rita brassington

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Come back to what you know

By r brassington, Aug 11 2015 10:42AM

In 2004, as a naive 20-year-old, I went to study in the Netherlands at the Maastricht Centre for Transatlantic Studies. It was probably one of the best things I ever did. Especially as 11 years later I still know a lot of the people I met there, from all around the world, and last week I went back to Maastricht, via Brussels.


It's been a while since I travelled on my own, and after a mammoth train journey via Manchester, London, Lille, Brussels and Liege, I was finally back in the place I used to call home. And that was the weird thing about it - it was a place I knew so well, where nothing much had changed, except me. While walking through the streets of the old town, over the St. Servaas bridge and on to the Vrijthof, I thought about everything I'd achieved over the last 11 years. I'd graduated, carved out a successful career, met my fiance, bought a house, wrote a book (!), travelled to the Maldives, Venice, Budapest, Paris, New York, Las Vegas, Chicago...and yet, it was like no time had passed. Even walking into the old university building brought back a wave of memories I thought were buried beyond reach.


I'm glad I went back. I'm glad I saw it and remembered. Who knows, maybe I'll be back in another 11 years.


Pictures below: Brussels, frites and friekandel speciaal, Maastricht train station, old university sign, Brooke and I outside the old Teikyo building, the Vrijthof.

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