to try to give back to the island.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blogpost are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views of Phryme Magazine.