It’s hard to say ‘goodbye’ to Leeuwarden

Before introducing myself I guess I should admit that how I’m afraid of post-exchange depression. I’m twenty-two years old Turkish girl from Istanbul who is on her exchange year in Leeuwarden. I already spend most of my exchange year while writing this article so it might sound bit funny and emotional at the same time. Because nowadays this idea of leaving Leeuwarden so soon is keeping me busy on mind.

By: Iremnaz Demir

I always thought that some cities are special and have their own vibe, but never thought that I’ll have this kind of connection with Leeuwarden. Believe me you can not imagine what’s going on between me and my inner voice. Every street that I’m cycling through I’m saying goodbye from inside. Well, sometimes even giving promises to things that I love about Leeuwarden that I’ll be back. ”Tragicomic” could be the only word which can explain my situation.

Helpful people
I’m sure that you already started thinking about what makes Leeuwarden this special and hard to say goodbye? Do you belong to those people who think that ‘what makes a place so special is the people living in’? Because I am exactly one of those people who thinks like this. In Leeuwarden you don’t need as much as time I had here to discover this fact, how nice and helpful people are here. But if I need to tell my own experience and my own story about that I would start from the very first beginning when I arrived here with no place to stay.

A bit adventurous
I can define myself a bit adventurous. I always see life as something you need to welcome what is happening and enjoy from it. Especially if you’re preparing to leave your country to study in another country for a year, that is a perfect opportunity to see this side of life more. Yes, I told you that I’m bit adventurous which means I like to go through things I never been through. However it still doesn’t mean I’m a kind of girl who can travel without knowing where to sleep at night.

Please try to put yourself in the same situation as me. First time you’re going to another country without your parents with two big luggage, to a city that you heard the name only few months ago. Just few months ago you didn’t even know the name of that city you’re going to live for a year, and you’re taking the flight but don’t know where to arrive. Can you still count yourself as ”arrivals” on airport without knowing where you will arrive? On that point if I knew how welcoming Frisian people are I wouldn’t feel any worries. But still I don’t know what I would do without lovely, helpful Leeuwarden people.

Thoughtful behavior
I stayed two or three nights in a hotel room. A Dutch girl which I met at hotel, she was working in the front desk of the hotel, invited me to stay with her for few days till I find a room for myself.

This thoughtful behavior of her is something that I will appreciate till I am 80. Best part was this –  it was my first few days in Leeuwarden but I was already started to have fun and make friends. I was already sure that it will be a city to remember. To sum up, so happy about my decision to do my exchange in Leeuwarden, and always going to remember those days with a big smile on my face!