“Oh, you are going to Amsterdam? I LOVE Amsterdam and you are going to love Amsterdam!” I often heard this phrase right before I left the United States to embark on a month-long European adventure. Everyone who has visited Amsterdam, no matter their walk of life, enjoyed this place. I instantly became curious regarding why everyone loved this place so much. After experiencing Amsterdam for first time, I finally understood why.
Amsterdam is a charming destination. Its intertwining canals seem to dictate the map of the city, and its beautiful architecture has a unique essence. People of all ages (and I mean all ages) ride their bikes everywhere. Taboos aren’t taboos and aren't considered illegal. People can participate in prostitution legally at the Red Light District and purchase weed legally. The people of Amsterdam embrace everyone from all walks of life with their warm greetings and kind hearts. No wonder why everyone loves Amsterdam so much!
I had an extra bounce in my steps while in Amsterdam since I was enamored with the place and the culture. I definitely gained many lifetime memories, such as walking alongside the canals at 5 a.m. in the morning with my friend from El Salvador; seeing a cute little family, including the grandparents, ride their bikes together; and visiting the Anne Frank house, which made a girl whose diary I read in the 5th grade feel even more real to me. I ate the best apple pie and turkey sandwich ever, and wondered why Dutch pancakes never existed in my life before - thanks to my co-worker’s food recommendations. Fortunately, I can buy stroopwafels here in the U.S., but sadly will never receive them automatically with my coffee unless I am in the Netherlands.
Like everyone else, I fell in love with this city and cannot wait to come back again. Next time, I plan to stay in Amsterdam for a month or two.