From the journal (written on my first night in Amsterdam):
It’s been four days away from home and “on the road” and so far this trip has been everything I had imagined it to be. I’ve met new people, made new friends, seen new places, gone out of my comfort zone and explored new areas and tried new things. Which is exactly what I wanted. I feel like I maybe haven’t done as much introspection as I should? But again, it’s day 4. I’m sure part of this is still the high of actually doing this for real and not talking about but actually living it.
Hahaha. I'm F**ing ridiculous. 4 days in and I'm trying to solve all life problems. Take a chill pill girl!
From the journal (written my first night in Amsterdam):
I just got an email from my parents about how I should be careful what I’m posting because “someone” (aka my ex) could see it and could unintentionally hurt him. I don't know why I’m having such a defensive reaction to this, but I’m kind of pissed that they think I should be the one to censor my life. Just because I’m traveling and meeting new people shouldn’t mean I have to hide it from my ex. I also hate calling him my ex.
I still struggle with this today. My ex and I are still friends and still talk. We are cordial, friendly, and occasionally hang out. It's very hard to write about my life and things I have felt or gone through without referencing him. I try incredibly hard to be conscious of this, but I struggle with where the line is. Where is the line between being truthful about myself at the expense of someone else's feelings? At what point do I stop sharing my story to preserve his? I think I have done a fairly decent job at being honest about what we have gone through while preserving his privacy. At least, I hope so. But it's still a struggle.
From the journal (written on a train from Amsterdam to Berlin):
Amsterdam was definitely more fun than Brussels - probably because I finally met people and became friends with my hostel roommates (well, one). Meeting people is half the fun of traveling and I'm glad I finally connected with someone here. Reece is from Australia and after meeting and getting dinner the day I arrived we spent the whole next day together.
We rented bikes (mandatory), rode around and got some awesome breakfast at a random place we found. I also can't believe neither of us died on our bikes. Although, Reece came close on multiple ocassions ("You're a terrible pedestrian!")
The canal tour we went on (while super touristy and probably overpriced) was worth it. Amsterdam is gorgeous!
After, we went to the Heinkein Factory which was just sensory overload and slightly ridiculous with all of the interactive bullshit. But the Heinkein Factory was great for a different reason. While drinking our free beers, both Reece and I got real personal. I'd known this guy for less than 24 hours and yet was telling him some really personal stuff; stuff some of my friends back home don't know.
This is what I absolutely love about travel: meeting people from all over the world and feeling so connected to them that you feel comfortable enough to open up with them. Reece and I shared some pretty personal stuff less than 24 hours into us hanging out. And I feel like moments like that only happen when traveling.
Maybe it's because you know you probably won't see these people again so you feel like you can be your true self and be vulnerable. Or, again, because you probably won't see them again, you have nothing to lose by being honest. Maybe it's because the people who do this kind of travel all share some set of shared beliefs or personality traits and therefore they just get you. It's easy to find common ground.
Whatever it is - it is one of my favorite parts of traveling. And having Reece be the first person I met and became close with on my trip set the tone for the rest of my journey.
To Reece - Our meeting and subsequent friendship may be the most meaningful of everyone I met on my trip. I think the trust we established early on, and the respect we have for each other, has allowed our friendship to not only survive but grow across thousands of miles, multiple time zones, and even a few friendly arguments. It's kind of remarkable when you think about it. I have enjoyed our friendship this past year immensely, and am so thankful to have been roomed with you and to have shared Amsterdam with you. Thank you for the memories :)
Part 2 of our adventures to follow...