My blog posts have been a mess for the past two months and I am actually really sad that I could not keep up with it! I know for a fact that I am not an amazing writer, mediocre at best but writing was and has been always good for me. It helps me untangle the mess of thoughts crammed tightly into my brain, especially since life is a little crazy being abroad. It allows me to document my thoughts and feelings while studying in Amsterdam all while travelling throughout Europe. I am going to look back in a couple months, several years even, to find that I have only managed to save snippets of these missing two months here in the form of jumbled thoughts that I have forced myself to publish regardless.
So, going forward, I have made it a goal of publishing a weekly blog post from here on out. I urge whoever is reading this, friends, family, or even complete strangers, to keep me accountable! Send me a message, comment on my blog post, it doesn’t matter! Help me make sure I write something!
Now, to try to pick up the pieces and give a recap of my life for the past two months… Here I go!
I didn’t have any travel plans in April but really wanted to do something before Kings Day weekend, so out of a whim, I decided to join ISN on a trip to Paris! None of my friends were going on this trip with me so I was tasked with the challenge of making new friends. We left Friday morning on April 17th and returned to Amsterdam on April 19th around 10:00PM. Marleena, one of the girls I had met in the beginning of my semester here also went on the trip and we ended up hanging out for most of the weekend. People often have mixed thoughts about Paris– they either love it or they don’t. I’ve heard it both ways plenty of times so I made sure I went into the trip without any real expectations, except for getting some macarons from Laduree (typical, right?). For most of the trip, I had a blast! I hung out with some of the girls in my building and saw most, if not all, the touristy things. It was fun putting myself out there but it was well worth it.
Carnival in Dam Square
One day Jamie and I were out and about in the city, running errands of some sort and probably eating fries together. We came across the carnival getting set up in Dam Square and immediately wondered: did we miss the carnival or are they just getting set up? Everything looked incredibly fun, so you can imagine my excitement when I found out they were just getting started. We came back for Emily’s 21st birthday dinner at Majestic and afterwards decided to ride a couple of rides. Good idea, right? Nope, not really! We decided to go on this incredibly spin-y ride. You really got what you paid for because the ride lasted about 5-7 minutes. The first couple of spins were thrilling. We saw the skyline of Amsterdam while the sun was setting, while completely upside down, strapped in. In those first few rounds, I felt completely alive. Who can say they’ve seen the beauty of Amsterdam like how we did? It was amazing. Unfortunately, the rest of the ride wasn’t. It went faster and faster, until my body was actually aching and just when I thought it was over, we went the other direction– slower, then faster. And finally, it was all over. Then, being our crazy selves, Emily and I decided to go on the sling shot, maybe only a minute or two after our first ride was over. Good idea? Nope, not at all.
Kings Day is one of the biggest national holidays in the Netherlands, celebrated on April 27th, marking the birthday of King Willem-Alexander. The Dutch go absolutely crazy this holiday, dressed from head to toe in the color orange. Amsterdam gets a ton of visitors during this weekend, so on top of the 1 million people who actually live in the city, another 1 million come into the city for Kings Day!
On Kings Night (the night before), we decided to venture into the city to celebrate. We ended up in Rembrantplein, our typical going out location. There were people everywhere, beer and other fun drinks in hand, celebrating this holiday. We decided to go into Club Nasty (I know, poor choice) where we danced for a little bit and headed to one of the outside stages. On our way, Emily and I got bombarded by a group of really drunk Bachelors dressed in really creative Hangover shirts. That was interesting. We decided to have a relaxing night out, as I always say because of our shenanigans on actual Kings Day.
For Kings Day, we decided to run around the city in the morning/early afternoon with Jamie’s family who was visiting and in the afternoon, we made our way over to the Olympic Stadium for Kings Day Festival. The festival itself was absolutely insane. Somehow, we ended up right in the front of Diplo’s stage, finding the rest of our friends and when the crazy Yellowclaw fans came through for his upcoming set, we were completely thrown around in the mosh pits. Keep this in mind: little ol’ me, getting pushed and shoved around in the front of Yellowclaw, barely managing to hang on to Jamie. Once she saw the horror on my face, she pulled me and booked it out of there. For the rest of the night, we ended up sitting around, eating pizza, and making new friends! We even busted a mission to steal Mario’s jacket and managed to leave him a note. The whole night turned out perfectly, from magically remembering the code to Mario’s locker to finding a writing utensil to write him a note and even using up all our tokens exactly. It was a great time. Oh, and shout out to Mario for throwing me on your shoulders!
I’m not going to say much about London, except for the fact that it was a really, really frustrating weekend. I had one of the worst days of my study abroad adventures in England. Overall, I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either. I think I need to come back to London and give it another shot, maybe when I’m older and money isn’t really an issue. Here’s a picture of me with a phone booth though!
So that’s it! If you’ve stuck around for this long, I applaud you and thank you! I also went to Switzerland recently but that post will be coming shortly. 🙂 Thanks all!