Pondering only having one month left in Amsterdam

My time here in Amsterdam has been full of ups and downs. Some days I’m wishing to stay longer and looking for any way to extend my stay, yet there has been others when I’m searching for the soonest flight home. But now that I only have one month left I’m taking a step back to reflect on what I’ve I enjoyed most, will miss the most, and also what I’m looking forward to about going home.

I’m thankful that Amsterdam is such a small city because it has allowed me to get fairly acclimated with the city.

My favorite places in the city:

  • Reading, biking, climbing trees, basically spending any time at all in Vondelpark
  • Visiting the rotating exhibits at the Stedelijk Museum and sitting on the grass roof outside
  • Taking the ferry across the Amsterdam-Noord and getting lunch at Pllek while looking out across the river and enjoying the street art
  • Spending rainy days at Brouwerij ‘t IJ
  • Concerts at Paradiso

Little things I will miss the most:

  • Biking around the city on any given day at any given time
  • Having my own little apartment
  • Studying the history of Amsterdam while in Amsterdam
  • Being able to travel to a new country each weekend
  • My museum pass which gets me into all the Museums in the city
  • An active lifestyle and really fresh vegetables
  • Walking along the canals looking at all the beautiful brick houses
  • Going to school in the city
  • Living right next to the train station
  • Biking through the Rijksmuseum while listening to buskers which always make me feel like royalty
  • Spending the day doing homework in the corner cafe called Caffènation
  • Having the opportunity to show friends and family around the city when they visit

What I am looking forward to about going home:

  • Being able to spend time with my family
  • Snuggling with my dog Max
  • Living with all my friends again
  • Skiing every weekend
  • Being able to drink in America
  • The quietness of being outside the city
  • Driving my car, as much as I like biking its getting pretty cold and it rains almost every day

Being abroad has taught me so much about myself and I am so grateful to be here. Before I came to Europe, I made a commitment to myself to always say “yes” when given the opportunity (granted it is safe) and in turn I have done so many things I would not have thought of even trying in the first place such as going to a heavy metal concert in a Bomb Shelter and biking 26 kilometers through farmland to go see some windmills. Being in a new place opens you up to doing things you never would have thought of doing before. The way I look at being surrounded by a different culture is that I don’t know what is “normal” and I can’t understand the language so if I do something “weird” or “American” as people like to call it, it doesn’t phase me. This has allowed me to get comfortable with the unfamiliarity of a city which makes me nervous returning to a place so familiar may feel stagnant. However, to combat this I think I will make more of an effort to explore new restaurants and museums back home and make an effort to spend more time with my friends.

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