Today we woke up very early and took the bus down to the airport where we said goodbye to Rosanne and other people in the group who were going off to other countries in Europe. I was next to the window with one empty seat next to me so I was able to sprawl out on the two seats and watch some movies. I did want to go home to be in the comfort of my own bed and see my pets, but I was not ready to leave the Netherlands so soon. Each day of got better than the one before. I kept thinking “wow, today was the best day of the trip, nothing could beat today” and yet each day kept getting better and better. I noticed so many similarities and differences being the Netherlands and the USA (or New Jersey more specifically). I noticed the only fast food places were McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, and Subway. I also noticed that they do not put much ice in their drinks, there are graphic photos on cigarette boxes, there is not much water in the toilet, most people walk or ride a bike and to those that did drive a car those were smaller (rather than a van or truck), there is more standing rather than sitting when people are at work (such at standing on trolleys at the flower auction, rather than people riding around in a golf cart), there are translations on the menus, no gates at the farms so the animals can roam free, and they are not so cautious (not wearing helmets, no signs that state the obvious, the farmers were okay with us petting the animals).
As I look back on my experience during this trip, I am so thankful and grateful. I would not have these experiences if I went with my family as a tourist because I would be going to the touristy places and I would be seeing museums and going on tours. But with this trip, I got to practice my leadership skills and was with a company that had all these great agricultural connections that I was able to see that normally I would not be able to go into the US Embassy or someone’s farm. I am so happy that I saw Dr. Plumley’s email about an opportunity for SEBS students to go on this trip. Thank you Dr. Plumley for allowing me to go on this trip and for all your hard work organizing this trip. Thank you to all the chaperones for making sure we were all okay. Thank you Rosanne and Victor for guiding us and allowing us at all these wonderful places. Thank you SEBS Summer Study Aboard for allowing me to share my story. Thank you Angela Bublitz for answering all of my questions. Thank you mom and dad for letting me go on this trip and experience a new culture. Thank you to all the friends I made during this trip, you all gave me so many memories and stories that will last a lifetime.