I’m not going to lie – Amsterdam despite my last few posts raving about the city, was my least favourite and most hectic part of my trip. Within 24 hours, my iPhone 5 was stolen and I came down with traveler’s diarrhea that put me out of commission for 11 days. Being on a ten hour flight the day after you lose count of how many washroom trips you’ve done is something I never wish on anyone to go through. Thankfully it was at the end of my trip! I also had to start my trek home at 5am (what is with me choosing these wake up calls?) and after confirming with the hostel owners that a taxi would be waiting for me, I got out there to find no one. So there I was 5:30am, freezing cold, a single female, with no phone to call a taxi and doubting transit could get me to the airport on time. That is the single most – “oh shit” but soul strengthening experience I’ve ever had to go through. If I missed getting on my plane, I wouldn’t have been able to get home. Thank you to the random taxi driver who took pity on me and was early for his own pickup around the corner at 6am, I will be forever indebted, who got me to the airport in ten minutes. Amsterdam … I’ll be coming back for round two, be gentle!
I have a habit of diving into something without thoughts of what people may think or the consequences of those actions. I traveled by myself because I knew if I didn’t stop my life and go do it, that I may never get the chance. I’ve wanted to do this for a very long time, granted seven weeks isn’t nearly as long as I had planned out for, but I knew if I didn’t leave on the deadline I set for myself I would always postpone leaving. I had a lot of people amazed that I was doing this solo and I would always repeat the gesture of a shrug when told, not thinking anything of it. It’s not until stepped away and wrote these posts that I started to realize how impressive such a feat was. It’s a small step in the grand scheme of my traveling cravings, but it’s a start that I’m proud of.
I used to be that girl who hated walking to the mailbox by herself, who wouldn’t want to go window shopping without a friend, the thought of going downtown (a 1.5 hour journey by transit) made me balk, not that I was completely afraid, I just thought it was boring. Something always held me back. This trip made me realize how many fascinating things I miss out on because I don’t want to go alone, which is a sorry excuse not to see the world. Sometimes I felt very much alone, yes its fun to people watch and go to attractions with someone, to share in the experience, but it should never be a hindrance stopping someone from doing what they want. I thought I was an independent woman, but this trip made me really stand on my own two feet proud, it’s something every woman should do.
Was I glad to get home though? You bet!