Summertime in your life is easy. Or not?

(ed.) How do you survive the hot summer days in the Netherlands? Are you planning to stay in Rotterdam or are you heading back to your home country? Maria shares her summer plans with you in her next blog.

Summer has come once again, so I’m told. But you won’t catch me in my shorts. As many of you, I will stay in Rotterdam and work without days off. When I decided to start an internship during summertime I only thought about the pros of this decision: higher probability to land a “real” job earlier, saving money from rent you must pay even though you don’t actually stay in the house anymore and saving money from the admission fee, since you have to extend your student status. As you may understand, it was an extremely rational decision. What about all my best friends who will return to their home towns for the whole summer and I’ll be left alone? What about my friends and family who expected me to come home and spend quality time with me? What about my summer holidays in one of the countless Greek islands?

However, I must look at the bright side, not everything is black and white. Rotterdam, and generally Holland, has a lot to offer, even during summertime. First of all, let’s be honest, the weather is unexpectedly nice and the city is full of parks, ideal for an escape from the hot sun which makes you sweaty and sticky. On Sundays, you can reach the ocean in about 30 minutes. In my case, swimming in the ocean might not be so attractive since I’m used to the crystal clear blue and green water of the Greek sea. But still, I can imagine myself lying on the hot sand of Scheveningen with a nice group of friends or the company of a book.

Even if you are not a beach lover, I have an alternative suggestion for you. Festival season has officially started and the choices are endless. I’ve already attended a couple of them, from Balkan/Salsa festivals called Full Moon to more educational ones. The previous weekend, I took part in an amazing experience during Fair Fashion Festival, a festival dedicated to ethical and sustainable fashion and I had the opportunity to deep dive into this unexplored world through workshops, Ted talks and an amazing fashion show, which inspired me to change my buying habits and start worrying more about the conditions under which my clothes are made. On Sunday evening, I admired a magical sunset while dancing to the sound of the music of a live band performing on a beach bar at Bloemendaal (near Haarlem).

After all, what I want to remind you of, is that it’s your state of mind that guides you.

Have summer in your heart and the summertime sadness with depart!