Loes Damhof

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Coming from a small town in the far North of The Netherlands, I can say that nowadays the Global Village is my home. Growing up I always dreamt of places far away, but somehow we never went there. The destination of my first trip abroad was Paris, I was eighteen and traveling with my mom, and I still remember the feeling I had when waking up at 6 am every morning: ‘what will we see today? Where will we go and who will we meet?’After that, I got the travel bug: a condition that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I have lived on 4 different continents, traveled to over 30 different countries, met so many people on the adventures I had. I feel lucky that I can share my experiences and stories with my students, even if they have no desire to go overseas themselves. I truly believe that it’s not the experience itself, but what you do with it that counts. This is what I teach my students as well: you can travel everywhere you want, but you will never become a true member of the global community without self reflection or critical thinking. You can even be a global citizen without ever leaving your hometown! This course will help you do just that: a true international experience that will teach you about yourself, others, your own community and the global community. Who doesn’t want to be a part of that??Now I am back in The Netherlands (I refuse to use the words: settle down!), and ready for a new adventure and this course definitely feeds my travelbug! In my free time I still go on big and small trips, and I am always trying to go off the beaten path. (Sustainable) camping, trekking and rock climbing are some of my biggest passions. Although Groningen is naturally below sea level, we have the highest climbing wall of Europe, so you can find me often hanging in the ropes. I like the free spirit and the love of nature that binds us climbers and hikers. I love the simple life being in the mountains and I always make sure there is one close by wherever I travel!I also believe in a strong sense of community where people share their knowledge and skills. Social capital is a powerful force that often comes to life at the small, community driven festivals I visit. Places where you are exposed to different lifestyles and ideas and where I often get my inspiration from. This curiosity is also one of the reasons why I travel. How do people live, what do they eat, what do they think, what is their heritage? Feeling connected to other people around the world also makes me upset or worried sometimes about the world the way it is. Feeling the need to leave something behind, or contribute to a slightly better place, is why I teach. I feel fortunately to have a job where I can combine my passions, surrounded by great people who feel the same way!

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