Hello there! I took a break from Barcelona this week and headed to Holland, yes, the Netherlands! This was only a dream and it finally came true.
I never thought I would have the opportunity to travel to a unique country such as Holland. I was a bit hesitant before jumping on the plane because I knew I would definitely be in culture shock there compared to Spain. Nevertheless, I feel so blessed to have been able to go there.
I admire the courteousness of the people in Holland. As soon as my friend and I arrived at the Eindhoven airport, we were greeted by a man who worked there. He immediately helped us find our way to our hostel and gave us great tips, we were so thankful and admired him. We stayed in a hostel in a cute little town called Utrecht; I still cannot pronounce it like the Dutch can. We both fell in love with our surroundings as we began walking the streets of Utrecht. All the buildings were in close proximity with swamps in between all the little buildings. There were cafes in every corner, which was perfect for the icy cold weather.
The following day my friend and I found a group of Spanish high school students in our hostel, and their teachers offered us a free ride to Amsterdam! We were ecstatic and jumped on the bus; Amsterdam was our priority on this trip to Holland. Again, we were in love as soon as we began to walk around. The feeling of being there was so pleasant and relaxing, we felt safe and free.
I did not feel any culture shock even though everyone spoke Dutch! Luckily, everyone also spoke English there too. I laughed every time someone spoke to me in Dutch, because the locals did not even know who was a local. There is such a great mixture of people from all over the world there and I was even surprised to hear some people speaking Dutch.
We discovered Amsterdam’s best kept secrets in two days. I couldn’t help but to be in awe of all the beauty around me. We did unique things such as walk through a local farmer’s market; we sampled everything we could. We visited the Anne Frank house, which impacted me in many different ways and it made me feel things I never felt before. It was a humbling experience to set foot in the actual house where her family was hiding back when the Nazis ruled.
Our time in Amsterdam and Holland was short, but well worth our while. I am already hoping to go back soon. Holland is just so beautiful and makes you feel comfortable no matter where you are coming from. I love learning about new countries and experiencing the culture with my own eyes. One word of advice to everyone: the only way to get real experiences is by actually setting foot in the place. Learning about countries in history books and online is nothing compared to smelling, touching, hearing and seeing places for yourself.