In the final weeks of January, I had the chance to go to Boston for the Harvard Model UN conference. I’d ideally applied for the HMUN Conference in India but thought I hadn’t been selected, turns out, I got selected for HMUN Boston. It was so shocking and surprising because I wasn’t sure that I could go.
Anyhow, after conversations with my amazing parents and convincing the organization in Belgium to let me go, I was on my way to the United States! The only catch was, I had the longest most exhausting trip I have ever made in my life.
I first went by bus to the train station in the town I stay in, followed by that I went to the main Brussels station where I took my train to Amsterdam airport. I can’t complain much because first class is very convenient. However, from there I took a sprinter to Hoofddorp and the a bus near the place where I was staying at an Indian families BnB. I always knew what BnB’s are like but I’d never experienced one. Needless to say, once you get lost in Netherlands late at night, you’re less excited and more exhausted. But I must say, there was something fun about getting lost. I was a little panicky initially but I liked the rush, it felt like I was on one hell of an adventure. Also friendly tip: All buses in Netherlands have WiFi, use it.
My stay at the BnB was only one night, so I went out to the burger king nearby and got a burger and then bought two croissants for breakfast the next morning since it was going to be a long day. I also ended up eating those croissants as some sort of a desert but that’s not important. The next morning was the same process. Early morning bus to the station followed by a train followed by what I call “The nightmare of trying to cross US customs and immigration”, “the mandatory Starbucks hot chocolate” and “a very long flight in economy with crying children”.
Upon landing, I had an additional six hours in my 24 hour day, thanks to time-zones and daylight savings. Surprisingly the customs official at the Boston airport was really nice. I honestly could’t have dealt with any more questions. Anyhow, I met my brother at the Boston airport and we made our way to the hotel near the conference. Regardless of how tired I was, it was so nice to see my brother after so long. I really missed home.
The conference in itself was very well organized and simulated really well. There was no time lags or delays and everything was executed to near perfection. I’m not gonna say much about it because I did a lot of research about the conference as to what to expect and what people wear etc and I feel like the best to not know what to expect. Harvard is full of surprises and you can rest assured that it won’t be something you can’t handle. It’s something you just really don’t want to miss out on!
Travelling alone has made me so much more responsible lately. I feel more and more independent everyday, as though I can handle anything life throws at me. It’s such an uplifting feeling.