Hello! My name’s Elena and I will be your storyteller for this semester or maybe longer. Imagine my voice as a husky, sexy, suave voice that lulls you to sleep but not in a boring way, a french accent, with a little bit of English and a tiny bit of Japanese to keep it exotic. Yeah that’s not me, but it sounds cool.
I will be in Rotterdam, Holland for a semester, so my first thought was, why not create a blog to document everything I do and see? Who knows who might find it useful, maybe I’m even gonna help someone make the decision of their live to move here. Plus I like writing, so I finally have an excuse to do it all the time. Am I right!?
Ending point is, this blog will be a sort of diary / guide on all there is to do and see here, through the eyes of a skint and happy student. Head over to my first post to know a bit more on what this is all about, or don’t. I don’t mind.
I went on my first trip on my own aged 14, setting off to the USA and more specifically to New York. I have mentioned this already in a couple of posts so you might have heard about it. Or not. Ever since I was little, I was obsessed with the USA, which led me to try and learn English as well as I could so that I could hopefully one day move there. That’s the reason why, as soon as I was legally allowed to travel on my own, my first destination was New York and my parents didn’t even try to stop me. They knew and I knew that it was my dream and I would be devastated if I couldn’t go.
Even before then, I had been used to go on two-week study holidays with other kids from all over Italy, which allowed me to meet new people, make friends from other places and also obtain the valuable skills of easily adapting to new places as well as getting used to not seeing my family for short whiles. This proved useful as I embarked on my trip and I’m sure influenced my growing passion for traveling as I got older.
Personally, I’ve always been very shy on asking my parents for money. They’re the kind of parents who will give you literally anything you need, which is actually what urged me to try and ask for as little as possible. Be independent, you know? So every year I would ask for barely anything because my big wish would be to be able to go somewhere. Summer was the time where I could visit new places and each year I would patiently wait for it and for my new trip.
As I moved to Scotland, with the new life came new expenses which I wasn’t used to, which meant my ability to travel was not as good. As I was still shy with my English, I couldn’t even get a job at first, which meant I could only rely on my parents’ money, which I hated. Even then though, the idea of opening an online platform where I could talk about the experience sparked in my head. I have always liked to write, ever since I was a little kid: I remember I used to beg my sister to teach me how to write when I still couldn’t and, as soon as I learned, I would constantly make up stories and spend hours working on them. My mum used to buy me tons of books, both in Italian and in English, which I read and re-read until I knew them by heart. I devoured literature in a way which even led my parents to sometimes take away my books if I didn’t tidy up my room. Can you imagine the struggle?
So this idea always floated in my head but I never really did anything for the following two years, not until I moved to the Netherlands at least. In my first two years in Aberdeen, my passion for reading and writing somehow subsided, probably because of the overwhelming change and all the new things I was discovering. It was actually sad and depressing but for some reason I couldn’t get back to it. Going to Rotterdam changed this: perhaps the city, the way of living or the places gave me my passion back. I started writing again, way more than I’d ever done before, and I decided to actually venture out here and open this blog to share my thoughts. It was a big step because I’d had blogs in the past, but they’d all ended up empty and un-used. So this was a big challenge for myself, to actually commit to the blog and share as much stuff as I could.
As of now, I’m quite proud of myself and the direction this blog as taken. I hope you will enjoy reading my post and that you will hopefully relate to the things I talk about. Either way, sincere thanks for being here!