We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us

This is it. I’ve found my happy place. Amsterdam is my favorite city in Europe… maybe even the entire world.

Amsterdam has the perfect balance of chill and no chill. It’s either raining or about to rain. I love it. Everyone here is so nice — it’s like they want you to be here! And of course, lots of things are legal here, and NO ONE misbehaves. Now, I’m sure you’re firing up Google right now to look for a crime statistic to prove me wrong, but as a traveler with common (and street) sense, everyone seems well-behaved to me!

This bike-friendly city makes all other bike-friendly cities look inadequate. One of the first things that we did here was take a countryside bike tour with Mike’s Bike Tours. They were fantastic, and you should totally check them out if you’re in the area. We biked a total of 25 kilometers through the city and the countryside, but he actually taught us how to bike in a city too. We saw a windmill and visited a dairy farm where the farmer made wooden clogs as well. What’s funny to me is that when you first get here, you see all of the bikers with this MEAN look on their faces. When I first got on my bike, I had a look of pure glee on my face, but by the time I got back to the city, I was one of those mean bikers too! There’s just so much to concentrate on, but that’s what makes it work so well.

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We also did the Heineken Brewery tour. It’s a super cheesy touristy thing to do, but it’s like going to Venice without riding on the gondolas — you gotta do it. And honestly, it was totally worth it! We got to see the old Heineken brewery, learn about how they made their beer in the past and today, and there was even a ride! Imagine that!

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And of course, no trip to The Netherlands is complete without waffles or poffertje, which are the Dutch mini pancakes.

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And yeah, there was a damn sparkler in that waffle bear, because why not?

Now look — I’m trying not to write one long giant post about Amsterdam, so consider this part 1. I’ll write part 2 on the train tomorrow to Paris… and expect more pictures and less detail, because look — you just have to be here to experience it.