Hey Beautiful person,
How are you doing?
I still haven’t gotten over my short trip to Rotterdam in Netherland last weekend. Let me shame myself a little, can you imagine I thought Amsterdam was a country’?….I know! clearly I was the best student in my geography class.
The trip served two purposes for me. It was a break from the continuous work I’d been doing and also a self – developing opportunity. The goal of the trip was to attend an international business conference.
From the moment I decieded I would go on this trip, I was pushed outside of my comfort zone as I didn’t know what to expect and that made me nervous. It was my first time travelling with a group of people who weren’t my family.The only person I knew was my friend who invited me on the trip and we weren’t on the same flight. I met my room mate at the Airport, everyone else were strangers to me…. well at least for the first time!
As we arrived at the Eindhoven Aiport in Rotterdam to meet the larger group, the first obivious thing was that we were all from different countries and religious backgrounds. I was both excited and nervous at the dynamic I was about to experience, which is normal right? It’s expected that with such a group you would expect differences in opinons, values and approaches to life. To make it even better, we were all different ages. So, the first thing I promised myself was to be open minded. It was the only way to make the most out of the trip, and in the end it was a good decision .
The first lesson I learnt on this trip was tolerance. The conference started at different times for the three days, sometimes as early as 9:00am. My room mate was an early person , she’d wake me up as early as 6:00am just to make sure we had enough time to get ready and tidy the room to leave for the train or taxi. It’s funny now, but it wasn’t as humerous then since we never slept ealier than 2:00am. By the second day we reached a mutual agreement not to wake each other up but that plan failed quickly as neither of us could sleep through our own noises.
The second lesson was having to look my best at all times. The dress code for the conference was formal and I made an effort to look like my own boss everyday. It was the first time I’d see guys outshine ladies when it cames to dressing, these guys weren’t playing!
I found it hard not being able to throw on my pijamas after a long day, I couldn’t allow myself to get as comfortable! which got a bit annoying after the third day. I wore make-up everyday , I shocked myself because I would’ve thought I was comfortable anywhere without make-up. I remember one of the mornings during our group breakfast, I dared myself not to wear make-up until I got ready. I felt so uncomfortable at how tired I look, I actually went back to my hotel room after I ordered my food to put on a light make-up.
I also had to trust different people taking my pictures. I had thought that at the end of each day, I’d go out to explore on sight seeing in Rotterdam ( one of the biggest cities in Netherland) . But from the first day we arrived, with the weather situation and the schedule of the conference I knew how limited my plan was. So I made use of what time I had, this included me asking random people to take my pictures. By the third day, a friend told me to give her the camera as she advised me not to wait for that ‘special moment’. Although I was a bit reluctant since I had planned for perfect pictures at perfect locations. I’m glad I gave the camera to her in the end as she was able to capture some amazing pictures for me and the group.
I have to say, the only thing I didn’t prepare for was the fun I had. Since it was a business trip, I thought having fun wouldn’t be an option. But this wasn’t the case, I enjoyed every bit of it especially as I was always surrounded by amazing people. The conference was filled with inspiring speakers who had real life stories to share; they were all so unique. The one message that remained clear was this : the only limitation there is in life is ourselves, our attitude and our minds!
One of my favourite quotes was this:
“Everybody dies, but not everybody lives”.
See you soon,