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

 

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!

Daily Diary: The Hague

DSC_0270 Last weekend my friend Chloe and I decided to do a day trip to another city in the Netherlands. After much deliberation (And checking of train ticket costs because the place I wanted to head to was 50 Euros…) we decided on The Hague or Den Haag. We set out early Saturday morning and arrived at about 10ish. Even though it was a cloudy miserable looking day I really enjoyed our trip. We mostly just meandered around the old part of the city, but it was nice to see all of the buildings and just chat. DSC_0271DSC_0272DSC_0274The Parliament buildings. We really wished we could go inside but alas, we couldn’t. DSC_0279Old with the new.

DSC_0309We did end up going to one museum, the Escher Museum. The museum showcases work by Maurits Cornelis Escher who I did not know I knew until I saw some of his designs. He is most famous for his impossible constructions such as the one that has a bunch of staircases in different directions.

DSC_0280I enjoyed the museum quite a bit, and a lot of his work especially. Another special feature of the museum was that in every room they would have a different crazy chandelier. There were ones shaped as guitar’s, missiles, and sharks. So weird and amazing.DSC_0287Belvedere. 1958.

One thing that we didn’t understand about the museum however, was why his work was being shown in that particular building. In every room it would have snippets of information about when the Queen lived there, which made for a rather strange juxtaposition. DSC_0295Metamorphoses II.DSC_0299At the end of the museum they had multiple rooms with interact illusion things… my English is failing me right now. Sorry!DSC_0318A church we happened upon. DSC_0325And a giant statue we wandered to while trying to get somewhere else.

I think The Hague is a very interesting city because the Dutch parliament and monarchy reside there. So there are a number of historical buildings to see. We didn’t end up going to the palace but I am sure it would have been quite a site!

I am really looking forward to more trips like this in the future! It is so much fun to get out of Amsterdam for a bit and see more of the Netherlands and hopefully soon, more of Europe.

Until next time x

Amsterdam at Night

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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!

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What is your favorite city to see at night?

Until next time x

The Museums of Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum + Stedelijk

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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

The Sunday Currently | Vol. 6

DSC_0815C U R R E N T L Y . . .
R E A D I N G All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I am still on a binge of novels that take place in Europe even though I am actually in Europe now. Might as well fill every part of my day with something European while I am here so that I know I spent my time wisely!

W R I T I N G a journal/diary of my days in Amsterdam and am so far loving it! It feels really good to write with pen and paper instead of with a keyboard. I am mostly doing this so that I can look back on my thoughts and feelings when I leave this beautiful city. -cue tears-

L I S T E N I N G to Ariana Grande. I can’t believe I just admitted that. Every time one of my room mates plays music in the kitchen Break Free is bound to come on, and I secretly love it. Its my guilty pleasure music.

T H I N K I N G about home and summer and friends and endless days and nights. Can you tell I am still feeling a little homesick?

S M E L L I N G cooked mushrooms and eggs. I looove the smell of mushrooms cooking.

W I S H I N G that my homesickness would go away. The struggle is real.

H O P I N G that I meet some more people here. The people I have met so far are great, but I am still feeling rather lonely. So I am hoping to fill the void with more people.

W E A R I N G  tights and a shirt with a cat on it. Oh yeah.

L O V I N G fries with Belgium mayonnaise. I want some right now… It is unfortunate that I am trying to lose weight at the moment.

W A N T I N G more people to come and visit me. So far Christine is coming in a week, Sean is coming in April, Kimberly is coming in June, and my parents might be coming in May or June as well. March is completely open people. Come visit me!

N E E D I N G a hug. A hug from Sean to be more specific.

F E E L I N G refreshed after going for a walk under the sun.

C L I C K I N G on reviews of places to see and visit in Amsterdam. I am still so lost in this city. Any recommendations of things to do would be highly appreciated :)

I hope that everyone, wherever you are, has a most fabulous Sunday. I will be spending mine partying with my room mates as it is one of their birthdays.

The Sunday Currently originator: Siddathornton.

Daily Diary: IJ-Hallen Flea Market

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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.

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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

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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.

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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