On a weekday the Forum is usually buzzing with activity. People are frantically looking around for the right classroom, talking together near the doors on their way in or out or having coffee and chatting in the café downstairs. Amidst all this hustle and bustle, Rodrigo Alonso Vico (22) can be found reading his book.
Rodrigo came to Wageningen from Madrid, Spain, to start the MSc in Plant Sciences. ‘Here you get a much better education for the same price.’ Apart from studying, Rodrigo spends time on the rugby field. ‘I also used to play back in Madrid in the team of my biology faculty.’ He joined the rugby team together with a friend with whom he has another group of friends in common as well. ‘I can speak Spanish with them because they all come from countries like Mexico and Ecuador.’
Rodrigo is trying to learn Dutch. He finds it quite challenging, or, as he says (note: in perfect Dutch): ‘het gaat nog niet goed’ (‘it’s not going well yet’). His main reason for learning Dutch was to keep his options for his future open. The only thing he is completely sure about regarding his future is that he wants to travel more. ‘I have been to a lot of places and I want to go to many more.’
The things on his bucket list also relate to traveling, such as gaining one day of life by crossing time zones: ‘I want to travel around the world chasing the sunset.’ Rodrigo talks about travelling with a passion. ‘I have been on the equator. I have seen water whirl the other way around on the southern hemisphere. I want to go to the North Pole where I can go 20 km south, 20 km east, 20 km north and end up in exactly the same spot.’
Rodrigo sees travelling as an integral part of discovering who you are. ‘All people should be at ease with themselves and doing a trip alone helps with that. It takes you out of your comfort zone and once you are fine on your own you can build your life from there.’
Travelling on his own probably did him good because he seems perfectly at ease with himself on his own, reading his book in the middle of the café.