For anyone who has travelled extensively, or even just a little, they will almost definitely have met some Swedes on the way. They seem to be an adventurous bunch, heading off to see the world in a similar way to a lot of English with the ‘gap year’ a more accepted idea than in some other countries, such as America or Canada. The main difference is the reputation we’ve created for ourselves (brash, noisy, can’t speak any other languages) is very different from the ones Swedes have (blonde, athletic and beautiful with perfect English). Alas, it doesn’t do well to dwell on our faults.
I’ve been very fortunate to do quite a bit of travelling so far, and once of the best things about my year abroad is that I now have a glut of friends living in fabulous, international locations, and I take every chance I have to visit them.
Last year this took me to Stockholm, Munich, Barcelona, Jersey, Belgium, France, Dubai, and Amsterdam among others, and I intend that this year is just as exciting. This past Easter bank holiday I went back to Belgium, where one of my closest friends lives after following her heart across the Atlantic (I am eternally grateful to him for bringing her closer to me).
Our hosts showcased how exactly one should prepare a dinner of cheese and wine, and breakfasts of champions on a daily basis. We did little day trips to Ghent and Ypres, we drank local beers and we ate local delicacies (such as olieballen, that sounds waaay better than ‘oil balls’) and pranced around easter markets.
(Olieballen, served in what I can only describe as a bouquet, which made them seem quite whimsical. As did the smattering of icing sugar that coated your clothes when you ate them.)(Local Ghent beers, made in a Monastery I believe)
(It was forecast to rain, but I think the friendship reunion brought the sunshine. :). )
(Cheese dinner of dreams)
I love London, but every time I travel I get can’t help but get itchy feet to go and live somewhere else. I have also returned with renewed zest for being creative after learning more about the endeavours of my friends. I travel to learn, and it’s the best kind of education.