I didn’t know what to expect from Amsterdam. I mentally prepared for it to be a party stop. We expected late hours and a lack of privacy in our first hostel. My hope was that it would be worth it.
Amsterdam did not disappoint. For a tourist spot that’s mostly famous for marijuana and the Red Light District…it has so much more to offer. The majority of which was completely free. People, both citizens and tourists, filled the streets, moving about by tram, bicycle or on foot. Right of ways were respected and there was total cohesion when you joined the stream of traffic, rather than fought your way upstream.
The people were pleasant, the parks pristine and the weather could not have been better. Nic and I quickly connected with several people within our hostel, most were from different countries. All of them were characters with so much passion and life experience to share. I could write extensively about Amsterdam’s party scene, but the fun I had isn’t a direct correlation to the number of drinks consumed.
To be honest, my favorite activity was spending an afternoon lying in the park with three Canadians, talking about our recent travels and how we didn’t want it to end. The day before, Nic and I biked through the city, overcoming our fear of causing a major accident. I felt like I belonged, like I was on my daily commute to work – until I almost took out a guy on the sidewalk and then remembered I was actually kind of lost. But as my mom likes to say, “We’re in a foreign city…we’re always lost.”
During an afternoon nap in my top bunk, I had another purpose-type epiphany. These people I meet and the experiences I have are worth documenting in detail for my personal enjoyment. They’re also worth sharing to the public (if written well). It hasn’t been so eventful and wild that I can call my journal an autobiography, but there is enough material for a few short stories. I’ll keep compiling my knowledge to guide first time travelers (because I’m such an expert…), but I also want to dive into writing about specific moments and how they went down.
I have Amsterdam to thank for this discovery. I can suggest things like the Van Gogh museum and advise you to arrive early to the Anne Frank house to avoid a three hour line. Oh, and definitely try Walk to Wok and watch out for the trams because they’re scary sneaky. On the other hand, I also want to push a lot of people watching and having a conversation with a stranger. Don’t forget to sit in the park and feel the sun and reflect on how cool life is. What’s neat is that the last couple can be done anywhere. Plus, I really do think epiphanies come when you put yourself out there.
Sidenote; I do have some good “party stories” from Amsterdam, but I have decided to use it as material for an e-book I’ll be working on. More information on that as soon as I have some more epiphanies. (: