Hello again!

I’m sorry I’ve been MIA for the past week or so. Life here at the manor has been absolutely crazy. They certainly keep us busy here. I like all of the activities, but it is hard to find a moment for myself, let alone a moment to write or vlog.

My transition to life here at the manor has been pretty difficult. I’m not normally shy or really ever hold back anything, but for some reason, I just can’t seem to find my footing. I’ve done programs that are similar to this one in that I have gone far away from home, alone, doing things that I’m not comfortable doing. Normally during those programs, I thrive, but I am struggling. I think part of the reason is that I didn’t come with anyone. I haven’t made any deep and significant connections. I don’t have travel buddies. I don’t have a point of comfort or security. Many other students have friends that they came with or even significant others to travel and explore with, but even those without a group have still become comfortable. A lot of that could be in my head, but I’m still feeling it.

However, the perfect cure for those feelings was a trip to see my wonderful cousins in Holland. Not only are my cousins the kindest and most hospitable people in the entire world, but they live in a magical wonderland. Their village was exactly how you would picture it. Everyone is riding bikes. Kids are running around everywhere. There’s a dog on every corner. It’s a place straight out of my dreams. We enjoyed bike rides, a walk through the wooded area near their home, a tour through their town windmill, puzzles, and a sunny day exploring Amsterdam. I didn’t want to leave, and I’m sure you can see why.

As I start my second week here at the manor, I am thankful for a restful weekend spent playing boccie ball and eating stroopwaffles (I’m obsessed). I hope that this week provides me opportunities to make more significant connections. I also hope that I can find the energy to make it through the next 5 weeks.

Iā€™m excited to explore more and to share more with you. You can check my Facebook, Twitter (@HopeRouse) or Instagram (@HopeRouse) to see when I post more on the blog. If you would like to watch my trip in video form, you can subscribe to my YouTube Channel (Hope Rouse) to watch my vlogs. You can watch my most recent vlog here:



Signing off from Grantham,

Hope Rouse