Thursday, 31 May 2012

London, London England

Happy Thursday y'all! My weekend is starting early this week. Well, actually, since University is over my whole life is pretty much one big weekend. Although, I am having serious study withdrawal craziness! I'll save that for another post. As for today, I am off to London to spend a long weekend exploring the city with a great friend and meeting up with the bro for a Coldplay gig tomorrow night. Yeah. Jealous?! And it just so happens that it is also the Queen's Jubilee so it is serious British-Partying time. God save the Queen. I promise to take plenty of photos to share with you next week. I am afraid that I shall be MIA for a few days....whilst I am away be sure to check the sweet bloggers on my sidebar - they are all well worth a visit! Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Last Sunday in Amsterdam

Sunday was my last chance to spend a day in the great city of Amsterdam. I am even surprised at myself that I now feel like I can call it a "great" city. When I first visited Amsterdam back in November (Check this post, and this post), honestly, I did not like the city at all. Maybe the sunshine just makes everything better. When the sunshine is out I greatly enjoy being in the countryside. But there is also something wonderful about being in the city when it is so beautifully sunny and warm: the streets are filled with energy, terraces are packed out, everyone seems carefree and happy, the canal is the playground for open-top boats filled with musicians and sun was the perfect day for my last day in the city. I started the day meeting friends at the Hillsong Church (Side note - I love this church so very much! They are one of the most welcoming and fun loving churches I have ever visited. If you are in the city, check it out). After church, I then had to bid a farewell to a dear friend of mine before she got on her US bound plane. (Another side note - this friend of mine and I have been in three different countries together since November! Check this post, this post and this post) Then I spent time basking in the rays by the canal with another friend whilst eating frozen yogurt. Of course I stopped by Starbucks for one final Dutch Starbucks fill....then off I went again. Until next time Amsterdam.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Tulip Fields

It would be pretty unforgivable and incredible silly of me to live in The Netherlands and NOT visit the tulip fields. I mean, go figure. A sweet American friend of mine, who was spending a year studying at my Dutch University, also thought the same. So off we went with a couple of slightly less excited Dutchies to the Tulip gardens/fields. Needless to say I was extremely snap happy and very excited. I am such a tourist.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear University Friends - It was SO VERY sad to say goodbye to you all. Please know that you have made this last year for me. Thank you for all the laughs, coffee dates, encouraging words, fun nights and general community living. I am going to miss you all more than words can tell.
Dear Eindhoven Family - I love staying with you all. Thank you for having me to stay and giving me the best possible start to the Summer vacation.
Dear Sunshine - wow. You are perfect. Thank you summer for arriving just as final exams ended. Your timing could not be more perfect. Lazy days in the backyard are my favourite kind.
Dear Coffee - you are the best. I do like you with sugar, but I am trying to cut that out. Stick with me and very soon I shall be taking you straight.
Dear Dutch Bicycle - I shall miss you dearly. 
Dear US - you are calling me name. I shall be there soon.
Dear Heart - hang in there. Change is tough.
Dear Suitcase - I know I keep adding things to you, but please carry on closing. I know it has been a long four years of living this way but we are almost home now.
Dear Dutch Food - please come with me? Yeah?
Dear Taylor - thank for being my constant travel companion.


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Learn to be yourself

Learn to be yourself

Yesterday I received the sweetest mail from a friend of mine (find her over here on her blog) that was full of encouragement and reassurance.
I honestly think that encouraging someone is never a waste of time. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I think it is the best gift you can give someone. You don't even have to know then that well to just say, "hey, you know that thing you did? You really did a great job!" or "You got this!" It really can make someones day.
So yes, my sweet friend encouraged me and spoke to me from her experience of moving from one country to another and feeling, well, just a little lost. I am in transition right now. It is hard. It's kind of like a junk - I am not unhappy or ungrateful, just stuck in a little junk. I am still technically in The Netherlands, but I am not at University. This time next week I shall be England before I head out to the US at the end of July. The next couple of months are a transition.

If you are a regular here at Me+Life+Coffee you will already know that I am English, but I have lived in three different countries in the past three years.
Life have gone like this: US for 7 months, England for 4 months, US for 9 months, England for 12 months, the Netherlands for 9 months. For the past 9 months I have been studying at an International University where I have met many people who have lived their entire lives like this. I therefore know that my experience of moving and changing and moving and changing is not that wild or crazy in comparison.
When people ask me to describe culture shock, the only word that comes close to truly describing it is "awkward". There have been times in the US, England and The Netherlands when I have just felt down right awkward - unsure of what to say, how to act or what to expect in certain situations. Even moving back to England after stints of living in the US brought on some kind of culture chock! It was a culture shock to find that I could rent movies from a touch screen vending machine in the US and that everyone other me in the line at Walmart is quite obviously armed and dangerous. It was a shock in The Netherlands to find that coffee shops are not in fact places you go for coffee but rather where you go to smoke a joint. It was also strange to find that in my little Dutch town, stores tend to not open until noon on a Monday and shut early on a Thursday and only open one Sunday in a kinda have to schedule your shopping trips! No midnight runs to Albertsons or Tesco's for Ben&Jerrys.
Yes it has been awkward. It continues to be awkward, and as I endure yet another transition phase, the awkwardness is mounting.

So, as my Yogi Tea told me this morning, all I can do is learn to be myself in the season that I am in. That is all I can do and hopefully that will be enough.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Struggles of Late

Lately, my heart has been in a place of great uncertainty. Half is breaking for leaving my Dutch home and half is extremely excited for the season ahead in the US. There is so much about this next season of my life that makes me restless; starting a new University, transferring credits, making new friends, new learning environment, moving back in with the family (!!!) .... and then there is the insane Boise weather to get use to again. By the time I touch down on US soil at the end of July it will have been two years since I lived there. I do so hope that it feels like home again. I hope that I am indeed going home. 
Today I am thankful for rest. It has been a long and hard semester and this morning was the first time in a long time that I had no alarm set. And the sun has been out all day. Perfect. 
Here are some snaps of late. Happy Monday!! Hope this week is a good one for y'all!

Goodbye University

Sandwiches in the Sunshine with Friends

Saying Goodbyes over High Tea

Best Cappuccino in Town can be found here - K'Dooor, Middelburg

Wine Store

This was the last group study session of the semester :)

Sunday, 20 May 2012

This Week According to Instagram

This week has been filled with many happy moments and sad moments. This week I finished my second semester of University - happy moment - and this week I left my little Dutch town that has been my home since the fall - sad moment. These past two semesters have been filled with precious memories, wonderful friendships, a whole host of laughs and a lot of fun nights. I can honestly say that I am going to miss my University town and Dutchie friends!! Saying goodbye to people that I love is one of my least favourite things to do....cue the tears. I am looking forward to moving back to the US, but the Netherlands shall always have a place in my heart and I know that I am leaving having gained new friendships that will last a life time.

Last few visits to Dutch Starbucks / Going to miss this American coffee-drinking friend SO much!

My sweet Dutch town / Tulip Fields

End of Semester Celebrations!

Hillsong Amsterdam / Starbucks loving

Saying goodbyes over coffee....sad times / Chocolate Store

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

for the love of a bicycle

Since arriving here in the Netherlands I have been having a love affair with riding bicycles around my pretty little town. It is my all time favourite thing to do. I love cycling to class each morning and I love cycling to the beach and I love cycling to dinner dates and I love cycling for get the picture that I love cycling places. It's the simple things that make me happy.
Bicycles - I shall miss you. I had to sell my bicycle the other day, since I am leaving and all and since I don't think a bicycle counts as carry-on luggage when flying across the Atlantic.
It broke my heart but it had to be done.
Here are some snaps to demonstrate the love that the Dutch and I share for these two wheel beauties.

Oh...and by the first year of University is officially over. Amen to that!!


My beautiful retro peugeot that I recently sold. Awesome I know.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

This Week According to Instagram

Hey everyone, I hope that your weekend has been good and hasn't passed you by WAY to quickly like it has me. I am about to enter into my final week here at University in the Netherlands....this is making me incredibly sad at the moment. I am excited for the next chapter, but this season here in Middelburg has been so rich - I shall treasure it forever. Here are my snaps from the week.
(On a side-note, Instagram app is playing up these snaps are actually not in Instagram....I lied)
Happy end-of-the-weekend-but-beginning-of-a-new-week-of-adventures!

Spring has arrived / THE cutest Dutch house

Crostini's - best sandwiches in town / Old TOMS

Obama made the front page / TOMS get-together

Riding on bicycles - love this / Addiction

His n Hers bicycles / Packing these bad boy records! Not leaving them behind!

Saturday, 12 May 2012

My Life.

Pinterest is right up there on my list of most destructive distractions from studying. I just recommended Pinterest to a University friend with the command, "But DO NOT join until finals are over!". This week is busy and lacking with sleep. The busy is a result of studying and socialising (not gonna lie) - but it is because I only have one more week here at Univeristy! This is actually making me really sad. So, sorry for being a bad blogger this week - I shall be back with you soon. As for me...back to the beginning of this post...Pinterest. I came across this photo the other day and labelled it "Story of my Life". Pretty much how I feel as I wander through University and try to figure out what my heart is for, what I think about things, and what I want to invest my energy and happiness in.....some heavey things to try and figure out.
Story of my Life.

VIA / Follow me on Pinterest over HERE

Tuesday, 8 May 2012


On Sunday the sun was shining, the air was fresh and I had had enough of studying. After realising that I don't have long here in my pretty little town,  I grabbed my faithful point-and-shoot and  took a bicycle ride. This really is my all time favourite thing about living here in the Netherlands - simply cycling down the quiet cobbled side streets. As Spring arrives the flowers are blooming, cats are lounging in the sun rays and the birds are singing. I love this time of year. I love this pretty little town. I will miss it a lot when the semester is over and I return to England and then move to the US. Here are some snaps of my Sunday date with my bicycle and camera.