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Greetings from the Caribbean

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Hi y’all!

Long time no see, as per usual. Well, here I still am! The same girl on the other side of the screen. Only now my title has changed (I’m now instead of a starting medical student finally officially Bachelor of Medicine!) and so has my location. And well, quite a few other things too but we’ll get to that!

So what’s happened since the last updates?

  • There was Christmas holiday in Finland
  • Then there was a quarantine and yet another quarantine
  • Visited Salzburg & Innsbruck in Austria
  • Graduated from the Honours Programme
  • Short easter trip to Finland
  • Celebrated King’s Day and said hi to the Dutch King himself
  • Made a day trip with friends to Rotterdam and S’ Hertogenbosch
  • Hosted friends from Finland who were finally able to visit
  • Food truck festival, birthday dinners and parties, High teas, local music festivals, combined birthday parties
  • Said bye to some housemates and hi to some new ones and then bye again
  • Graduated from Bachelor of Medicine
  • Completed my Dutch language requirements needed to start my Masters of Medicine at Maastricht University (in Dutch!)
  • Completed a rather long round of therapy, that I will still return to to make sure what I’ve learned will stay with me
  • Short summer trip (while still studying for a resit) to Finland
  • Took a gap from my studies until late March 2023
  • Packed my things and took off to Aruba to volunteer at a dog resort


And here we are! Currently laying in bed, under a mosquito net with the fan whirring to aid me to sleep in this 30C heat, with one of the resort dogs as my temporary housemates due to the resort being particularly full (not that I complain!). It’s been a very busy year, and I came here to take a break from everything while also trying to practice some Dutch before starting my masters later in that said language. Thankfully there’s still some time til that eh!

As always, I’ve really missed writing, and being on this paradise island is not only about being surrounded by dogs but getting in touch with other things that I so enjoy, so this time I will promise (mostly to myself) to write more often. I can’t wait to tell you about my experience in Aruba so far! Right now though I shall get some sleep, as we have a early morning before cleaning the kennels. Ayo!




Pumpkin spice and all things nice

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Hey there! How are you doing?

As usual, it’s been a while again. It feels like it’s been even longer. So much has happened, I’ve been doing so much, and my mind has been doing even more. I’ve had another downhill recently, but I’m slowly crawling up again. And also this time I feel like I’m doing a little better with my crawling – maybe I’ll get a bit more ground under my feet now, so the next downhill won’t come as quickly or as steep. I’ve had my first ever session with a psychologist, and while it was absolutely exhausting, I loved it. I was so happy I cried afterwards – so happy to hear that I hadn’t been making all this up, so happy to hear that I was going to get help, and so happy to hear that things might get better again. It’s exhausting, having your mind doing a constant marathon with a sprint speed, while at the same time it wants to give up. I haven’t given up tho, and while some days my symptoms get worse than on others, I’m still up and going. As I only had my first sessions by now, I don’t have a diagnosis nor a clear treatment plan yet, but I’ll surely come back with more information when I get it, because as always, I want to lift the stigma away from mental health issues and I like to be open about things. Just keep in mind that me being open never means that I would share everything – there’s always things others don’t see on the outside.  For now though all in short is that apart from the unfortunately still rising cases of corona life’s going good, my mental health’s going not so good, yes both of those things can occur at the same time, and yes I’ve got help now. I’ve always had people who want to help for which I’m eternally grateful, but sadly that’s not all it takes. I hope that if you know what I’m talking about you also have helpful people around you and that you dare to go ask for professional help, that’s what it’s there for.

Anyway, also other things have been going on. I’ve been spending a lot of time in the boat (before the new corona restrictions came and rowing in anything else than solo boats was forbidden again), I started two very exciting and very different jobs, I got into the Honors programme of our faculty, I just finished with our first block of this semester and I’ve been getting back to some things that I like a bit more again. My ‘Things I have been doing/will be doing in 2020‘ list is actually going quite well, for which I’m very happy! I wish we all got back to doing all those things that make us happy, when did life get so serious that we stopped?  For me having gotten back to these things means that I’ve been reading a little more, I’ve been drinking tea a bit more, I’ve been getting back to yoga, taking some pictures like these ones with my lovely Maastricht friends, I bought some things that I really enjoyed like new clothes which is something I almost never do, I’ve been sending mail and I’ve been doing more creative things like playing my ukulele, making birthday cards for my friends etc. It’s the little things that give me the most joy in addition to doing what I love the most – which is studying medicine. Honestly tho I haven’t been giving my studies enough time lately, and when I have, a lot of it has gone to waste due to my mind not wanting to collaborate with me. But those things partly come hand in hand, as being a bit too busy also tends to cause being a bit too stressed and being a bit too stressed can also leave to being anxious or depressed.


One of the nice little things I’ve been doing lately was homemade pumpkin spice latte! I love me some PSL, and due to the pandemic and the still rising number of cases here in the Netherlands cafés and restaurants are closed apart from take away, so I decided to make my own. But because I personally find it very frustrating when a recipe post includes a lot of unrelated text, I figured I’d rather make this one about ‘all things nice’ (even though all things aren’t always nice) and the next one solely about the recipe. Take care of yourself and do smth nice today xx I’m off to bake some cookies!


Love, Anna