Hello blog! I have finally made it to Amsterdam after months of anticipation and stressful applications. When I first entertained the idea of going on exchange, I always thought that as soon as I arrived in the foreign destination of my choosing I would be happy and it would be easy as pie. Now that I have been here for about five days, I have come to realize that this isn’t the case at all. I knew that I would miss some people, but I did not know that it would be to this extreme.
I did not know that I would get this homesick and actually want to buy a plane ticket almost as soon as I arrived to return to Canada. I did not know that things like getting a SIM card for my phone or buying a train ticket would make me so anxious. I did not know that I would feel this lonely, even after spending a whole night out with one of my room mates. But even after all of those things, I am learning to cope. I have to, or else my whole stay here will be absolutely miserable.
It has only been a few days but already I am feeling better. There are still ups and downs, but I am hoping that the downs will become very spread apart soon and that the ups will be even better. Already I have gone to central Amsterdam and found where all of my classes are. I wandered the streets and saw the canals. The architecture is amazing and definitely something you could spend all day looking at. I even accidentally wandered into the red light district, but quickly left. It felt weird to be walking there by myself and I also had my camera out (you’re not allowed to take photos there).
One of the things on my Amsterdam List was to ‘be bold, be adventurous.’ And I think I am managing that quite well so far. I am learning to say yes to more opportunities and not only hide in my room.
The other night I went out with one of my room mates to a gay bar called SOHO in Amsterdam. It was fun and my first experience clubbing. I find it rather amusing that my first experience clubbing was at a gay bar but what the heck. Good times!
I road on the back of a bicycle for the first time! This I think is something that might occur a lot in this country of bicycles.
I went to my first borrel, which is a Dutch event where you go drink and chat with people. Quite lovely for just a quiet evening out, and the perfect end to my first day in Amsterdam.
I went shopping with my room mate and we made dinner together and chatted over a glass of wine.
Everyone here has been so comforting and kind. I think I can learn to love this place, even with all the ups and downs.
Until next time x