This year was so lifechanging and busy that I felt like writing about it and sharing some insights and thoughts. I hope you don’t mind reading an article not completely food nor travel-related. Last year’s 2017 summary got some positive feedback, so I hope you’ll enjoy this one as well!
To be honest, I can’t realize that 2018 is about to end, I still have the feeling that it just started. 2018 marks the end of my student life and the beginning of my adult life, with all its responsibilities.
In January 2018, I finished my first thesis and attended my last class after 6 years of studies. I remember being very impatient and excited about it. I knew I was about to move out from Brussels, the city I lived in for 6 years and to “start something new”, in another country. The end of 2017 was pretty busy with academic stuff, and I couldn’t wait for this new experience. I’m pretty much impatient, but this time I was like reaching a point where I needed change. I can’t really explain how and why, but I remember feeling the same after finishing high school and living in Warsaw for 16 years.
February marks my birthday but in 2018, it also marked my move to Amsterdam. I did not expect to end up in Amsterdam. To be honest, at first, I had high hopes of doing my internship in the US or Canada, but I ended up in Amsterdam, which I’m more than happy about. This year, I also realized how time flies and that 6 years passed since I turned 18. I always tend to compare my actual age with my 18th birthday because I was so impatient to turn 18 and now I can’t believe it’s been 6 years already (7 in one month to be precise). Anyways, on the 5th of February, I started working as a PR assistant for J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam, and it’s like my new adult life really started on that day. Working at JWT was my first real professional experience, and I had the chance to work with amazing and talented people that taught me so much. It was not easy to adapt to this new culture and the new language, but I managed to do so.
In March and April, nothing special happened. I just remember wanting to cut my hair. I let my hair grow very long for two years, and I felt like I needed a change. Coco Chanel once said: “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” In my case, I first changed my life before cutting my hair, but it’s just a detail. I started a “new life” in Amsterdam, and I was feeling more than happy even though it took me some time to find my way in this new place.
In May, I started travelling again which is the thing that makes me the happier. First, I spent 4 days in Lyon, South of France. I don’t usually go to France even though I only visited a small part of the country (the North in particular), but I really enjoyed this long weekend, and I had amazing food thanks to a local friend. The week after, I went to Efteling, which is one of the biggest attraction parks in the Netherlands. You cannot live in Holland and not spend a day in Efteling haha. It was fun but it’s pretty much children oriented compared to Universal Studios for example (I know, you can’t compare Efteling to Universal, but still). At last, I enjoyed three days in my hometown, Warsaw. It’s funny because I was so impatient to leave this city when I turned 18 and now, every time I go back, I feel like it’s not enough.
June wasn’t really exciting as I was closing another chapter of my life: my student life. It ended in January, but I still had to write my personal thesis to put an official end to it. It took me around a month to finish it, and I learned a lot from writing it. I didn’t enjoy the beautiful sunny weather in Amsterdam in June, but I was the happiest when I handed it over in the first week of July.
I don’t really feel like I enjoyed the summer this year. Let me explain: I agreed to do my internship for 6 months instead of three. When I look back, I’m very happy about it as I learned twice as much as my friends from school. But in my last month at JWT, I wasn’t given many responsibilities anymore as they knew I was leaving soon. This way, July marked the end of my trainee life in Amsterdam, and my come back to Brussels. But this time, it wasn’t the same as I knew deep down I would be back soon. I didn’t have a job, nor specific plans but I would do anything to be back. During my stay in Amsterdam, I convinced my boyfriend to start something new in the Dutch capital, and I was very happy when he agreed and we were both going in the same direction.
In August, I was back in Brussels with no specific plans, no job contract and no money. I was desperately waiting for September to arrive as I had planned a trip to Asia (Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea). In the meanwhile, my boyfriend surprised me with a 3-day trip to London, and for the rest of the month, I worked as a student to make some money #nothingexciting.
As said before, September was very much expected. First, I presented my thesis in front of my school jury and ended up with a very high score, which I was very proud of! Then, I signed my first working contract at MediaMonks, and I spent one week in Amsterdam meeting my new colleagues. And then, on the 15th of September, I was supposed to fly to Hong Kong and start my first (and last) vacations of the year. But it didn’t happen (lol). My big trip to Japan was 3-days delayed by this huge typhoon that passed by Hong Kong and I basically never landed there but directly in Japan. I was the most disappointed person ever, but I was happy to be safe and felt very sorry for the people in Hong Kong hit by the typhoon.
And while I thought that was it, another typhoon was heading to Osaka while we were there and because of that, the weather was rainy/cloudy in the whole country. I expected this trip to be relaxing before starting my life as a working girl in Amsterdam, but it ended up being a lot about worrying about the second typhoon. I still keep an amazing souvenir from Japan and Seoul, and I want to go back one day. In Japan, I saw amazing landscapes, met great people and had great food (more about that very soon) but the only thing that ruined it was the shitty weather.
At the beginning of this article, I said that 2018 marked the beginning of my adult life with all its responsibilities. And this officially started in October. On the 4th of October, I was back from Seoul after three weeks in Asia and on the next day, my mom drove me to Amsterdam and helped me to move in my first apartment. It sounds crazy to say, but on the 5th of October, I moved in with my boyfriend (a big step in a relationship) to a place that was ours, and only ours. It feels great until you pay the first rent :p (just kidding, it’s still great!)
In November, nothing special happened. I went to Brussels to officially get my end of studies diploma but to be honest, presenting my thesis in front of my school jury was more of a deal than just receiving a piece of paper in an auditorium. November was also marked by my first video on Youtube. I created my Youtube channel a year and a half ago, but I was never happy with the video content I had. As said earlier, the weather was pretty bad in Japan, especially when we were in Okinawa, so we decided to film a Japanese sweet tasting in our hotel room while waiting for the storm to go away. I had so much fun and decided to publish it online, and it actually got more attention than I expected. This Youtube channel is also a way for me to escape from my daily working routine and to be able to create more creative content.
December was marked by my nephew’s first birthday and first steps. He doesn’t walk yet but he’s close, and I couldn’t be more proud of him. I still remember the day he was born like it was yesterday and I love him so much.
To summarize this year, I would say it was definitely not relaxing, but I learned so much from life and in general. I feel like a grown up with a child’s mind that still dreams about so many things. Next year will be marked by a week-trip to Mexico, just to relax and enjoy some quality time with my love. In February, I’m also moving to another place in Amsterdam, and I can’t wait to find my dream apartment (fingers crossed). What will happen next? I have no idea, but I’m curious to see what life has prepared for me! Cheers x