The GoGlobal Blog



I never knew much about Amsterdam, but it had always been on my bucket list. I don’t know why I always had this gut feeling to go, but I did, and without doing any research on the city my friends and I booked a flight there for a weekend. If only I had known that a weekend was nowhere near enough time.

Our trip to Amsterdam came at a rough time. We conveniently planned it for the weekend before I had three final exams and three major essays due, and my stress was at an all-time high. The night before we left, I was in my room alone, grumpily packing my bag and wishing I could just sleep in in the morning rather than catch my early-morning flight. I almost didn’t even want to go, but I also had no idea what was coming.

While running on hardly any sleep, the ride to the airport, the wait, the flight, and the bus into Amsterdam were all a complete blur. It was a cloudy morning and I had not had a drop of coffee, so everything is a bit hazy. Our first stop was at an adorable breakfast restaurant where I finally truly opened my eyes after sipping on a hot cappuccino and taking my first bite of an authentic Dutch pancake. It was then that I realized I was literally in a dream world. The buildings all looked like they were etched out perfectly for a Christmas movie set. The people spoke with such eloquence in their Dutch accents. The weather was just brisk enough to refresh you but not cold enough to make you shiver. The streets were busy, with bikes whizzing past you in every direction all at once, but they did it so effortlessly it was almost relaxing. I loved how you could bump into a canal in almost any direction, and even though it made it made it a little confusing to get around, I didn’t mind getting lost one bit.

I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with Amsterdam, but every step I took I found something to admire. There’s something so quaint about a city that’s bustling with bikes and has tulip shops on street corners. We stayed across the street from the Van Gogh museum, and everywhere I looked, the people of the Netherlands paid homage to their beloved Vincent. A city that loves art, flowers, bikes, and canals is a city for me.

We, of course, had to make the touristy stop to the “I amsterdam” sign, where two very kind British guys helped me conquer my fear of heights and lifted me up onto the sign. We made our way around the city center, and even stumbled upon the bench that was made famous in the movie “The Fault in Our Stars”, where we encountered a line of teenage girls waiting to take a photo on it. It was cheesy but fun, because 16 year old me who absolutely adored that movie would have never thought I would ever actually see it. But the thing that really stuck with me was our visit to the Anne Frank House, where we got to enter the secret annex that the Franks actually hid in during the Holocaust. It really put things into perspective for me. There are no words to describe how I felt walking through that exhibit, and although it was not a super fun and exciting thing to do, it was necessary. You learn about things your entire life, but nothing is truly like being there in the place where it actually happened. After we went through the exhibit, none of us really knew what to say. It felt weird stepping outside and back into present day like nothing happened. But it did happen, and that’s the most important thing to remember.

We ended our trip by visiting the Heineken museum, where we learned all about the brewing process and got to experience some really interesting exhibits. As someone who has never enjoyed beer until this semester, I like to pride myself on all of my newfound knowledge I’ve acquired from breweries I’ve visited in Europe (But, obviously, Guinness will still always be my favorite!)

Although my time in Amsterdam was nowhere near enough, it gave me a glimpse into a beautiful city that I never thought I would fall in love with, and now all I can think about is how happy I would be if I could live there. Maybe I’ll never be a local resident riding her bike across town, but I know I will definitely come back for a longer visit one day.

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