Countries of genuine and happy smiles

From November 11th until December 18th I was travelling through Vietnam & Cambodia. My first time travelling outside of Europe… by myself. 

Most people in Europe would consider the people in these countries poor. Well, yes… I agree, if you only look at the money side of things, which us capitalist usually tend to do. But if you look past that, I actually think these people are richer than we are. They work there buts of for barely anything, they live in a tiny hut in the mountains and don’t own much stuff yet their smiles are among the happiest and most genuine smiles I have ever seen. They would happily invite a stranger into their home for dinner and share whatever it is they have with you. Something I think we should learn from. Let’s be more inviting, help out a stranger, smile without apparent reason. Just do it. 

New year, new (old) website

And with the blink of an eye, 2016 has turned into 2017. 

The past year, actually… the past couple of years, have been quite though with some necessary setbacks. I muscled through, but I definitely could not have done it with some of the most amazing people I know and I am incredibely grateful that, after all that has happened… they never left my side. No matter how much I pushed them away or how broken I was. 

After a though start in 2016, they again never left my side and together we were able to turn it around and make it an incredible year. A year I am happy to look back to: I graduated from Leiden University with a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences and I was one of the thirty students accepted into the Master’s program Science and Business Management at Utrecht University. I cried, I laughed and I danced my ass off. I traveled outside of Europe, by myself, for the first time this year and met some great people who definitely left some footprints. Learned new things about the world, about the people around me and about myself… Which all have given me so much hope, strength, joy and new found confidence in myself. 

With the crazy bunch of people I have gathered around me, I am sure that no matter what: we will make it through and 2017 will be a great year too! I sure cannot wait for what this year has to bring!