How can one be in Europe and not take advantage of traveling?
So, I did just that…and an offer of free lodging at a fellow York University student, who is doing an one-term exchange in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Amsterdam was: exhilarating, historical, modern, beautiful, hip… Yea, I’m not going to tell anything more about my trip (besides the photos) because…
my fellow eAmbassador, Courtney is going to do just that! We both happened to be in Amsterdam the very same weekend. Unfortunately, we did not meet up but we did agree to swap memories (so scoot on over to her blog for my part of the story). And so, I present to you the words of the amazing and beautiful Courtney:
1. Here comes the big question…WHY Amsterdam ?
Travel, travel, travel. Amsterdam seemed so different (and mannn, it was!).
2. What was your first impression of Amsterdam ?
I was really, really shocked. Honestly, one of my first thoughts were : « Oh my goodness, I can already smell the marijuana. »
3. What shocked you the most ?
How do I choose? Blackfaced Zwarte Piete was everywhere, marijuana was easily attainable, the Red Light district seemed so normal and accepted, visiting the Anne Frank House was so interesting that it scared me… I don’t know, I can’t pick. My Amsterdam experience was so shocking, but also eye-opening and truly amazing. Probably my favourite travel experience yet.
4. What was your favourite part of the trip?
Leaving with solidified opinions on certain subjects. I learnt a heck of a lot about myself.
5. What did you “hate” the most ?
I can’t really say I « hated » anything, because I was trying so hard to understand Amsterdam. Having my views and opinions challenged was tough, because you don’t want to let go of what you once believed in. It was probably my most intense experience with culture shock, but I’m really thankful for it!
6. Is there anything that Toronto could learn from Amsterdam ?
Toronto can definitely learn from Amsterdam’s public transportation system! (As well as Geneva’s, and Munich’s, and London’s). Also, I think it’s safe to say that if the people of Amsterdam were to visit Toronto, they might generally feel as if the people of Toronto should take a break from their cell phones and chill out.
Eccentric, liberal, beautiful.
8. Knowing how much you love music….what was or would be your playlist dedicated to Amsterdam ?
Oh my goodness, this is challenging.
It seems all kind of random but I think I’m happy with this for now.
9. Would you recommend Amsterdam ?
10. If someone you knew was planning to go to Amsterdam, what would be your advice to them ?
Keep an open mind.