Esther Versluis: “the only academic staff member with too few holiday hours”

Esther Versluis, professor of European Regulatory Governance, has been at FASoS even longer than Elissaveta Radulova has. Esther studied Cultuurwetenschappen, and wrote her thesis with Tannelie Blom. After graduation, she went to Utrecht to do a PhD.

She got in touch again with Tannelie when she was finishing up her dissertation. He told her about the plans to start a new BA at FASoS. And so Esther returned 20 years ago, and helped Tannelie set up the BA European Studies.

Though Esther obviously loves FASoS, she also really values her free time away from our faculty. As she jokingly says: “I’m the only academic staff member with too few holiday hours.”

“Work pressure is pretty high and that’s why it’s so important to relax every now and then,” Esther says. “During vacations, I recharge my battery so I can be the best version of my professional self for the rest of the year.” Esther is still in touch with friends that she made during her studies Cultuurwetenschappen. They go on holiday together every year.

But what is Esther’s favourite destination? “Definitely Asia. The nature, the food, the culture – I love it all.” Esther especially likes the Buddhist places she visits in Asia, which to her resemble the ultimate slow way of life.

When she had her kids, she worried that she would not be able to go to faraway destinations anymore. But she soon found out this wasn’t true. “The times we went to Asia together with the children were even better than when we went before. The connection you have with locals is just so different when you have kids. We also wanted the kids to experience different cultures and ways of life. So when we visited Bali a couple of years ago, they were student-for-a-day at an elementary school.”

What’s still left on Esther’s bucket list? “Iceland, but my family members think it will be too cold there. So I might have to convince my husband to go with me when the kids have moved out.”

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