понеділок, 13 листопада 2017 р.

Travel diary: Forever tied to Amsterdam

Hello, amazing people!

I spent this weekend in Amsterdam and it was the second part of my this year's birthday gift - to me from me.

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I've been travelling quite a lot in these past 4,5 years (raise your hand if you remember me writing that crazy post "Hey, guys! I have a big news - I kinda moved to Thailand!") and have been to many cool places, had many amazing experiences and met an impressive number of great people. 

And I cannot believe that I'm saying it, but I think this trip to Amsterdam was in the top 3 of those trips. I wasn't actually expecting much - I was going by myself, only for a few days and my only plan was titled "museums, walking, going to bed early".

*Sidenote - I rented an AirBnb in Almere, which is 30 minutes by train from Amsterdam Centraal. I stayed in a place called Home by Anita - I recommend it to everyone as it was great value for the price. The owners are very friendly and welcoming, the place is very pretty and tidy, they provide a lovely breakfast and the atmosphere is really great.
Also if you are about to travel with AirBnB for the first time, you can get 25 euro of credit by registering with my link. I will also receive a small credit when you are going to complete your first trip, so everyone wins! :) 

And in the retrospect, it was the best thing to do. Because in the end, my experience with Amsterdam was not touristic, but eye-opening and almost spiritual. Sometimes you are searching for a moment to reflect upon things and sometimes a moment is searching for you. So a quiet weekend in a beautiful city is what you actually need. 


So on my first afternoon there I went to the Van Gogh museum

* Suggestion - book your ticket online or buy them during your walking tour (I will explain it a bit later). This way you can just scan your cell phone screen and be inside, enjoying warmth and art (both are very important, especially in November), and not spend your precious time in the line outside. 

So, Van Gogh... In the uni I was always that weird kid that loved artists and collected random catalogues, and years didn't change be even a bit. So I think I spend more than 4.5 hours there, just walking around, enjoying the paintings, resting on benches and listening to the audio guide and Vincent and Theo's letters to each other. 

On the last segment of the last floor, the guide's voice told me that just by coming to this museum on this day I already helped to fulfil one of Vincent's dreams - to share his art and work for people. And it was just a cherry on the top, honestly. If you are also one of the people that cried their eyes out over Doctor Who's episode about Van Gogh, you will understand me. If you never even heard about it, in a nutshell - in this episode they went back in time and brought Van Gogh back to our times, to his exhibition, to listen to all the amazing thing s that people are saying about him now. And this moment reminded me of it a bit. I don't think he would ever believe how much people love him and his art now.  

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The next day started as a little bit of a disaster - the trains were not going from my stop to Amsterdam Centraal, so I had to spend more than one hour (train - bus - train - tram) to try and get to Dam square. I knew that with only three days at my disposal I definitely want to do a walking tour again, and because of the trains I almost missed it. And it would've been a horrible personal loss for me because it was the best tour I've ever participated in. 

* Note - like in Paris, I opted for Sandeman's New Europe free walking tour. But, while in Paris it was just okay, in Amsterdam it was simply amazing. So my highest recommendations!)

I guess I really lucked out in terms of the group and of the guide. Because the vibe was just there - everyone was very interested, respectful, knowledgeble, we kind of really connected during the tour and it's a very nice feeling for a frequent female solo traveller like myself.

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And our guide was just great. I know that normally you have no influence over who is going to guide your group, and I'm pretty sure that every other guide is also great, but if you will do the tour and it will be guided by Sam, I can guarantee you that you will enjoy it.

It's pretty much obvious whether someone is just doing his/her job or really loves what he is doing. And with Sam it was the second case. He told us that he has a background both in theatre and in social work, and it really shows. The tour was very entertaining and very touching at the same time. And made me reflect upon many things as well.

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(sorry for using this photo as a FB messenger sticker, but I just couldn't help it!)

Anyways, there three days made me reflect a lot about Vincent Van Gogh, Anne Frank, all the injustices and karmic retribution, travelling by yourself and then randomly meeting new people based on small, but very enjoyable things, f.e. your love for art or plant-based food. 






I came back to Brussels very happy and renewed, and now am ready for my last week here. Because in just one week I'm hopping on a plane with my two suitcases and a paper Christmas star and going back to Palermo, where we have a new flat, many things to celebrate and many creative plans to bring into existence.

I'm leaving you with this video from the amazing weekend I just had and asking you to stay tuned for the companion video that will go live on Wednesday 9:00 CET. In that video I will speak a bit more about my soul-warming weekend. So come back, tune in and remember to like, share and subscribe - it helps me a LOT!


Be happy and see you around! Hugs and kisses!

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