Gezellig: Why Amsterdam is so darn cozy!

There are several reasons why Amsterdam has slowly but surely captured my heart: It has beautiful scenery, friendly inhabitants, interesting culture and history – not to forgot the amazing snapjes cuisine! For the seven months that I have now been living here, I can honestly say that I am very happy that (of all the lovely cities out there) Amsterdam is my home for now.

Amsterdam on a rainy, beautiful day

Beautiful Scenery
Everywhere you go in Amsterdam, you literally run into channels and parks. For someone like me who loves the nature, a stunning scenery is never dull! Even if Amsterdam is a smaller big city, it’s big enough to go explore and discover something new often. There are many areas around Amsterdam, all characterised by something unique. However, there’s no doubt that my favourite area is Jordaan: If I had the money, I would move there immediately. Filled with decorated, old truly Dutch houses, channels and lots of restaurants, cafes and bars, this is the place to live…and it’s central too – it doesn’t get much better! Of parks, I absolutely adore Amstel Park with its water fountains, maze and stunning gardening – not to forget the very Dutch windmill! Living right next to Vondelpark, though, I must admit that this park has a special place in my heart. Despite its hype and business, it cannot be argued that it’s a beautiful, big park with lots of stunning scenery.

Friendly Inhabitants
The kind people of Amsterdam is a friendly one: They genuinely want to know about you and are interested in your stories. They are also very open-minded and cultural diverse, which is something I really appreciate in a culture: There’s room for everyone!
Everybody here seems to speak English, which means that you’ll never truly feel obliged to learn the difficult language of Dutch. Nevertheless, I have begun my journey to, hopefully, speak it sufficiently at some point. One thing is to say about the Dutch language, though…it’s not a pretty one. However, when you overcome the obstacles of speaking it and slowly learn it, you feel like you can overcome almost anything – yep, that’s how easy it is to learn Dutch…

Dutch Cuisine
In general, the Dutch cuisine looks a lot like the Danish and German cuisine, I think: A lot of potatoes and a lot of meat in various combinations. Their national dish, Stamppot, comes with different ingredients and is delicious! I, especially, like the one with carrots, however, do not care too much for the one with onions… Moreover, their snapjes (small, delicious snacks) are groundbreaking! Of course, you can get snapjes of a variety of cheeses not to forget meats. However, their bitterballen beat it! A little fried ball of mashed potatoes and meat served with mustard – yummy! Of sweet snapjes Poffertjes and Stroopwafel are the best! While Poffertjes are cooked dough served with powdered sugar; Stroopwafel are two thin waffles stuck together with a layer of syrup best enjoyed with a cup of tea (although you can really eat those at all times).

Culture and History
As any capital, Amsterdam is full of culture and history. The fact that Amsterdam is the city in the world with most museums stresses this. You can literally find a museum for anything – be it cheese, tulips, erotic, cows and ducks… I don’t care too much for museums unless it’s something truly different (yes, I went to the cow museums and it’s great…!) or something that truly interests me (like Anne Frank and the Anne Frank Hous). What I do like though, are interesting exhibitions and cool concerts. So far, I’ve enjoyed a few exhibitions here, the latest being The Art of Banksy, which I give my best recommendations. With a rather modest pay check, however, I’ve only enjoyed three concerts here so far, which is far from enough! However, the up-and-coming as well as proper stars seem to visit Amsterdam regularly, which is quite nice. With time, there should be money enough to see more gifted artist on the big and small stages.

Have you been to Amsterdam? What did you think of the city? Do you also think it’s rather gezellig?

xo P!

Moving Day: It’s time for my abroad relocation

Finally! The day has arrived. Moving day… Or moving weekend, really.

Moving day

For so long now, I’ve been looking forward to this day with pure excitement and happiness. Finally, my dream is coming true. With a few bumps along the way, I’m now ready for Amsterdam, Holland, and I cannot wait! Today, I’ll spend the day packing and when I wake up early tomorrow morning, I’ll be well on my way to Amsterdam. …I’ll be well on my way to start my new adventure – my new life.

I’m influenced by rather ambivalent feelings at the moment. I’m both sad and happy: Saying goodbye to everything you know is both terrifying and exciting at the same time. Mostly, though, I’m full of excitement and happiness. I take great comfort in uncertainty. For me, uncertainty, namely, determines certainty. I guess that sounds weird… However, that’s how I am: When nothing is sure, everything is possible – and isn’t that a great feeling!? So why am I sad? I think it’s because I’ll leave my family for good. My family that doesn’t understand my wanderlust or fernweh at all. My wonderful family nonetheless.
For the last couple of months, all my time and energy has been used on things related to this relocation. As such, I haven’t had much energy to use on them, which I feel bad about now. I think I’ve spend the entire week overcompensating for that – now, I think they’re happy to see me leave for a while… Having celebrated the entire month of Christmas resulting in Christmas Evening yesterday with my dear family, though, I feel as if I have said my goodbyes and am ready for this relocation. Of course, I’ll miss them and it will take me a little time to get used to my new reality in the fair city of Amsterdam. However, I’m not one of those people who walks around with an ache in their hearts homesick. Quite on the contrary actually. I rather walk around home being homesick for a place I’ve never been – a place I dearly hope to find one day.

Tomorrow, I’ll arrive in Amsterdam. Tomorrow, I’ll officially begin my new life. Tomorrow, will be the beginning of the rest of my life. …Tomorrow!

xo P!

 

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In the Process: Preparing my next relocation abroad

…Plan, organise, research…
…Then plan a little more, organise a little more and research a little more…

At the moment, I’m in the middle of planning and implementing my next abroad relocation. Within the month, I will (hopefully, if everything works as planned) move permanently to Amsterdam in Holland. I can’t wait! I have been counting down to December for so long now, and it’s finally time… Time to make my dream come true. However, the relocation, of course, comes with a lot of planning. Fortunately, this is something I don’t only enjoy, however, also something I’m quite good at. As a result, I already have all the necessary paper works as well as an apartment. Moreover, I have even started to learn Dutch via Duolingo and scheduled a meeting with the municipality in order to receive a personal number, which is needed for…everything really. Now, I just need a job. As such, I’m currently in contact with various companies in Amsterdam regarding a full-time job within my field of interest.

Job search
As it will be my first non-student job, I am excited to see what exactly I’ll end up doing and in which field. Of course, I’m applying for certain jobs connected to my experience and education. Nevertheless, there are many opportunities out there. Hence, as much as this is an interesting and exciting process, it is also a scary one. It is scary due to the uncertainty linked to it – simply because I have no control over the situation. I mean, of course, I send out applications and make sure to continually improve not only my CV but also my cover letter, which has shown highly positive responses. But… In the end, you never quite know whether or not the companies in question find you an attractive candidate for the job or that you lack experience and/or certain qualifications. Hence, I can do nothing more now but wait… Wait for feed back and a yes or no reply to my application… …Let’s just say, I’m not the patient kind, and to not have control over my situation is rather annoying… Nonetheless, this is my current situation. And when nothing is sure, everything is possible – let’s stay positive and optimistic, shall we.

xo P!

 

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Down the Rabbit Hole: Future relocation abroad plans

As an aspiring traveler always on the move, I have certain countries in mind in which I would not only love to travel to, however, also live in. Let’s just say: I’m not planning on returning to Denmark once I move abroad again next month. Ever… No, I want to settle in one country at a time for a longer period of time. That’s the plan. Truth is, Denmark has never felt like home to me, and I’m quite certain my home is out there somewhere. Maybe the best way to explain it is through the concept of fernweh? …I suffer from fernweh: What fernweh means is, basically, that you’re homesick for a place you’ve never been. As such, I’m sure that I’m destined to lived abroad somewhere. I just need to find the country I belong to first. Until then, I’ll travel and settle in various countries for a longer period of time. …Of course, you never know what the future holds, and I might end up falling in love with the next country, I move to. If that’s the case, then I know I’ve found my home and then I’ll be content with traveling the world and living permanently in that country. So when I write ”future relocation abroad plans,” they’re just plans – not set in stone. As a quite ambitious and determined young woman, I also want a career. Hence, my career comes first. Hopefully, however, there’s room for both a career and traveling. Anyway, for now, I have four future relocation abroad plans: Amsterdam, New York, Edinburgh and Stockholm.

Holding the world in my heands

Amsterdam, Holland
First and foremost, there is Amsterdam in Holland. I’m moving there next month and I can’t wait. I already have a furnished apartment with two roomies waiting for me while I’m currently looking for a job.
Recently, one of my friends asked me why my heart is set on Amsterdam. The only way I can explain it is that I’m drawn to it. My intuition tells me this city is the next stop. It, simply, has to be Amsterdam. …When I imagine my future life in Amsterdam, it puts a smile on my face. It makes me happy. This feeling isn’t new to me: When I relocated to London, Dublin and Berlin, I had the same feeling. Although these adventures were part of my education and, therefore, not permanent, it can’t quite be compared to moving to Amsterdam this time. However, as these adventures turned out nothing but amazing, I am not one to question my intuition. I follow it. Whole-heartedly. Hopefully, this adventure will turn out just as amazing as the previous relocations abroad have.

New York, USA
For some reason, I just have to live in America for a period of time. I wish to experience first hand the differences between the American and European cultures – lifestyles and line of thoughts. For some reason, this is very intriguing to me. Obviously, NY represents only one part of the US, I am aware of that. Nevertheless, New York, NY, is where I’ve set my heart.
The reason why I have my heart set on New York in America is due to its reputation as a young and dynamic city. …The city that never sleeps. Furthermore, it doesn’t seem to be restricted to a certain generation or age group which means that when I’ve explored Amsterdam and Holland to its fullest for 5-10 years, I’m not old enough to relocate to New York. And this city characterised as colourful and adventurous in the land of opportunity, I will fit right in – for a period of time at least.

Edinburgh, Scotland
Then, once I’m tired of the fast-paced city life, I plan to move to Edinburgh in Scotland. Green, fresh and beautiful Scotland.
When a dear friend and I visited the city back in 2013, I completely fell for its charm – the culture, history and people. As such, it’s a culture I want to explore further – and just just for a vacation, no I wish to settle there for a longer period of time. And with the opportunity for weekend tours around Scotland and to the Lake District in north England as well as the rest of UK and Ireland, I’m certain that my 40s here will be well spent and bring me calmness along with a more mature and grown-up version of me.

Stockholm, Sweden
Finally, I plan to grow old in Stockholm in Sweden.
I fell in love with the city when I visited Sweden earlier this year. This beautiful capital with stunning architecture, harbour views and scenery captured my heart immediately. As such, it is a city in which I can very well imagine myself grow old with a future husband because it’s lively, however, not too lively – it’s the perfect combination of adventurous and calm.

So… Those are my current future relocation abroad plans. Do you have any? Where would you like to settle for a period of time – or permanently?

xo P!

 

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Daydreaming a Life: Always on the move

I consider myself a person always on the move… I’m on the move in various aspects: personal developments, physical developments, emotional developments as well as establishing new friends and business relationships. However, also geographically: I move around from foreign country to foreign country and settle there for a period of time with the goal of gaining cultural understanding and perspective. I love it! For me, life is all about constantly moving – in one way or another. Develop as a person! I have to develop in order to feel like I’m living – if I don’t, I feel like I’m waisting my life… And I don’t want to waste my life! As such, when it comes to my geographical relocations, people often ask me how I decide on where to live – what country and city. Truth is, I follow my intuition and so far it’s been a rather good experience to say the least. I have a pretty good gut feeling, which some people can’t relate to. However, I’ve always followed my intuition – in all aspects of life. It has never failed me. So when it, time after time, tells me that my next abroad relocation ought to be a certain city, I’m listening… My intuition told me, when I was very young, that I should become a traveler. Moreover, it guided me towards the right educational programmes and told me to pursue London for my first abroad move, Dublin for my next and Berlin for my third. As a result, I’ve made some of my best decisions with it.

A year ago, listening to music one late evening with a glass of white wine, I found myself imagining my future – my near future. Suddenly, I saw myself in lively Amsterdam’s streets and squares surrounded by old beautiful houses and canals. A sense of happiness came over me and I was sure: That’s where I would relocate once I finished university. Maybe influenced by my latest musical discovery, the music artist, George Ezra, and his song, A Blind Man in Amsterdam, or the wine, however, my intuition told me A’dam was the city for me. This feeling lead to days of wondering and doing research on Amsterdam while getting in touch with people living there – nothing that would change my mind, on the contrary! Gradually, I fell more and more in love with the idea of living there. I was certain: Amsterdam is was. It felt like an epiphany, and I could now start to plan my life after university.

Listening to music

In my mind – my imagination, I made up an entire life there with my first job, new friends and a flat shared with great roommates, and I couldn’t wait. Exploring the city, scrolling through its streets and squares, visiting the Royal Palace and the infamous Red Light District, taking a boat tour on one of the many canals, exploring the ’I Amsterdam’ sign and landmark not to forget the Anne Frank House as well as Van Gogh Museum, doing city tours and hearing about Amsterdam’s history and culture as well as explore the famous Dutch mills and tulip fields… The list goes on… However, also things as simple as taking a walk in one of the many beautiful parks there, buying flowers for my room at flower markets, finding new friends (and love), going to concerts and comedy gigs, visiting a cafe or taking a bus or metro ride while listening to Dutch people talk, not understanding a word, however, eager to learn the language – getting lost in the language: Miscommunicate, laugh, explore, understand, learn, try speaking Dutch. All these great things that life throws at you – that is life.
… Even though this, of course, is all in my imagination, it feels real in the sense that it could be. At the same time, based on outcomes from previous abroad relocations and the grounds on which they were decided, I have no reasons not to trust my intuition because they have turned out wonderful. As a result, the decision was easy: Listen to my gut feeling and relocate to Amsterdam. At the time, I, of course, was to finish my six months internship in Dublin and another six months thesis writing in Berlin first, which I was extremely excited about as well – all the adventures! However, the thought of Amsterdam in Holland being my first permanent abroad relocation felt so right – and it still does now only three months ahead!

Since my epiphany a little over a year ago, I’ve been planning this relocation and a lot of interesting things have happened throughout the last year concerning my plans – one thing in particular: A little over a half a year after my decision was made, I was talking to a dear friend from back home where I grew up. We discussed living abroad and for some reason, we decided we would move to Amsterdam together once we finished university. She had visited Amsterdam in her teens and had been keen to move there ever since. As a result, it seemed like a good idea. After all, we’ve been close friends for almost a decade now. So… This became the plan that we would move towards the following months. It’s just amazing when imagination becomes reality.
However, upon my arrival back in Denmark in June this year, unfortunately, my bank caused me a minor set-back in my plans. I couldn’t afford moving there right away so I had to take a loan, which my bank wasn’t keen on. As a result, due to six months of intense saving up money for my relocation, I won’t move to Amsterdam until January. I’m not too bumped out about this, as I will get there eventually. Being positive, I see this set-back as extra time to plan all the practical matters in connection to the relocation. My friend, however, moved there four months ago. When I’ll relocate there too, we’ll share a flat together with another girl. As for now, I’m impatiently waiting for my big relocation – for my life as a grown-up(-ish) to start, my future. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying time with my family while recharging my travel batteries and undertaking an internship here in Denmark.

xo P!

 

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