For many years I have been hearing stories about Amsterdam from friends that have traveled and studied abroad. The stories involve the drug culture, the red light district, many museums, etc. which all seem unreal. Acting on my curiosity, for my last trip out of Italy, my roommate and I traveled to Amsterdam. We stayed for three days and two nights in one of the best hostels in the center of town. There was a smoking room along with a great bar which provided us with plenty of entertainment for the two nights we were there. Along with a great social environment, it was our first time sharing a room with 14 other people, which thankfully ended up being a great time.
During my trip I realized that hearing stories about Amsterdam and seeing pictures did not compare to my actual experience. The city is completely different than what I had expected. I was struck by everything from the red light district to the House of Anne Frank. Even the pictures I took could not describe the experience I had. Visiting Amsterdam opened by eyes to so much: I have never seen a culture so distinct and it was a memorable experience.
I returned from Amsterdam realizing that when I finally do come back to Europe, whether it is with friends or with my family, Amsterdam would not be a typical place I would visit. I realized that studying abroad is a time to go out of your comfort zone and seek adventures you would not typically seek. Traveling to Paris, Munich, Barcelona and all other major cities I have been were absolutely amazing, but there’s a better chance that later on in life I will return to them. This is why I loved my trip to Amsterdam: because it will probably be the only time I will ever visit.
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