It’s 8pm on Monday evening and I’m just back from a two-day trip to Copenhagen. My flight touched down just about 7pm and, rather than looking forward to a quiet night at home, I immediately texted a friend hoping she’d meet up with me for Mint Tea Monday at our local haunt. Even though I didn’t hear back, I decided to venture out and enjoy a beautiful spring evening. So, here I sit on the terrace at Café Captein, which has become my home away from home away from home. I won’t tell you how much time I’ve spent here in the five weeks I’ve been in my new apartment. I probably couldn’t if I tried. What I will admit is that I’d have a hard time ranking time spent at my apartment, work, traveling, or here in any kind of order. And you know what? As a great songwriter sings: I wouldn’t change a thing.
I get a lot of comments about how much I travel and how sick of it I must be – spending so much time in airports, on airplanes, in hotels all the time – but I am honestly enjoying every moment of it. Well, maybe a few of the moments dealing with the crowded airports or clueless travellers aren’t quite as enjoyable, but I’ll let that slide. Getting a glimpse of so many different countries, meeting so many different people from different backgrounds, and learning every day has been extremely exciting. There wasn’t a moment in my life before that fateful day in October when I would have even dreamed of living this life yet here I am. Sitting on a terrace in the center of Amsterdam writing post for a blog all about this surreal experience.
It’s now been just over four months since this chapter of my life began and it’s all gone by pretty quickly. At the same time, moving here and feeling lost and confused seems like so long ago. Well, I’m still very often confused, but that’s no different here or there. I haven’t picked up much more Dutch than to say good morning, afternoon, evening, please, and thank you. Staples at least. And I certainly haven’t tried the herring. Fries with mayo on the other hand have grown on me very quickly. Nevertheless I feel settled in Amsterdam and as at home as anyone 5,000 miles from friends and family can feel.
As you can probably sense, I don’t have a particular experience or story to share in this post, rather a snapshot of my current state of being. One thing I have noticed is that completely removing myself from anything I knew and was comfortable with has certainly allowed me to take an almost outside perspective on my life to date. There are always opportunities to grow and develop as a human being and I think that’s one of the main reasons I’ve ended up here. To have a chance to stop, breathe, reflect, and grow. Oh, and to eat and drink my way around Europe. It would be a sin to forget about the food and the beer. Oh the beer!
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for sticking with me and my thoughts. And if you ever make it to Amsterdam, let me share my home away from home away from home with you. Between the mint tea, the food, the beer, and the friendly staff I’m sure you’ll feel right at home too.