Anne Heckendorff (22) grew up in Coburg in Germany. After finishing high school, she did a voluntary service in Spain and worked in London for a year, before coming to Tilburg. Now, the daughter of an engineer and a music teacher is in her second year of Liberal Arts and Sciences, majoring in Law in Europe.
“What inspires me? Myself!” Anne jokes. “No, the question is just difficult to answer because there is no single person that inspires me. In a way I find Buddhism inspiring as a philosophy, but concrete inspirations come rather from my friends and my family”, the student explains smiling. Still, social contacts are not the only important aspect of Anne’s life. The humorous and friendly young woman loves playing the piano (“it’s a deeply fulfilling way of spending free time”) and has a strong affinity to foreign cultures.
“My motivation to keep going is the thought of having to die one day”
In opposite to many other travellers, Anne does not necessarily go the easy way. Sleeping on locals’ couches and enjoying meeting completely new people in rather unusual destinations is completely her thing: “An important part of myself is to explore countries where capitalism hasn’t reached completely yet.” This summer holidays, Anne spent two months traveling by herself through Eastern Europe. “Having a grandma that lived in the USSR I heard a lot about the hospitality of people there. I can personally confirm this now, especially Serbians are incredibly big-hearted. I got offered lots of little presents on the streets by strangers; they could see I was a foreigner and wanted to make me feel as welcomed as possible. Here, people tend to care more about their property and themselves than about other people” Anne determines.
Anne’s reason to keep going may seem dark in the beginning but actually makes sense, when she expounds it: “My motivation to keep going is the thought of having to die one day. Until then, you have to use every day as much as you can”, the student outlines. “Time passes faster and faster. Therefore I want to use all the time I have, especially now that I’m still young and have the energy to do whatever I feel like.”
Living after this mantra, Anne is going on an exchange to Chile next semester. Moreover, she is planning to have a break after her studies and travel via Eastern Europe and the Middle East to Myanmar. “I watched a documentary about the country today and I immediately fell in love”, she states.
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