Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Amsterdam Diaries

Amsterdam is a beautiful, vibrant and artistic city that I fell in love with the moment I stepped of the tram and breathed in that earthy scent. I actually went to Amsterdam when I was a young girl with my parents. We were camping somewhere in Holland as camping is a big love of my dads and let’s face it, taking five children on holiday can be a little pricey! I remember walking down the red light district all wide eyed and innocent. One of the owners was leaning in the doorway to his erotic shop puffing away on a cigarette, at least that’s what I thought it was back then. He shouted to my brother ‘seen you here before mister’ which is now one of those family stories that always get brought up when we talk about way back when and we giggle away.

Fast forward a decade or so (christ I’m getting old) and I have just come back from my second adult trip there. Not adult in that kind of way, just as a fully fledged grown up. A few years ago I went with my uni friends and we had an amazing weekend strolling around in the sun, pedal boating down the canals and trying various mind altering substances. This time I went with my partner and my siblings and their partners and it was over New Years.

So yeah I guess firstly it was very cold. Not Iceland cold but still rather nippy. I forgot my bobble hat even though last year I went to Dublin and I didn’t take a big coat and I swore never again would I do something so stupid. Nevertheless the beauty of the city greatly overshadowed my cold head. I got to see a fair amount while I was there given the amount of hangovers I nursed. So obviously just walking around Amsterdam with the signature, slightly crooked buildings along the canal is pretty amazing in itself. 

But there’s also a lot of other activities available to keep you entertained and cultured. We did a fair few things including the Van Gogh museum (book before you go, the queues are insane) and the erotic museum (the dirty snow white room is the best part). We also went to Body Works. So I don’t know if you’ve heard of it before but some guy basically has created a five floor experience full of donated human body parts that tell the story of happiness. Weirdly enough walking around darkened organs and skinned people playing the saxophone actually does somehow make you happy. I would really recommend going here if you want to go on an inner journey and see some unusual things. 

Not only did I see some cool stuff but I also, importantly, ate a few good meals as well. So i did a bit of research beforehand and discovered a place called Omelegg. Not a difficult place to find as it’s on many of the top 10 places to eat in Amsterdam lists. After a week or so (read month) of eating all the delicious yet unhealthy Christmas food a healthy omelette was most welcoming. We queued for like 10 minutes but while we were sat down we saw the queue get a lot bigger. I may have counted and it made it to 17 people! Everyone else must have been looking at the same lists! We also ate at bagel and beans which I went to last time I was in Amsterdam and I usually don’t like repeating places but damn they do good bagels.

So let’s talk about New Years eve for a moment. Oh my god. Amsterdamians (yeah I made that up) really like New Years. The entire place is turned into one ginormous lively street party which is so much better than being stuck inside a club. Not only is everyone out in the street making friends but the crowd is literally throwing fireworks everywhere. I have never been anywhere so crazy in my life, i  absolutely loved it. 

I think i’m just going to have to go ahead and move to Amsterdam in the not too distant future. A few days is just not long enough there. Have you ever been before? Or do you have any other holidays lined up?

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

New Years Goals

1. Body

I think this one has made the list since I started making lists. Hopefully this year I will be able to actually make the changes I want. So yeah, I would like to lose some weight. Not a set amount, just enough so I feel more comfortable and happy in my clothes. I think about two dress sizes will do. I also want to treat my body a bit better, which means less unhealthy food, less smoking and more exercising! Finally I would like to learn some form of self defence. I always feel woefully unprepared when I am walking home alone in the dark. I think it’d be good sense to know how to defend myself a little.

2. Travel

I would like to travel to more countries than I did last year. Maybe do some form of inter-railing or explore Italy. Possibly leave Europe again, if I can afford it. I definitely want to go away for New Years Eve again, Amsterdam was incredible. I think I’m going to have to write a travel bucket list so I can start ticking off some places.

3. Blog

I want to start writing different and more creative posts. I want to start writing more regularly. I want to up my Instagram game cos I really enjoy taking and editing photos. And I want to have a bit more fun with the posts I write, rather than putting something up because I feel like I have to.

4. Stop and Start

Lots of things I want to stop and start. Stop caring what other people think so much. Stop giving up easily. Stop buying things I don’t need. Stop wasting money full stop. Stop smoking. Stop eating meat as much. Stop eating too much. Start learning a new language (Spanish). Start a new hobby. Start making more things instead of buying them like scarves, jumpers and blankets.

So those are a few of the things I want to get done this year. I'm going to start writing some short term and long term goals to keep on track. What goals have you set yourself this year? Or are you just going to take 2017 as it comes?
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