I use this blog to post all about our travels around the world, however, I would be doing Amsterdam a huge disservice if I didn’t dedicate a post (or a few) to this incredible city we call home.
I thought what better opportunity to reflect on our experience living abroad than on our one year anniversary in Amsterdam. After one year, I still cannot believe we have the opportunity to call this city our home. I am not kidding that I sometimes pinch myself as I am walking down the street or biking along the canals. We have had the privilege of visiting many cities and I still firmly believe that Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful and unique cities in the world – with its picturesque canals, quaint streets, and incredible architecture – you really can’t ask for anything more.
I could go on and on about why I love Amsterdam, but to keep this post short and sweet, I have narrowed down my top 5 favourite things about the past year:
#1 Meeting new people and making lifetime friends: Moving over four thousand miles away from all of our friends and family was a bit scary at first. But we have met some incredible people since moving here and are so fortunate to have made such good friends. I think the experience of living abroad together in a foreign country has made these friendships really strong and I know wherever life leads all of us next, we will stay in touch with these friends forever 🙂
#2 Showing our friends & family our new home: We’ve been so lucky to have so many loved ones come visit us and we love showing them all around. It’s a lot of fun taking them to our favourite spots in the city or to our local neighbourhood hangouts. Renting a boat and cruising along the canals with our friends and family will never get old. Here’s some photos from just a few of our visitors this past year:
#3 Exploring this incredibly beautiful city (and the rest of Europe!): Wandering through the quaint streets of Jordaan, grabbing a drink in De Pijp, avoiding tourists in the centrum, shopping in Old South, getting in touch with our hipster sides in the Noord, running/biking/rowing up the Amstel – I love how different all the neighbourhoods of Amsterdam are and getting the opportunity to explore and experience each of them. Plus, I love how central Amsterdam is to the rest of Europe and how incredibly convenient (and cheap!) it is to catch a flight to anywhere else in the world from Schiphol. In one year, we stuck to our promise of a trip a month and had the chance to visit 12 countries! Not to mention a number of cities in the Netherlands (Den Haag, Maastricht, Giethoorn). We are so grateful for this opportunity and love that we have been able to explore so much of the world in the past year.
#4 Biking our way through the city: If you’ve read some of my other posts, you probably know that Cole and my favourite way to explore a new city is via bike. We love when we see a bike sharing program in a city when travelling, but it’s a bit of a different story when it came down to the city we lived in. Moving from Atlanta where a car is a basic necessity to get around the sprawling city, I was a bit nervous selling our cars and trading them in for bikes. However, my fears quickly dissipated when I saw how easy and quick it is to navigate around Amsterdam. You can get to the other side of town in a 10-15 minute bike ride all while getting fresh air and riding along the beautiful canals. While commuting to work is a bit more difficult (sorry Cole!), I think it’s something we’ve both really enjoyed about our life in Amsterdam.
#5 Enjoying the European lifestyle: checking out the countless food/wine/music festivals in the summer, experiencing the Dutch holidays (King’s Day), rocking out at concerts at Melkweg, running at one of the local races, laughing at one of the comedy shows, and so much more. Whether it’s grabbing coffee from the cafe where everyone knows my name or enjoying an elongated dinner out (thanks Dutch service), I love experiencing everyday life in this incredible city. It’s definitely a slower pace of life than back home and we have really enjoyed the past year here.
We look forward to seeing what Amsterdam has to show us in year 2 🙂