Being in Boston

My utmost important and meaningful experience I have had, is my time in Boston, Massachusetts. At the age of 17, my dream finally came true. I would travel 3500 miles (or 5555 km) to a far destination. Ever since I was a little girl, my parents have taken me and my sister all around the world, including the States. We would do a grand roadtrip through Florida, we would be driving for hours to see the Canyons, we would be awed by the lights in Vegas and our hearts would race while driving off Mokee Dugway!

© copyright  hanz meulenbroeks

© copyright hanz meulenbroeks

My dad has always had a certain affection for the U.S., and this rubbed off on his eldest daughter, me. So, there I went, a young woman with big dreams and ambitions, flying from Amsterdam to Boston. Only ten minutes in the terminal, and I was already making friends, which they still are nowadays. So, I arrived in the big city, and it punched me right in the stomach. Familiar to a lot of travellers and students abroad. Nostalgia, i.e. homesickness. This feeling stayed with me for a time, but fortunately I came to my senses fairly quickly. I felt incredibly lucky to be undergoing such an amazing experience in such a beautiful city.

To me, Boston is one of the greatest cities in the world. Next to it being an American town, it’s also a European metropolis. All this has to do with the history of Boston. In short, the town has been founded in the 1600’s by the British, and the Irish arrived here in the 1700’s. Which makes it part European, and this is clearly palpable. Especially during St. Patrick’s Day. Boston is also blessed with a widely arranged architecture. Including colonial buildings like King’s chapel that melts into the contemporary Hancock Tower, which is an amazing sight to see, and never to be forgotten. How beautiful a vision it is to watch modern merge into old.

Boston Public © Daderot

Boston Public © Daderot

Boston is also pretty green compared to other big cities in the U.S. For instance, Public Garden and Boston Common brighten up the centre. Especially in the summer, it’s such a great idea to buy some bread and a couple of drinks, and bring your book or a friend and enjoy the beautiful view of the Boston skyline in the summery sun. In terms of entertainment, you won’t have to be bored in Boston. A lot of interesting museums, a spacious movie theatre in the centre, a charming China Town, grand shopping centres (my favorites: Prudential and Fanueil Hall), the Boston Harbor, Boston sports teams (Red Sox World Series Champion 2013), an endless number of pubs and clubs and for the sporty types (ME!) there is Boston Sports Club.

Thinking back to my time in Boston, I can feel a gnawing in my stomach. I long to go back there and see it all for myself all over again. It’s been a couple of years now, but even then I liked to write down my experiences. If you are interested in them, you are welcome to read my travel blog.

Not only did I have an amazing and educational time in Boston, I also met a lot of interesting people. Mexican, Russian, French, Spanish and other foreign people were my fellow students in classes like Finance, Harvard Case Studies and Current Events. We lived together in a hostel on Hemenway Street (we had our own private floor!), we rode the bus and T together and we went to great places together.’ Whiskey’s’ for dinner, Prudential Food Court for lunch and parties on campus in Cambridge. Movies at the cinema at night (I was too young to go clubbing with them) and picnics at the parc in the summer. Birthdays at the Sheraton with family and visits from friends. It just kept getting better and better.

But all good things come to an end. Which couldn’t be more true. The month May. The month I was dreading. But there it was. Saying goodbye to all and going back home. Promising the city I’ll be back one day. Luckily, I keep my promises and a couple of years later, my sister and I went back for an elaborate visit. We landed on JFK to visit New York City for 5 days, and then we rode the bus to Boston to stay there for about a week. (TIP: ride the bus with ‘megabus’ for a cheap and comfortable trip.) Ofcourse, as you might already guess, the visit was very successful and it was, yet again, hard to leave the States.

Boston brings back a lot of great memories, and also arises a bunch of emotions. Pleasure, pride, hope, contentment, curiosity, but mostly desire. The ever-present desire to go back. For a quick visit or for a longer stay. Who knows what the future will bring. What I do know is, I will never let go of my dream of Boston.

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