It's been just over 1.5 years since I moved from my hometown in Michigan to Nijmegen, the Netherlands to start my Ph.D. The whole time I have been here the world has been dealing with COVID and the global pandemic. I haven't written that much about my adventures living here so far because I feel like writing is an exercise that forces you to process the past. Writing is not a mindful or present moment awareness in the now activity for me. There has been so much going on, and I have been in a new place on my own, so I guess I was stuck in a self-preservation phase and didn't really feel safe enough to process the past. I have shared a lot of my art that has mostly been drawn while living in the Netherlands. And pictures are worth a thousand words. What is it about writing that is so different than just thinking? Even if I write this knowing it is only me who will ever read it. Staring at the words on the page just makes them more real, and memorializes a timestamp of your emotional state. We forget so much. I know this is a good thing but all of our forgetting also causes us to fill in the blanks at a much later date which leads to part truth/part fiction stories of our lives that we tell ourselves. Anyways that was a tangential introduction 😎... But I feel ready to tell my stories and reflect on my adventures since moving to Europe in August 2020.
Just leaving these headers here for now, because I have to run. It's a sunny Saturday and I'm going to Amsterdam with Snandan soon. But I'll fill in more details about all of these adventures soon...
Arnhem + Hoge Veluwe National Park
the Waal and its wild horses + cows
Dog park family
Meeting/seeing colleagues one on one at home
Mom's visit in April during peak tulip time
Amsterdam without tourists, staying on a houseboat
Visiting random German towns I had never heard of (Marburg, & Borkum)
Psychiatry Museum in Haarlem + other adventures with Joanna & Arturo
Summertime trip to Michigan
American Comedy in Cologne with Charlotte
Halloween in a church
Cologne Christmas market
The insane move
COVID finally catches me
Everything opens up again and we can finally make plans!
Up next: maybe Oxford University (if my passport comes in time, otherwise I'll have to give the talk online), a ski trip in Austria, and a yoga retreat in Sintra, Portugal. RadNord is coming to visit for two weeks at the end of April and we will go on a road trip to Berlin, Prague, Hallstatt, and Munich. Then we will explore the Netherlands for another week so I can show him my home. ISMRM is in London in May, OHBM is in Glasgow, Scotland in June. I am going on a trip with my mom for my 30th birthday on August 12th, and the BigBrain workshop is in Zadar, Croatia in October! 💕✨🤗 I am grateful, joyful, and resilient.