You know those memories that are so vivid, you remember nearly every detail? I find that this is often the case while traveling to new places, but especially for cities that you truly vibe with.
I can only say this was so for a few places and Amsterdam is certainly one, if not the one.
It’s a bizarre feeling to be in love with two at the same time. Cities, people, it’s all the same. Just kidding.
To explain, I love Brussels and among friends and fam, this is quite known. Not a popular opinion, but those not in love with Brussels, don’t know it well enough.
Anyways, love is not finite, so Amsterdam and Brussels I love you both. There I said it; conscience be free.
My first trip to Amsterdam was a milestone for me in many ways, but mostly because it was my first trip alone. While this was not originally the intent, a friend’s plans fell through and I thought #yolo let’s go.
This was a wise choice.
Solo trips warrant a mirror selfie to document it all happened.
Anyways, the entire first day of the trip I was in awe, seeing a city so unique and exceeding expectations so much so that a large part of the day was spent frantically describing Amsterdam’s greatness to my family back home.
I felt like I was in the board game Masterpiece or inside a Vermerr painting. It was beautiful.
The people were so kind, reminding me of home in the states but at the same time certainly not.
The city is bustling with bikes all around, making me question what the rest of the world is doing driving cars and not doing this.
Regardless, a few things are certain, I’ll never get tired of roaming the gorgeous Amsterdam canals for hours, lost but not admitting it, or just not caring.
I’ll never tire of the weekend market in Jordaan, bee-lining my way to the bakery in the back that makes the best breads on spot, which inspires my inner bread baker after each bite of its dark, seedy interior.
I’ll never tire of the melty, fresh as f*, homemade-in-front-of-you stroopwafels from the Albert Cuypmarkt even as the inner caramely syrup layer spills all over your face.
How about the fact that you can buy 50 cent avocados, 1 euro scarves or the most delicious olives at the same place as above??
I’ll also always praise the fact that in Holland, peanut butter is a staple and not just on bread. Peanut sauce is meant and does come served atop grilled chicken, fries and yes mayo does belong here too.
It’s patatje oorlog everyone, prepare.
And how about the pancakes? My love for pancakes runs deep and the same can be said in this great city.
It warms my heart, knowing that my favorite bakery in the world and inspiration for my future bakery is housed smack dab in the center of Amsterdam and no trip is complete without a visit.
Also, you can find brunch in this city simliar to home, thank heavens.
All this is not even mentioning the city’s passion for electronic music and the knowledge that Amsterdam and the Netherlands is the birthplace to some of house music and techno’s greatest djs.
I clubbed in an old school.
Though we were on the guest list and had tickets, I waited in line for an hour to get into another club far outta the center. I knew upon entry that the wait was nothing compared to how great the music and night was.
I’ll never tire of my two days of AMF at Amsterdam Arena, happily letting Steve Aoki throw a cake in my face as the beat drops.
I’ll never tire of ADE and how an entire week is devoted to this music and thousands of djs flock to do what they do best with people who genuinely love it.
I’ll never tire of that moment of happiness at the Awakenings stage at Dockyard, zoning out as techno blares and speaks to your soul in an old factory outside of town.
I’ll never forget the CLASS house music djs of Strafwerk and dancing all day in the sand on Amsterdam’s beach at Blijburg.
Overall, I’ll never tire of the energy of Amsterdam. In my mind, before visiting, I pictured something so entirely different. More chaos, beeping cars and obnoxious stoned people.
If you’ve been, you know that here quite the opposite is true. Unless it’s King’s Day or you’re in some section of Red Light with tourists who want to live out the above description.
Spend some time wandering Vondelpark and soak up the green beauty. Pass through or stay in De Pijp and feel one with a more local side to the city.
I’ll never tire of the eclectic-ness.
There is a restaurant entirely focused on avocados, a cafe that does everything coconut, and one of the city’s most exclusive clubs is a secret and in the back of a burger joint that looks about as classy up front as Five Guys. We were out of place, but loving life as we sipped our 20 euro gin tonics and knew we were surrounded by either a) celebrities or b) millionaires.
I can still picture my first time in Amsterdam and sitting on the side of a canal, facetiming my mom, telling her how I was going to write a book about this place. Well, one year or so later a blog article is what we have, but it’s a start.
I suppose I found my time better suited visiting the city repeatedly, every few weeks since moving to Brussels a year ago.
And that is the best part. Each and every return trip, I experience something new.
There are so many walks of life, people of different interests and backgrounds, not to mention the expats and hundreds of thousands of tourists that pass through and fall in love with the place themselves.
I thrive hearing from friends that they haven’t been to Amsterdam yet and then I frantically book a trip there with them.
I feel like a mom who can’t leave her kid in fear of missing it say ‘gah gah’ for the first time. I want to see that first reaction to this gorgeous place.
I know I’ll live in this city some day. I look forward to writing my love again and in a new way, post-move. For now, I’m packing for my trip there tomorrow. Actually though.