For whatever reason, when I arrived in Maastricht, I expected “running” to be a foreign concept. Perhaps this is because I had only previously run in the U.S. Perhaps my stereotype of a European involved more bicycle wheels than it did Nike shorts. In a way, I felt I was going to be smuggling the concept of “running” over the Atlantic Ocean and into the Netherlands. This, of course, is a ridiculous notion; however when I set out on my first exploratory jog, I expected numerous odd looks and stares. To my surprise and amusement, no one took notice. A few days later, on an early morning run, I even spotted a few other joggers.
Though completely the same activity here as it is back home, running in Maastricht has proven to be a unique experience. The brisk temperatures leave my legs icy, but shivering for longer distances. I get lost almost every time I set out with my tennis shoes amidst the uneven cobblestones and the winding roads. I feel a strange camaraderie with the bikes flying down the street. I’ve discovered anything from random giraffe statues and bridges to abandoned castles and dirt roads. Every running-related experience has proven to be an adventure.
Running has become several things for me while in Maastricht.
Running is a familiar activity… something that hasn’t changed from my “normal” life across the pond.
Running is a stress reliever when due dates and computer screens need to be left behind.
Running is an adventure and a way to explore this new city I now call my home.
My name is Kelsey Yandura, and I’ve been infused with a wanderlust that can’t be suppressed. I have basic facts like everyone else (21 years old / English major / Baylor University / Texas, USA / likes peanut butter). I’m in Maastricht from February-April, and I hope to soak up as much as I can. Forgive my ramblings.