When I realized I was going to be in studying abroad in Paris for three weeks, I knew I wanted to use my weekends to travel and explore other cities I wouldn’t have the chance to explore otherwise. So for our second weekend, a group of my friends and I decided to head out to the Netherlands, Amsterdam to be specific. We hopped on a train right after our class ended Friday and arrived 3 hours later in time to catch the sunset. Now the sunset has always been my favorite time of day and this sunset in particular was like nothing I had seen before. It was full of reds, blues and streaks of purple. I was instantly in love.
Amsterdam was unlike any city I had ever been to before. It was an interesting mix of cultures, people, and lifestyles. There were canals everywhere, which made for some of the best pictures and although it rained the entire time we were there, the canals were still charming and effortlessly beautiful.
Amsterdam is also brimming with bikes. Bikes are literally chained up on every corner attached to every tree, post and along the canal railings. It was the complete opposite of New York City where bicyclists are rare and far between outnumbered by the cabs and cars rushing to get from point A to point B.
Although, we originally set out to explore Amsterdam, we ended up staying in Noordwijk, which I personally liked more than Amsterdam. It was a beach town in the west of the Netherlands about a 45 minute drive from Amsterdam and it had such a charm that I couldn’t help but become obsessed.
From the little shops to the weekend market and the people themselves, Noordwijk was the kind of town I wouldn’t mind escaping to. Amsterdam was incredible and from walking along the red district to the Bull Dog Café (I totally recommend) it was an experience unlike any other and it highlighted another lifestyle that I never experienced or was faced with before.
That’s what this trip has been for me, a peak into how the other side of the world lives. The similarities we share and those that we differ in and the way we all work as people in general. In the end, we all want the same things: to be healthy, to provide for those we care and to enjoy the time we’ve been given. These little reminders I stumble upon as I continue on my travels keep me humbled and push me to reflect on the life I lead and the message I hope to inspire.
Overall, the Netherlands was an incredible trip and I’m glad I got the chance to experience it. It’s still completely surreal to me to say that I’ve been to the Netherlands and Europe in general. I’m eternally grateful for the chance I got to travel so far so young. Thanks for coming along for the ride. Below are a couple more pictures from the trip.
Be Bold Be Brave Be-YOU-tiful