15 Dec 2017

# blog # blogger

KB Abroad: A Winter Roundup

I’m sitting on the train, listening to ‘Driving Home for Christmas’, which I suspect most of us on our year abroad are doing as we begin our journey home. What a term. I can hardly believe that I’ve completed four months of my year abroad. The last two weeks have been an absolute slog – last week was a project week on modern music (in which I sang in 6 concerts!) and this week was more of a mental slog as I have just been so focused on getting back home. It really affected my practice and concentration, which made it even more frustrating! But now I am on the way to the airport with three weeks of home time ahead of me, which begins tonight with watching my cousin perform with her drama group. I'm really hoping it'll be a Love Actually lobster costumes vibe, but I think that might be asking too much...

All I can really think about right now are mince pies, which is making writing a blog post quite difficult. However, I feel much more aware of what is a typical British Christmas because having shared with Dutch, Swedes, Spaniards and Latvians what constitutes a Christmas dinner, needless to say they are all extremely different! Strangely enough I feel somewhat proud of our Christmas day traditions and this year I think I am more excited than ever to sit around the table with my family and eat my bodyweight in food.  

There’s something that speaks to me a little bit more than usual when listening to ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ today. Although it’s always been a great Christmas anthem conjuring up images of Smithy in his Volvo singing his heart out to it, home feels a lot stronger this year. This will be the longest stretch of time I’ve been away from home and while there’s a lot of the Dutch lifestyle that I love, I actually miss the UK a bit! (despite the state of its politics...)Absence makes the heart grow fonder after all. I was a little bit nervous as ‘home’ in Bristol hasn’t been home for very long but actually I know that wherever my dogs are is home… oh and my family. It’s probably much like the Boomerang post that I wrote back in April. I’ve been out spreading my wings for the last few months and learning a hell of a lot about myself and my capabilities, but I’m also 100% ready for some down time and to recharge a little bit in order to keep up the same momentum.

Looking back over the last few months, it has certainly been a roller coaster. I feel like I have been through almost every emotion on the spectrum… and I still have six months to go! It’s tough to juggle university, homesickness, socialising, a long distance relationship, practising and learning the language (at least attempting to..) all at once, so sometimes it does seem quite overwhelming. However, those days where these things all go well and I feel happy and proud of myself are making this year absolutely worth it.

Lots of christmas love, 


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