Five Days To Travel The World: Part Three.

Year Two. Month Seven. #AMS

I had five days off, and I was three days into my impulsive European adventure.

Not the train I was supposed to be on. Whoops.
My time in Copenhagen was up, so after one last delicious breakfast of avocado, cheese and rye bread, I bid my farewells and hopped on a short flight back to Amsterdam.

The trains in Amsterdam are amazing and efficient, but it does take a minute to adjust to the system. After two wrong trains, I eventually found my way to the Bijlmer ArenA Station, and quickly found my hostel. After throwing everything in my room, I ventured out into the streets once again.

Bijlmer ArenA Station.

I was feeling a bit lonely and defeated from my previous train mishap, but I now felt determined to explore. I had one night here, and it was Halloween. Without much of a plan, I waited for the train to Amsterdam Centraal to see what I could see. The train was a bit late, and I was wondering if this whole traveling thing had even been a good idea.

On the warm train I struggled to find a seat. Feeling overwhelmed, I stood in a corner but noticed a couple with a dog motioning me over to share a four-person booth with them. I sat and nodded gratefully, and an older Dutch woman joined us.

They asked me a question in Dutch, but I shook my head and they easily switched to English.

Amsterdam street art at sunset.

"Where are you trying to go? Us Dutch, we don't bite!" The young couple smiled genuinely. And if on cue, the couple's adorable beagle sighed and placed a floppy head in my lap. We all laughed. The old woman cooed to the dog in Dutch, and he wagged his tail. We proceeded to enjoy a shared moment on this train, in this country, in this very different part of the world. My heart swelled, and I felt so lucky to be able to be here.

With directions and encouragement, I said goodbye to my train friends and exited the train at Centraal. The view outside the station took my breath away. A huge intersection, with canals and bridges stretching in every direction. Boats, sparkling lights, music. People from all over the world in costumes and Halloween attire, laughing, wandering the streets. Cars honking, metro trains clanging, buses exhaling loudly, bikes ringing, people shouting. It was a crazy loud mess and I loved it.

You've got a piece of my heart, Amsterdam.

I wandered for what seemed like forever and no time at all. I passed tiny smoky cafes with old Dutch friends shouting out to each other, ancient stone churches, the neon lights of cannabis shops, the red lights shining, muted, on the cobblestone side streets.

I found pommes-frites for dinner, walking alongside the canals with the sticky mess of fried potatoes and dipping sauces. I sampled cheeses at a cheese shop and sipped a late night coffee. At the metro station I bought stroopwafel and chocolates for my boyfriend.

My one goal in Holland was to find pommes-frites. Done and DONE.

I slept soundly that night, and woke up at dawn to make my way back to the airport. Before I knew it, I was back on a big Airbus 330, napping soundly in my Business Class pod, on my way to New York City.

Let's go places.

Check out the conclusion to this mini-series and come jumpseat with me! <3 <3 <3


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