I’ve grown a lot in the past couple of years and found a lot of confidence along the way. So while 20 year old me would have dreaded a solo trip, 24 year old me was so ready for it. I have a friend living in the Netherlands now, and I’ve always wanted to visit, so I took the opportunity to go visit her during spring break.
I met her where she lives in a small city called Leiden. We mostly walked around, and I soaked it all in. We passed by the house Rembrandt was raised in, ate some delicious fries, and took a few pictures.
After my little trip to Leiden, I took the train to Amsterdam to find my hotel. I got there around 10PM and had to lug my huge suitcase through the cobblestone streets while staring at Google maps and keeping an eye my dwindling phone battery. I turned a corner onto a narrow alley and was welcomed by many red lights. Much to my surprise, my hotel was nestled quite snugly in the middle of the famous red light district. How I didn’t know that when booking, I do not know. It wasn’t so bad though. The area had plenty of interesting shops to keep me entertained on my solo trip.
I took a tour of the city on a canal boat, saw some amazing art exhibits, ate my weight in cheese and falafel (definitely not dutch, but I missed it), and got in quite a bit of shopping.