Untill I took part in my exchange student experience, for which I spent 10 months living with a host family in rural Oregon, United States and went to high school there, I really looked down upon my own country when it came to landscpes, nature, cities and other things to see. I always thought that Holland (or the Netherlands more properly) was a way too small country to live in and be able to see a lot of beautiful things. It was for that reason that I always had the urge to go abroad. I didn’t really matter where, as long as it was across the border.
When I did my exchange, I was only 17 so it wasn’t that strange that I wanted to explore the world around me and thinking that the grass was always greener at the neighbors. But being so far away from the place I called home for so long, really changed something in me, and when I came back, my friend Yvette and I were so excited in the airplane. Like little school girls we were so happy to see the cows, the windmills, the brickhouses and the flatness of our country. Seeing those familiar sites made us look at each other with a face that said ‘wow, we are so weird to like this cliché stuff’.
Before I went to The States, I already enjoyed photography, but at the time it was more recreational and purely for capturing my experiences, but since I had the ability to see a lot of the country, my love for photography grew bigger and bigger. It was photography that made me realize what an amazingly beautiful country I live in! I had never thought it possible for me to say that, but wow! Being behind the camera, getting to know more things about how to get a great shot (I’ve looked at many other photographers and read a lot of articles), has made me look at all the possiblities that Holland offers for great (travel) photos.
Holland is full of history and colors. As a lot of sites and buildings have their roots in either the Stone Age or the Middle Ages, Holland has quite a story to tell that I can’t wait to discover. History was always something that I felt that the United States laked. All the buildings were so new and modern and culture-wise, the country is relatively young. Now that photography has grown so big one me, it has given me the possibilities to get to know my own country better. My ultimate dream is to become a professional travel photographer and Go Global (see which countries I’ve visited so far) and capture the essence of the destinations I visit. I look at Holland as the perfect school in order to achieve my goal. As a student here in Holland, we receive a free public transport card, which has allowed me to travel around the country and go to places I normally wouldn’t go to that easily. That card has really made me a Tourist in my own country.
Exploring the world around you, really is a good way to practice your photography skills and to get to known your own heritgage, you’re more like it than you think! I’m now a Holland fan, but what are your thoughts on Holland? Where did/would you go and what do you like the most? Leave me a comment, I’m curious to know