On our last day in Amsterdam we started off at the Anne Frank house. I highly recommend this to anyone traveling here (make sure to buy tickets online ahead of time). They’ve turned the actual house into a museum and you walk throughout it in an audio guided tour. It’s hard to put into words and the point is probably to leave you speechless. Otto Frank, Anne’s father, was the only was to survive and just hearing his story really moved me. As a parent, what he went through is unimaginable and to handle it all the way he did is profound. They didn’t allow photos but I took a picture of the outside.
From there we went to the tulip museum to buy some gifts and of course, flowers, to bring back to grow. Then we ventured to Winkle 43 for the best apple pie (did you know the Dutch are known for their apple pie?). Apparently the Dutch are unlike Americans in that when they say something is the best, it is the truth. Not everyone claims to have the best anything because people would get upset or say that it was untrue. We laughed when our Airbnb hosts told us this. I can really appreciate that. (It reminds me of the movie Elf when he surprises her with the best cup of coffee and makes her guess what it is and she just says how it’s a lousy cup of coffee haha Difference between being in NYC and the Netherlands apparently.)
We went to Bloemenmarkt, the world’s only floating flower market (flower stalls sit on the Singel canal), for more gifts and to buy cheese to take home and then ventured to the largest daytime market in Europe, the Albert Cuyp Market, which has over 250 stands. Grabbed a drink and, what my mom had been wanting to try, herring (the Dutch are also known for their fried to pickled herring) and then grabbed two rickshaws up to the DoubleTree hotel to catch one of the best views of the city in their SkyLounge. We ended the night with an early dinner on one of the canals.
Day 6 we headed out to the airport early and went on our way home.
This trip was great, but like most, was too short. I welcomed the idea of a girls trip because a) it’s what my mom wanted for her birthday trip and b) I was happy to only have to care for myself. I very much look forward to trips with my husband and baby (I long for this actually, travel is such a passion of mine and I want to share that with them) but it was nice to just be able to focus on me. I missed them tremendously while I was gone but I have been missing myself more lately. For the last few months I have been struggling with postpartum and I am really trying to take care of myself better and do more for me. So while traveling didn’t cure my depression, it definitely was nice to step away, have a break, and release and reconnect.
Other takeaways from the trip (things I want for myself and encourage others to do as well):
- I want to travel more even if it’s just close by. A change of scenery can change your whole outlook. Also opens you up to new people and ideas and is just all around a good idea.
- Have more adventures at home. While I was bummed to be returning to the US (I love the European way of living) there was a group of people flying to the States for the first time and they. were. so. excited. Their excitement was contagious and it brought me a greater appreciation for where I live.
- Be more laid back and relaxed. Becoming a mother in general, but especially lately, has brought out a heightened sense of my anxiety (my good friend who is also a LMHC told me that anxiety and depression often go hand in hand) and I tend to be kinda high-strung. Many Americans are like this. We are not chill, I am not chill. We can be high-strung, always with a go, go, go, are burnt out, and don’t focus on just enjoying things and taking care of ourselves. Many Europeans are not like this. They are more relaxed. They have leisurely long meals. They are less rushed. Less uptight. It’s a different mindset, outlook and I strive to be more like that.
- Have the glass of wine. If you want to enjoy a glass of wine on a Tuesday evening, celebrate your day and have a drink (not saying you have to have a drink to celebrate or enjoy your day but you’ll get my point). I can be so rigid and strict (refer to above bullet point), and don’t get me wrong, having guidelines and structure for your life is good but not when it means you are no longer living and enjoying your life. They’re needs to be more room for freedom and fun.
- Bike more. Walk more. Explore your own city. I wish I lived in a city where I could walk everywhere but, my neighborhood is very walk or bike-able so I want to do more of that!
Up next: Iceland August 2020! If anyone has been and has any tips, tricks, advice, I’d love to hear!