What I Learned in March

DSC_0432Back with more things that I learned this month! I am really liking this segment so far, it really helps me think about what I did in a month and what I can improve upon for April. March was an interesting month for me because I had a lot of realizations and came to many conclusions about how I am living my life and spending my time and so on. But still it was a good month. I can’t complain :)

This month I learned:

01. You don’t constantly have to be surrounded by people to be happy. When I first arrived in Amsterdam I constantly felt lonely. I didn’t know many people and even the ones I did know I didn’t see very much. I very much based my happiness on how many friends I had, which was wrong. Now that I am settled in here I don’t mind doing things on my own, sometimes its even better than constantly being surrounded by people.

02. Positivity is a choice. I’ve heard this so many times, but now I know that it is true. It really is a choice. You just have to get in the right mindset, which can be very difficult. It took me a couple of years! But now that I am here I never want to go back, it feels great.

03. How to ride a bike in Amsterdam. I almost decided not to buy a bike when I first got here because it looked kind of frightening.  What a mistake that would have been! Riding a bike in Amsterdam is so exhilarating and fun! I am so happy that I chose not to miss this experience.

04. That I need to make some new goals. I realized that going on exchange was really the last big goal/dream that I had, and I am doing it right now. Other than more travel destinations I really need to think of some new things that I want to accomplish in my life. Heres to dreaming.

05. That Ernest Hemingway is probably my favorite author. (Next to Jane Austen of course). I just love his writing style and novels. They always make me want to travel even more.

06. That you shouldn’t put your phone in your pocket while riding a bike. This is a sad story to tell… I completely cracked and scratched my phone screen due to it falling out of my pocket while cycling. What a way to learn how not to do something.

This post idea originated from chattingwiththesky.

Until next time x

 

Advertisements

Being Grateful

I am just realizing now all of the amazing opportunities that I have done and had, and how many more I will get to partake in before this adventure called life is over. It must be something about exchange and Amsterdam (And no its not the pot) because I am suddenly feeling much more positive about everything. And its amazing.

I used to get bogged down in the tiny details. I naturally had a negative way of thinking which I thought was totally normal. I thought that everyone had the same thought patterns I had. Boy was I wrong. For a year or two now I have been trying to work out how to become a positive thinker, and it was trying. I wished so much that I could have a positive outlook on life. It was something that I was really struggling with.

And now I do. Just suddenly and completely it snuck up on me. One day I just realized that hey I haven’t had any negative thoughts for awhile and it felt so good. I became so grateful that I was given the opportunity to go on exchange to Amsterdam when before I was homesick and just wanted to go home. Now, even if I am having a rough day, I am able to to think that at least I was able to accomplish this or that. Even if its small.

I became grateful for so many other opportunities in my life. The fact that I got to go on countless road trips with my family to the US. Being able to attend university. All of my amazing friends and family. The fact that I was born in an amazing country like Canada. Knowing that in the future I will have many many more adventures. These opportunities that I am grateful for aren’t over. There are many more to come and just knowing that makes me so happy.

I used to be anxious and saddened seeing what everyone else is doing. The things that other people get up to always look so much better. For me, that was one of the terrible things about social media. I always felt that I hadn’t done enough with my life, when this wasn’t the case at all. Somehow I can see everything a little more clearly now and know that I have achieved just enough for now. And knowing that there is so much more to come makes me feel better. Life hasn’t ended yet, there are so many more things to partake in.

So cheers to this crazy lifelong adventure!

The Museums of Amsterdam: Van Gogh + Foam

The Van Gogh and Foam museum are arguably my two favorite museums that I have visited so far in Amsterdam. The only thing that I do not like about them is that you are not allowed to take photos inside. I suppose this is a personal preference but I just love photos of museums and really hate it when you can’t take any! So I am sorry, this is a photoless post. :(

vangogh

I think what made me love this museum so much is the fact that you really get to know Van Gogh. Instead of having snippets of so many artists works like most museums, you are able to fully learn about his life and art. By the end of my tour I felt like I really understood him as an artist and was that much more appreciative of his work. The way they ordered his work is also very well done. You start at his earliest art and then eventually get to right before his death so you can really see his growth as an artist and how he developed his famous style.

When I first visited I wasn’t sure if the museum would only show Van Gogh’s work but I now know that this is not the case. They also show other artists work from Van Gogh’s time that he was either friends with or looked up to for inspiration. So you really get a full understanding of what the art world was interested in at the time. They also have multiple letters that he sent to friends and family that you can listen to on recording.

I’ll be heading back to this museum in a couple of weeks to see it with Sean and I don’t even mind. I’m not sure how to fully describe my experience in this museum except to say that it was satisfying.

jg

Foam is a photography museum so if you are not super interested in the medium then it may not resonate as much with you as it did with me. Upon entering the gallery I immediately realized how much I missed and love photography. I mean I take photos all the time, but I don’t really take care with them. I just snap whatever. Visiting Foam really made me want start taking photography more seriously again.

When I went they had exhibitions by Broomberg & Chanarin, Geert Goiris, and Regine Peterson. To be honest I really enjoyed all of them. They were very different from one another so it was nice to see a broad range of what photography can be.

I am definitely looking forward to going back when they change around their space.

What are some of your favorite museums to visit?

Until next time x

Amsterdam at Night

DSC_0006

I love Amsterdam at night. As soon as the sun goes down and the lights of the city come on, it has a completely different vibe. Depending on where you go, it can be peaceful to stroll along the canals and watch the lights reflect in the water. But if you are looking for more of a party vibe, the city definitely has that too. I think one of my new goals is going to be to see more of Amsterdam at night, I definitely don’t spend as much time out as I should when the city is so magical. Enjoy these few photos I managed to take at my favorite time of day!

DSC_0025 DSC_0037 DSC_0101 DSC_0103

What is your favorite city to see at night?

Until next time x

The Museums of Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum + Stedelijk

DSC_0111

While Christine was visiting Amsterdam last week we took it as an opportunity to visit a couple of the museums here. Because we ran out of time and were busy doing other things as well, we only ended up going to the Rembrandt House Museum, Rijksmuseum, and the Stedelijk. I feel like I didn’t take very many photos (and no photos at Rembrandt’s) which makes me kind of sad. However, because I now have a museumkaart I can go as much as I want to all of them so I think you can expect some future posts on these museums as well. :) Continue reading

What I learned in February

DSC_1026Hello all! I recently discovered this blog link up from Chattingatthesky all about sharing the things that you learn. I was immediately intrigued as I don’t think that many of us actually take the time to think about all the things we learn in a month, whether big or small. After mulling it over for awhile, I realized that contemplating these things is important. Whether you realize it or not, every day you are learning something new and these new things are what helps you grow as a person. We never stop learning and growing, and I think that this is one of the great things about life. You never know where something you learned might take you, right?

This month I learned:

01. How to ignite a gas stove with a match. This may sound easy and mundane, but I hate lighting matches so this was a huge thing for me. I forced myself to do it or else I would starve while in Amsterdam. Yikes!

02. How to cope with homesickness. Last month was difficult for me after moving away from home for the first time ever. I think I successfully navigated the icy waters though and am finally enjoying my time here!

03. Some of the history of Amsterdam. I know someone here who is getting her masters in urban planning and she is full of all sorts of facts about the city. So interesting.

04. How to etch. Last week Christine and I went to the Rembrandt House Museum and were lucky enough to take part in a free tutorial on etching. It was on plastic instead of copper but it was still fun as we got to keep our prints after!

05. How to navigate around Amsterdam. One of the many things that I am terrible at is reading a map. So I am rather proud of my knowledge of the Amsterdam streets. One of the things I love about this city is that its so small. A couple of nights ago we walked from one side of it to the other, why can’t all city’s be like this?

So there you have it! I wish I could remember more things I learned but I have a bad habit of not writing things down, so hopefully next month this list will grow longer.

What are some things you learned this month?

Daily Diary: IJ-Hallen Flea Market

DSC_0836

Last weekend I was invited by one of my classmates to go to IJ-Hallen, the biggest flea market in Europe. I have been trying this new thing where I actually say “yes” to all the opportunities that I can get my hands on, so of course I couldn’t refuse. We met up at central station along with a couple of her other friends and headed out via ferry to the market.

DSC_0823

The market takes place in two big warehouses filled to the brim with stalls selling an assortment of things from clothes to old tins. It occurs only once a month so if you are visiting Amsterdam and want to take a peak you’ll have to time your trip accordingly. The next market is on February 28th but you can find more information about it here: http://ijhallen.nl/en/index.php

DSC_0837DSC_0840DSC_0821

I unfortunately didn’t buy anything because every time I thought about purchasing something I would convince myself that I didn’t need it. Stupid brain! The one problem with exchange is that I will inevitably collect a random assortment of things and not have enough room to bring it back to Canada. Better to stay frugal I guess. Its a good thing I am already good at that.

DSC_0843

DSC_0834

My favorite part of the market was looking at all of the graffiti on the walls of the warehouses. I am beginning to notice just how much graffiti there is in Amsterdam and I love it! I’ll have to make a post solely on that in the coming weeks.

I definitely enjoyed my first time attending this flea market and think I might go again (and hopefully buy something…). This made me excited to visit other markets in Amsterdam, so you may be seeing some more posts on those :)

Until next time x