At around 10 PM on a Thursday, I get a call from two of my friends telling me to put on a comfy outfit cause we’re biking to a bar. My mind automatically said no because I had a lot of work to do, but my heart said, “When have you ever biked to a bar and 10 PM on a Thursday before? Just live a little tonight.” And so I did. Oh and not to mention that I have a complete irrational fear of bikes, and I’m studying abroad for a whole semester in Amsterdam, a city known to have more bikes than people. So I thought, I ought to learn to get over my fear sometime, might as well just be tonight.
It is officially week 6 of being abroad and I can safely say that I never want to leave Amsterdam, and I’m pretty sure I can get a lot of “Hell yeahs” on this statement. My journey to the Netherlands wasn’t the way I expected it to be. I arrived a whole day later than the rest of my group and was so scared on missing out on the initial hours of bonding with my group members. Fast forward 6 weeks later and I’m elated about the people I’ve met and the friends that I can’t go more than a few hours without seeing. Amsterdam has been an absolute dream. The beautiful canals where you can take the most aesthetic Instagram flicks, the cafes that you can spend hours in either working or hanging out with your friends and where the food will keep your palettes fully satisfied, and the food/grocery delivery sites that charge you a ridiculously small fee. I mean, it can’t get better than that. Every hour or two I’m taking pictures to send my family and friends back home so I can show them that life in Amsterdam is unreal, hoping that it’ll tempt them to come visit. So far, they have lived vicariously through my pictures, but I really do hope they choose to experience what life is like here.
There are still moments even after being here for more than a month when I’ll be walking down the street or exploring new places with my friends and it will randomly hit me that I am in freaking Amsterdam, and it all just feels surreal. Coming into a new country always triggers a certain level of anxiety because of the foreign language and culture but it’s been so pleasant to see how friendly and welcoming everyone is in Amsterdam. People will come speak to you in Dutch because they assume you’ll know the language but when you tell them you don’t understand it, there is never a moment of frustration or mockery for being a tourist, as I have experienced in some countries. They will instantly start speaking to you in English or even if they don’t know how to speak fluent English, they will try hard to explain what they just said and it’s all friendly. Delicious food, kind people, stunning sights and an exciting nightlife, that’s all it took for me to fall in love with Amsterdam and I can say without hesitation that it would be hard to find anyone who disagrees. It has been my best decision so far and I wouldn’t change it for the world. So if you’ve been on the fence about Amsterdam, I say there are far too many reasons to be here than not to be.
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<p>I am an international student from Kathmandu, a small city in Nepal, currently pursuing my Bachelor's degree at DePauw University in Indiana. I'm majoring in Neuroscience and have a keen interest in psychology. There are a few things that I enjoy doing in my free time, like singing, trying out new recipes, reading, etc. I have fostered a lot of cats back at home in Nepal so yes I'm a cat lady, but I absolutely love dogs as well. I'm mostly an introvert but if you come talk to me I promise I won't be awkward, I do enjoy having conversations with people and learning new perspectives.</p>