Dear Saar & Teg,

As I’m running out of Narcos & Nashville episodes while STILL trying to procrastinate studying for my upcoming midterms, it slipped my mind that I promised to write a little something for your blog.

So, here goes nothing.

For everyone that does not know me from posts previously published on this blog, my name is Dien and I am a ‘’study buddy’’ (how cute is that?) of both Tegla and Saar. As you might know by now, Teg is celebrating life in Exeter (girl YES) and I decided to do just that and more in the capital of Canada, which is the beautiful city of Ottawa.


Whereas Tegla has gone to a completely new city, I had already been to Ottawa and the city immediately felt like home to me.

This feeling of home actually made me wonder how it is possible that I feel at home almost everywhere I go. As soon as I moved out of my parent’s home to go live in Rotterdam, I felt like I was the princess of my new and very own castle. Also, I am beyond proud to be a ‘’Rotterdammert’’ (it says so on my passport and ID anyways!!). However, when I moved to Amsterdam to intern at a public relations agency, I felt like I belonged in Amsterdam all along. Messes with your head, aye.

Now, this recent move to Canada has also made me feel as if I should have been born here 20 years ago. It might be the fact that I am so lucky to have the best roommates ever; Roxane from Switzerland, Julia from Spain & ma homie Quinta from Amsterdam, or it might have to do with the fact that I have family here with whom I spend my holidays and who will always be there to help me out if something goes wrong (shout out to you daddy cool! Hofstra P).

But, apart from all that, the Canadian mentality just seems to entirely click with mine.


Even though I am trying not to think about it, I am more and more starting to wonder how my sense of home will develop and/or change once I get back to the Netherlands. Canada has already been so good to me the past two months and is treating me even better every day. What if I start to miss it terribly?


I have already done things I never thought I would do, such as a bungee jump that was WAY TOO high, and partying the night before my first two midterm exams (should I be proud of that? Hmm). In January, I will even be getting a tattoo (I kid you not) and I will be travelling to Vancouver, Banff, Calgary and Reykjavik on my own. If you would have told me that I would be doing all this three months ago, I would have laughed straight to your face and denied it ALL the way. However, I am determined to make this exchange the best time of my life, so at the end of this month I will also be heading to Boston for 4 days which will be followed up by a weeklong trip to NYC in November.


As you can probably guess by now, I can only tell you girls how great of a time I am having at the other side of the ocean and I hope you two are doing just as great over in Exeter and Rotterdam.

Sending you all my love from Ottawa,


P.S. I’ll be back in the Netherlands on the 19th of January so make sure you and your Nutella are prepared Saar!



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