Day 1 – travel

This is the first of what will hopefully be many updates on what I’m up to for the next four weeks. If you don’t know, I’m doing a short study abroad in the Netherlands, that takes place primarily in Rotterdam, but also in Amsterdam.

I just got here and I should be out exploring, but I’m so exhausted from jet lag and all the walking to get to my room that I figured I could do a first update and reconstitute momentarily.

Friday the 17th was the day of my flight and, unfortunately, also my last day of summer quarter. My final project for CSE 190m was due at midnight, meaning I had to finish before I left. I didn’t manage to protect from SQL injection. Oh well. Traffic was horrible so we had to rush to the airport.

So I ended up fitting everything for this trip into a backpack and my beloved Seattle Times duffle bag. I really like that bag because it’s like I bring a little piece of home with me when I travel, even though I’ve never really read The Seattle Times. Literally as I was walking out the door to the car, the metal clasp for the shoulder strap just broke. I didn’t think the bag was that heavy… Better now than after I’m in Europe. I stole the strap from another bag and we were on our way.

Broken clasp

My bag honestly wasn’t that heavy. The metal must have been getting pretty old.

The 10 hour didn’t feel long at all to me. Maybe it’s because I slept for a lot of it, but I guess you could say it really flew by ;). Not a lot else to talk about for this day so I thought I’d list some of the stuff I brought:

  1. Laptop – I was really reluctant to bring this as my two options were one whose screen turns off randomly and quite annoyingly, or one that weights a million pounds and gets a measly 1-2 hours of battery life even with a big external battery. I brought it to give you all something to read. I hope you’re happy. See what I sacrifice to entertain you lot?
  2. Smartphone – I bought my European LG smartphone knowing it’d come in handy for Eurotrips. Not sure if I’ll manage to get data, talk, or text to it, but it’s nice to have.
  3. Point and Shoot Camera – The camera on my phone is good not great. I figured it was worth bringing to capture the things my phone can’t. Hopefully my next phone will render this camera obsolete.
  4. Composition Book – My more personal journal will be done by hand. Might come in handy for the academic portion of this trip, though I’ll admit to having thought very little about that.
  5. Books – I am not sure how much I’ll read on this trip but I brought Pollyanna (Eleanor Porter), Mogworld (Yahtzee Croshaw), and Imajica (Clive Barker).

I must admit, I am more nervous about this trip than probably any other before. I travel alone a lot, but never outside of the country and never for this long. So far, things have gone well, and I’ll meet up with my classmates tomorrow.

My next post will be about my journey from the airport to the room I’m staying at tonight. It’s more interesting than it sounds I promise!

  1. Jae Geller said:

    What are you studying? Keep posting!

    • It’s a research methods class, I believe with a focus in user interface or human-computer interaction. I’ve already gotten credit for this class so it’s sort of a secondary priority for me, but it should still be interesting!

  2. Dan Berke said:

    Isn’t Schiphol a cool airport? If Ikea built an airport, Schiphol is what it would look like! I get to layover there for 3+ hours on my trip to Vienna in October, and I’m looking forward to it!

    Keep us posted on your trip!

  3. Scott Barker said:

    Excited for you Andre! I was able to visit Amsterdam and drop in on our iSchool students last summer. I know you’ll have an awesome time! Don’t be afraid to grab a train and visit different places when you have time off. I went to Belgium (Bruges), London, and Paris – which is probably too much given you have classes. But you can get lots of amazing places in just a couple hours. Enjoy – I am totally jealous!!!!!

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