Wetskills-South Korea 2018 – Looking back at my Olympic Wetskills journey I still find myself struggling to put down in words how incredibly amazing it was. I tried to write this blog over and over again, but I could never seem to find the right words to describe what of an experience it has been. So during the reunion with one of the participants, Frank, we made a deal. So Frank, if you are reading this; I did it! Now it is your turn to keep your promise!
While I had, together with a lot of other participants, never been out of Europe, arriving in South Korea was quite the culture shock. Not only were the streets completely different from what I was used to, I also couldn’t read a word of all the boards and signs around me. To be honest, I felt completely lost. But luckily that changed really quick when I finally got to meet my new Wetskills family. While the Dutch participants reminded me of home, the Korean participants made me feel extremely welcome in Seoul.
In the following two weeks I got to enjoy amazing Korean food (excluding the intestines of a cow) and the great company. I loved getting to know the Korean culture better and I even enjoyed the pressure of finding the pain and thinking outside the box for our case. I found out that everything in South Korea is cute (from little hearts on their socks to whole shops filled with Korean cartoon characters) and that ‘not spicy’ means ‘still spicy’. I saw beautiful places, went on some amazing adventures and even got to meet our prime minister Rutte at the Holland Heineken House.
But after a lot of work, a presentation and parties in the Holland Heineken House, and finally being acclimatized to the cold weather it was already time to say goodbye to South Korea. The 2,5 weeks of Wetskills were over before I knew it and having to say goodbye to all the wonderful people, the amazing culture, food and even the sunshine (50 hours of sun in the Netherlands in January is just depressing) was really hard. Although I was happy the stressful period of hard work was over I knew at the same time I was going to miss it (and I am!).
Before I joined Wetskills I never thought I would be a person to just get on the plane and fly alone to a completely unknown culture to meet with people who (most of them) I had never met before. But now I know I would do it all over again, it was amazing to see how everyone was connected by the same passion. Joining Wetskills was the best decision I made in a long time and I – I really don’t mean to promote I swear – would recommend it to everyone. And with this said the last thing for me to do is thank everyone who was part of this whole amazing, crazy experience! Thanks for making this Wetskills edition unforgettable!