“I want to be a woman who overcomes obstacles by tackling them instead of tiptoeing around them in fear.” -Renee Swope
This past Friday hundred of people lost their lives in Paris, France; a mere 300 miles away from London. When I heard the news I was only 10 hours away from getting on a plane heading to Amsterdam. A friend of mine that was also going on the trip contacted me asking if I thought it was still a good idea to go. My immediate reaction was, “of course.”
Although it may have not been completely safe to fly around Europe, I wasn’t about to let fear get in the way of my plans or my life in general. When we arrived in Amsterdam we immediately headed to the Anne Frank House. Thankfully, we got tickets online beforehand, which started with a tour and then let us skip the hours-long line to the house. Inside you can see Anne’s real diaries and the space that her family was confined to for multiple years. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how I felt.
Then, we headed to The Pancake Bakery, and when I say the food is amazing — I mean the food is AMAZING. A Dutch pancake is more of a crepe in American’s eyes, but nonetheless they were divine.
Next, we were off to the Heineken Experience. Make sure you get your tickets ahead of time for this as well, the line was wrapped around the building, and we luckily got to walk right in. You get a few free beers and they have an amazing gift shop. You can even customize your own Heineken label; it was a blast.
The last stop of our day was The Red Light District. If you don’t know what this is in Amsterdam, I suggest you look it up. I have no other words.
The next day we had plenty of time before our flight back to London. We went to the Van Gogh Museum (again, get tickets in advance), climbed around the “I Amsterdam” sign, tried cheese samples in multiple stores, bought some souvenirs, and ate dough balls called Krentenbollen. If you do nothing else in Amsterdam, get the dough balls; they taste like a roll of funnel cake. We walked along the canals and tried not to get hit by the aggressive bikers. And right before we headed home, we saw the town hall center lit up in France’s national colors; a perfect way to end the trip.
Meeting Amsterdam was super fun, despite everything happening around the world. Bad things can happen everyday but you won’t always get the chance to travel, so don’t let anything stop you. You are stronger than that.