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2015 blessings

Happy New Year everyone!

This post is going up at exactly 0.00 Central European Time, which means that when you read this it is the new year in my timezone and hopefully in your timezone as well and if it's not then I hope you enjoy your last few hours of 2015.

At the beginning of 2015 I thought nothing could top 2014. After the amazing year I had in 2014, I thought for sure things would go wrong in 2015. But 2015 has proven me wrong. It has been a fabulous year and I have been very lucky.

This year has marked the beginning of this blog, back in March. I had a blog before this one, Rainy London, but I wasn't satisfied with it anymore and wanted to start completely over. I have to be honest though, it has been quite difficult for me to blog consistently over the past year. Whenever I've been busy with uni work or just general life stuff, I have been known to let this blog slip. I'm actually quite sad about that, because so many happy memories are left uncaptured. They will be forever in my heart however. Because I've been on some awesome adventures in the past year that haven't been documented properly on here, I thought I would share a few of them in this post.

Obviously I have had some low points during the past year along with the highlights, where I haven't felt confident and lonely at times. But you should always count your blessings and the bad things will last shorter than the memories of the good things. Overall it has been a good year for me.

I do want to also address that even though it has been a good year for me, a lot of bad things have happened in the world that I think have all touched us very close to our hearts. In this light I'm thinking about the refugee crisis that the EU has had to deal with and the attacks on Paris. I really hope that 2016 will be a better year, where we can all respect each other and live peacefully.

Ok I've rambled more than enough now. Here are my highlights and blessings from 2015:

The many adventures I've been on
This year has definitely been about traveling. My travels started in February when I visited London for a few days with my best friend. We had a wander around Tate Modern, had a gigantic pizza at Homeslice and had a little look around Borough Market. I was also lucky enough to visit Saint Petersburg in April. It was one of the most special trips I've been on. We went on an exchange and we got to stay at the homes of local people and some Russian students showed us the city. It was all really special, especially since the culture is totally different from Europe. I would really like to go into more detail, but I suppose that is better saved for another time. I also went interrailing over the summer and visited North-West Engeland just before that as part of my major program. Last but not least I also spent Christmas abroad, skiing in Austria.

Visiting Saint Petersburg
Like I said before, this is one of the most special trips I've been on in my life. I loved that I got to see the city from a local perspective and got to know the Russian culture a bit more. Apart from visiting the many highlights that the city of Saint Petersburg has to offer, we also spent a few days in the countryside. That was an experience in itself. I didn't think the countryside would be so poor, but it was. The roads had holes in them and the houses were very shabby with fences around them. Everyone there had German Shepherds to protect their houses as well. But even if they were poor, they were still so generous and put up with having 14 people over for a sleepover and also gave us tons of food. Even if Russia sometimes gave me chills (it is hardly allowed to talk about politics at all and the language is something of it's own. Also police officers and military there are SCARY!) the people there were one of the nicest I have ever met.

Interrailing across Europe over the summer
Another trip that will always have a special place in my heart is the trip where me and my friend spent two weeks in July traveling across Europe. I actually shared most of that trip on here. You can read about it in this postherehere and here. In consecutive order we visited Heidelberg, Basel, Lugano, Como, Genoa, Cinque Terre, Lago di Ledro, Venice, Trieste, Vienna, Budapest and lastly Prague.

Moving into my own studio
I was hoping I might move to student housing this year and leave my parents home, but I never expected I would get a small studio in Utrecht. It is honestly a dream come true. I live 5 minutes away from my lectures and about 15 minutes away from the city centre. It is less expensive then a room and I get to have my own kitchen and bathroom. Obviously it gets lonely sometimes, I live completely on my own now, while so many others have roommates, but the freedom you have makes it worth it.

Growing amazing friendships
I have been so lucky to have met the most amazing friends this year. They honestly feel like they are becoming my best friends. It is so nice to be able to call them for advice and have them over for a catch up. It is nice to know that you can share everything with other girls and feel like you belong.

Doing really well in my studies

I can't even describe how much I surprised myself by how well I've been doing. I know for 100% that I have chosen the right course for me and I couldn't be more happy. I'm currently studying human geography and planning if you didn't know and absolutely loving it.

Feeling more confident in myself
I'm kind of embarrassed to say this as a twenty year old, but 2015 was the year I had my first kiss. It made me feel so much more confident. I have always secretly thought that there was something wrong with me, but it feels so much better now. I know one kiss shouldn't matter that much, but to be honest it kinda does to me.
And then two months later or so my best friend got herself a boyfriend. I was so happy for her, but also quite jealous for a while. I wanted to be desirable too you know. I have been thinking about starting up an online dating profile, but then I realized that I was perfectly happy with the way things were. Single life isn't as bad as you think. I don't need to have a guy to make me happy right now.

These are the highlights of my year, but besides that there were of course also a few small things that have made me happy and probably always will. These are blessings I will always count no matter what:

Being with family
Seeing the Theory of Everything in the cinema
Watching The Great British Bake Off
Spending time on the sofa with a good book and some tea
Chatting with your best friends and having a good laugh
Having said best friends coming over for dinner in your own apartment
A bite of your favourite chocolate
Encouraging discussions with your fellow students
Having professors believe in your abilities
And finally going back to your parents house over the weekend to enjoy all the home comforts you have missed during the week

I hope 2015 was wonderful for you and 2016 will be even better.

Once more, A very happy new year!

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