WHAT AMSTERDAM TAUGHT ME

6 Aug 2016

When I came back from my trip to China back last year, I wrote about what I learnt from that trip and, as I feel I learnt a lot from my trip from Amsterdam I thought I'd show those with you. 

1. I Can Cope without the 'rents: This was my first holiday without them; just me and a friend in another country. Don't get me wrong, I know we were only across the channel not the other side of the world and I spoke to them most days but I planned everything myself and cope abroad without them. I managed to cook for the two of us for three days- I'm impressed. This was something I glad I learnt as I'm not as apprehensive to go and survive alone at uni. 

2. It is possible to fall in love with a city. This is really just another chance to let me gush at how much I loved Amsterdam. The landscape, the people, the atmosphere. I can't recommend spending a few days in Amsterdam enough. I also think it's a great place to spend your first holiday abroad alone. 

3. If stuck, just ask. One reoccurring thing that kept happening to us is that we got lost but we grew some balls and just asked and they were glad to help. This leads me to my next point.

4. The Dutch are the nicest. They were more than happy to talk to you. It did help that most of them spoke English, but talking to the dutch people was really nice even if it was just to ask for directions. 

5. So are the tourists. I'd like to start though by saying not all of them were, some were actually a little rude but you get those people everywhere. Those that we did speak to, however, were lovely. The last night of the trip we hunted down The Fault In Our Stars bench. When we got there a group of girls walked past and went "Is this THE bench?". They were Americans and they were super lovely even if most of the conversation was spent saying things so they could video our English accent- I really don't understand the fascination. Sadly, we didn't catch all their names and didn't get their numbers or social media so they will just remain a memory of the trip that I loved. 

6. Airbnb is both a life and money saver. Amsterdam itself isn't the most expensive but to stay in a hotel we would have to be some pretty wealthy teens. We were so lucky to find a great, quaint apartment just outside the centre. The host, Anita, was lovely and the apartment came with more than we expected with food already in the fridge with towels and necessities to help us cut down on the luggage we had. 

7. Packing Light is amazing. I've mentioned this in a few posts included my "How To Pack Light" post. Having just a small suitcase made it much easier to travel by train and tram to our apartment. It also meant I wasn't overwhelmed by items I had to back both at the start and end of the trip. We, kind of stupidly, paid for out suitcases to go in the hold- all, but we'll know for next time that hand luggage would be enough. 

8. I can walk... a lot. We planned on using the great Dutch trams to get around put realising that everything was so compact and wanting to see as much of Amsterdam as possible, we walked almost everywhere. By the end of the trip, we'd run our of plasters between us and my heels had been cut but it was worth it. 

9. Experience and remember later. I'm always one to want to crack my camera out and take as many pictures as I can but this trip I didn't do as much as I wanted. The first couple of days, I didn't get my camera out of my bag; I just wanted to see everything first. Then on the third, where we took a canal cruise, I had time to get my camera out to take photos that I can later refer back to and show you guys. I was a little annoyed when I got home to realise I didn't take as many photos as I intended but I soon realised that everything I didn't take a physical photo of, I still remember in my head and I'm fine with that. 

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