FOOD | TRAVEL

AMSTERDAM – BEFORE AND AFTER AFRICA

February 10, 2016

The Dylan Hotel

We knew we would be stopping through Amsterdam on our way to Africa, however, it was an unexpected but pleasant treat to stop back in on our return home. We stayed at The Dylan Hotel, located in the heart of Amsterdam. The Dylan is an elegant and quaint hotel, constructed with amazing and beautiful architecture. Tyler and I were in awe with our stay, from the service, food, décor, hospitality and its convenient location.

Our favorite little spot to grab a beerOur new favorite Amsterdam treat

Upon our arrival in Amsterdam, though a bit jet lagged, Tyler and I were so excited to begin exploring the city. This however was not my first time in Amsterdam. My dad was born and lived there till the age of 7. We still had a lot of family in Amsterdam and would visit pretty regularly. Tyler and I walked along the cobblestone streets, taking in all the character that the city has to offer. We passed through the Red Light district, acknowledging Amsterdam’s non-judgemental attitude on life or on one’s occupation.  This city is a constant reminder that we should always keep an open mind to the different lifestyles people live. Visiting here at a young age allowed me to be exposed to this culture, (the Red Light District, seeing coffee shops and the open-minded way of life). I was always taught to not be judgmental of other people’s lifestyle, and being in Amsterdam is a great reminder of that lesson. It’s something we will pass down to our children one day.

I loved being able to share and explore one of my favorite cities with Tyler, which is now one of his favorites too. Being back, of course, brought back so many family memories of the travels with my parents. And I was now able to share all those memories, as well as make new ones with Tyler. We walked along the beautiful canals taking in all of their beauty. I introduced him to my love for Poffertjes, (mini Dutch pancakes… YUM!), and where I first fell in love with tulips, (roughly 2 billion tulips are exported yearly worldwide). We were amazed with the incredible depth and history of the city, from the WWII history, the Anne Frank museum and all of the art museums.  We even stopped by a coffee shop or two… Whether it was coffee or something else we stopped to enjoy, we’ll leave that a mystery. Amsterdam and the people who live here, have the most accepting and open-minded concept of life. The prostitutes in the Red Light district are not judged for their occupation. Visitors to the coffee shops where you can go to smoke or purchase weed are not criticized nor frowned upon.

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.” – Zen Shin

The people of Amsterdam simply go about their lives, riding their bicycles, living life without sitting around criticizing other people. They’re warm hearted and have an amazing sense of humor, never taking life too seriously as to miss out on all the fun and enjoyment that life has to offer.  In addition to their open-minded and judgement free lifestyle, they also live minimally and simply, both figuratively and literally. Life in Amsterdam, and in most European countries for that matter, is simple, clutter free and people are not constantly trying to fill their lives and world with unnecessary things.

Walking the streets of Amsterdam Walking through the streets of Amsterdam

We totally lived up are stay in Amsterdam, and we encourage everyone who has the opportunity to visit, that you do the same! We also recommend that if you’re looking for a 5-star experience, The Dylan is the place to stay!

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