I have to declare what I am calling my Amsterdam Confession…. My dark, little secret that I am used to hiding in shame. That I never let others know for fear of rejection or ridicule. Something that will surely make me instantly unpopular and garner accusation of heresy!
….There I have said it, it’s out, the world now know my Amsterdam Confession but before you all start to gather your pitch forks let me explain.
Looks just like a big drainage ditch in the middle of the street, hardly the stuff of fairytales … Can’t really hold the cars against it, but must they be EVERYWHERE?
It’s not that I don’t want to like Amsterdam, in fact the opposite. I really want to love Amsterdam, I am a quarter Dutch after all. On paper it all works, and I should be Amsterdam’s biggest fan, but this just doesn’t translate into reality. I’m not sure what’s wrong – it’s not that I have anything against the tolerance or liberal values which makes the city world famous – or against the prostitution and drugs!
And don’t even get me started on the bikes. Oh the bikes. Death on wheels – Only thing more dangerous than a local on a bike is tourist on a bike!
Indeed I support the right to individual freedom to do everything as long as no one else is harmed and think that the world could follow Amsterdam’s and the Netherlands approach in many respects. It’s not that the town is ugly, it’s not – it’s perfectly preserved, extensive and detailed … Just that nothing grabs me, there is no ‘wow’ factors. Why does the entire world seem obsessed with this place? Is there something I’m missing? Were my space cakes bad??
Brown building, brown bridge, brown water, grey sky … Very monotonous let me tell you. Paint the city like a rainbow then we can talk.
I don’t even mind that it’s hyper-touristy… That’s not always a bad thing but I just can’t find anything to make me fall in love…The weather is horrible, the food non-description, the prices sky high and the sites so-so. But this dislike is different the that I (dare I say) loathing I hold towards Milan … A place I can’t even want to like and the only travel destination I actively recommend against. Maybe if you are visiting Amsterdam with teenagers then it’s a different scenario, but for me… It’s a NO!
*Suuurreeee* … It has the nice Dom … But you don’t notice the string men, pick pockets, dirty streets, a ‘meh’ atmosphere and just nothing else. Thats why they only ever show this one shot!
Returning back to my Amsterdam Confession: I really want to love Amsterdam, to embrace my heritage, and enjoy this city like so many others do but I can’t see it happening. I’ve tried twice now and think I’m just gonna have to leave sleeping dogs lie so to speak. Maybe I’ll try again when the weather is better, not on a weekend, I’ll take a canal tour or find some good foodie spots. Or I’ll go in the middle of winter when the canal’s freeze over and you can skate on them … Now there’s a site. They say timing is everything….Maybe mines just always off?
Hmmmm … OK maybe I’d be in love if this froze over, and the sun was out…Blue Sky…mmmmmmm *books tickets back for Feb?*
Now you're all set and prepared to explore our big wide world, why not sort out everything else out all in one go? If necessary for your travel plans make sure you have brought proper travel insurance, protected your privacy by getting a secure VPN, compared all the top hotel booking sites to find just what you're after, reserved an unbeatable rental car price and - of course - booked the best flight deals!
Many budget travelers (including me) indulge in worldwide airport lounge access, so we can experience luxury while still slumming it in economy. Naturally, we would never leave home without a more a more general travel guide since we couldn’t possibly cover everything here!
Just add an adventurous attitude and plenty of smiles - they go a long way - and that about covers it all! Now go out, find your own path and don't forget to share your best inspiration stories with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram...I'd love to hear from you!