Amsterdam through British eyes

About me

6

Love is what orginally bought me to Amsterdam – and it’s what kept me here when my relationship with M ended. I remain in love with Amsterdam, it’s people and even it’s food (ah poffertjes!), despite everything.

I don’t feel like I should erase how I came to be in Amsterdam, so here it is:

It was a very hot day in Phnom Penh. I looked up, confused, and asked a fellow traveller what day it was. Jet lag had really set in, and I had totally lost track of time. The man opposite me replied, and we started to chat. I was really quite ill with a stomach bug but somehow the next day I managed to keep it all together and go to S-21 and also the Killing fields with M.

Later he tried to impress me by eating a plate full of tarantulas in a restaurant full of people, while I could only stomach rice and flat cola. When I had perked up enough, we decided to walk to the Japanese Friendship bridge and then play ‘spot the sex tourist’ and ‘most amount of people on a moped’ on a rooftop bar, where we were treated to one of the best shows I have seen. It was a tiny little boy, pulling off moves that could rival Usher and Michael Jackson combined.

We only spent two days together, and then he was on his way back to Amsterdam. I was at the beginning of my endless trip around the world. We kept in touch over facebook, skype and e-mail, but then one day I was in Penang and I made a decision which could change everything.

‘How would you feel if I arrived in Amsterdam two days from now for a week?’ I said. ‘ArgghYES…YES’ was the reply. So, I booked my connecting flight to Singapore and allowed myself to get just a little bit excited.

I was planning on having a long shower, and making myself beautiful for my 13 hour flight. This was thrown out of the window when M uttered the words ‘Your flight is tonight, not at midnight tomorrow.’ Panic set in. I hadn’t showered, washed my hair, or packed, and I had to get to Singapore before my flight for Amsterdam that same evening. I ran to the Air Asia desk, which was around the corner, told them that I had to get the very next flight and ran back to my hostel. I frantically packed, and prayed that I would make it to Singapore in time.

I have never been as stressed during a flight as I was on this one. We kept circling the runway, and in my head I was screaming that we needed to land. When we finally touched down, I was like a bat out of hell. I made it to check-in and found that my flight from Singapore to Amsterdam had been delayed for 45 minutes. At last I could breathe. That flight I didn’t sleep at all, so I had been awake for almost 24 hours. Adrenaline was pumping through my body, but when I walked out of the gate and saw Michiel holding a bunch of flowers, a selection of cheses and a big grin on his face I knew I had made a good decision.

Fast forward another three months, and I found myself on a flight to Amsterdam, to move in with the man that I had met in a hostel somewhere in Phnom Penh, to a city which I had completely fallen in love with.

I ended up moving to Sydney for 18 months a year after M and I split up, but as of August, Amsterdam will be home again. I set up this blog to share with you all of my experiences of Amsterdam, and help you to discover some of the great things about this city, so that if you’re visiting (or if you live here, and want to go somewhere different) you know all of the best things to do while you’re here. I hope you love Amsterdam as much as I do.

When I get back to the city I will be available for freelance commissions so please get in touch if you want to work with me.

To get in touch with me please e-mail me 

 

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6 Comments

  1. mvarendonk@gmail.com'

    Hi Ashley, Just want to say I love your blog and I hope the two of you are very happy in Amsterdam =) Greetings, Milene (uit Den Haag)

  2. iamsaantoshk@gmail.com'

    I have always believed that meeting people and travelling around the world is best blessings. I loved your blog. Awesome and will keep coming back to enrich my knowledge.

    Have a great day and week ahead.

  3. neva.howell@gmail.com'

    Ashley: I was so happy to find your blog today. I’m deeply seeking a place that feels like home to me, where a healthy lifestyle is easier to maintain than it has become in the US. I came across your blog when researching relocation to the Netherlands. I look forward to reading more.

    I couldn’t help wishing you’d had a video of that tiny little boy and the amazing show he put on for you and M. I imagined it and how delightful a surprise that must have been for you.

    I would love to see a post (and there may already be one here) on the paperwork required to relocate and info on how one goes about getting a job. I also do online work. I supported myself well with it for a number of years though the past few have been slim.

    In any case, great to meet you and I appreciate you taking time to share your experiences of Amsterdam.

    Neva

    • Hi Neva,

      Unfortunately I have no idea about the paperwork required as an American citizen – for me it was very simple because I am British. I like to bring a touch of the personal to my blog and that’s why I haven’t written about it.

      I was sure I had written a post on finding a job, but I can’t seem to find it. Weird! I will check again and let you know.

      Ashley

  4. maggze1970@gmail.com'

    Hi Ashley I am from Scotland my partner and I are seriously thinking about relocating to Amsterdam with our 8 year old daughter are you saying that with a British passport it’s relatively easier and do you know off some sites that would ad good for us to check jobs and other things I am. A hairdresser but would change my career if need be. Look forward to hearing from you 🙂

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