My road to happiness.
Hey! For the next upcoming weeks, I will be sharing my story. How I end up in Amsterdam, how I made my decision to study Tourism Management and what made me to be a person today. It has been pretty fun and crazy ride. My favorite part of the journey was my American Dream and I am so excited to get back to memory lane to tell you all about this. I hope you will enjoy!
Firstly, let me introduce myself. My name is Luize and I am 25 years old, but honestly, I feel much younger. Borne and raised in Latvia. Probably you`re wondering where is that! Well…you know country called Latvia? One of the three Baltic countries? It is in the middle, between Estonia and Lithuania. From size — nothing impressive, a small country with an estimated population of less than 2 million. A small number, but you know, it`s quite impressive from inside. You would be surprised! And, yes! We do have our own language — Latvian. But don`t worry, most of the people can speak English…so you should visit. Just a small suggestion — it better to come during the summer season. It`s so beautiful and full of activities.
Anyway, I left when I was 18 for ``a better life``. Don`t get me wrong, I love my country and I am proud to be Latvian. It is just a pity that up till today it`s a circus in our government system. Full of oligarchs, corruptions, and still facing an economic crisis. I love to go back to visit my family and friends, but I am not sure if I want to move back, because of the life quality I am having now, here in Amsterdam.
After I finished my MBO, I decided to go to London, work and save some money. Alone! I did not know anyone. Of course, I was scared but at the same time with full of excitement. My first real journey away from home. I remember my first day in London so clearly. I stayed in a hostel near Earl`s Court station. I just dropped my one bag of belongings and went out to look for a job and a proper place to stay. It was not easy, but I think I got lucky. Through the room rent website I found a place to live within two weeks. Ah…that feeling when you can unpack your stuff and know that this is your new home. I was so happy! Maybe because with people I was with. It was a two story house with four bedrooms in a nice neighborhood close to the center. My roommates were around my age and from countries worldwide. All of us were here to work and have fun. In the same week, I also found the job in the restaurant close to my house and from there my new life started. My roommates and I became as one close family. Working hard, partying, cooking together and other fun stuff. Good things happened! I was happy there, but from the beginning I felt that England is not the place where I would settle for my life. Hard to explain why, but there was something not for me.
After a year, the landlord asked us to move out. Some of my friends went back to their home countries, some stayed or went somewhere else. It was a very sad moment, but we all knew that at some point we would split up and find our way to move on. I felt that London was full of people who come and go. From that moment, I moved a lot in London and the living and working was not the same. Funny, how the place and people you lived with could change things and give a such an impact.
After a few years, my friend offered to work in Iceland for 10 months. I was so ready to move on, but in Iceland? Besides good money what can I do in the middle of coldness and nowhere. Honestly, I even needed to look up in the map where is it. I was really doubting, but I choose to go.
Thank you for the decision I made!
I was living with a lovely Icelandic family and working for them. Around one and a half hour from capital city Reykjavik I was living in a small city called Reykholt. We could still debate if it`s a city or village. I thought it was a driving through place with a couple of houses and one small gas station (plus the only shop in this area), but not for them. This place`s population was 56 people. Quite impressive! Thankfully, across to my new home was a big hotel so I got to see more people faces every day.
My work was helping to take care of tomato plants in the greenhouses. In total, they had three of them. Shall I mention that I do not eat tomatoes and nothing what`s been made from them? As far as I don`t need to eat them I don`t mind to pack them and take care of plants. Together we were three girls. Every year the owner chooses a worker from Scandinavian countries because of the working agency he is partners with. For us it was a good job. For the first time, I receive my biggest salary. The rent and food was already included so it was perfect. In 10 months, I saved a lot, but honestly it was not only about the money. It was experience! The family was super nice and helpful, the girls I worked with, including my closest friend from Latvia, were very friendly. Sometimes after work we used to go the hotel where we met other season workers from other countries, to hang out with them. Play some pool, drink a beer, and have a good time. Additionally, for a relax time alone, we could go to the outside pool next to our house. This place was my favorite every single day. The pool was filled with natural hot spring water. From one pipe the water came in, from other side it went out, so it was cleaning constantly. Around 40 degrees hot, hammock in the middle and you just lay there with skies full of stars. Mmm, bring me back!
Oh by the way, did you know that during the summer they have 24/7-day light? Yes, it`s true. For about two months the sun does not go down. At the beginning, it was quite hard to fell asleep. My mind thought that it was still early for the bed time, but then I shut down my curtains and tried to forget about it. Was really cool to experience that. Also, the northern lights. Wow, can`t describe in words how magical it feels. During the winter, at night time, when temperature reaches below two degrees you might get lucky to see some dancing green lights. I got the opportunity to see many times. I would show some picture from my personal archives, but interesting, that with no professional camera you can`t see it. I tried to take the pictures many times, but you just can`t see. Therefore, you must enjoy that moment with your own eyes at least once in your lifetime.
What else to do in Iceland?
On weekends, we went to Reykjavik or other times we decided to go hiking. It was a lot to explore in Iceland. Such a beautiful country and so different from others I have seen. Have you heard about the Blue lagoon? Oh…wow. Truly magical place to be. The blue spa is located in a lava field in Grindavík, less than an hour drive from Reykjavik. Naturally warm blue water with a soft clay underneath. By the way, the same clay you can use as a face mask. If you are in Iceland, you must to come here. Relaxed time guaranteed!
Another great place to see is Golden Circle, Ice caves in Vatnajökull, boat tours in Jökulsárlón, but glaciers, hot spring water steam and waterfalls you will see on your way. I could go on and on, but you must see with your own eyes. This country is truly one of the kind!