listen to your body
Okay so hard post… I have to come home from Europe. But before I say anything else, I’ll be back spring/summer time for a few months to continue my semi-adventures! I will also be continuing my blog and vlogs from California! I’ve found a new love in travelling and exploring new places, so I’m going to go as many new places as I can while I’m back. I’m determined. (They will also be less boring because I’ll actually have friends in them. They’re funnier than me lol. And I promise I’ll use this time to get better at them hehe.).
Okay, so without getting into too many details, I’ve always struggled with health/mental health and my immune system. Since I’ve been here, my body has started to shut down, and I’ve been getting terrible headaches and getting sick frequently. This has caused me not to be able to make the most of my time here, which makes me really sad. I was really struggling before I moved, but right before I went overseas I started a new health regimen that was working really well. But since I’ve been here my body has started to revert back to its old ways of being ill lol. So as advised by my doctors and parents, I’ll be moving back for a while to hopefully get everything figured out. I had been putting it off for a while, but I’ve learned from multiple people recently that you have to listen to your body. If you don’t, you’ll be unhappy and unhealthy. Choose healthiness and happiness. I was scared that people were going to judge me and think of me as a coward for moving back so soon. But I was talking to my dad and he reminded me that this was just something we were trying out, and I didn’t have a set time I was going to be here. I can always come back. It’s not giving up, it’s making the healthy choice. So this is just a huge learning opportunity to learn how to listen to my body and choose happiness. And to not care what other people thing, as long as you’re making the right choices for YOU. It doesn’t matter what they think.
So I’ll be back soon. But in the mean time, I have learned so much this month (more than I have in the 20 years of my life), and plan on continuing to share that through the blog a vlog. So please continue to follow! My journey is just taking an unexpected turn J
Has anything like this ever happened to you? Advice? Thoughts? Anything you want to see in CA? You guys rock.
(Just beware: this is basically a love story between two star-crossed lovers named Kami and Amsterdam). Let’s be honest. Ever since the Fault in Our Stars came out, I have wanted to go to Amsterdam. I needed to live my Augustus Waters dreams. Duh. (Before we start, I would just like to say no, I did not get to go to the bench they sat on. Next time.) Well, I finally got to go and it was more amazing than I could’ve imagined. My friend Nate told me I was going to absolutely love it, but I had no idea I would love it this much.
I took the train up to Amsterdam from Belgium for literally 7 hours. But those 7 hours were worth it. I got there and walked out of the station and saw: water, boats, and BICYCLES. I’ve never seen so many bikes in my life. They literally have a bike parking lot with thousands upon thousands of them. The city has its own bike roads everywhere. They have their own stop lights. Like you can literally ride your bike everywhere. How cool is that? The city is unlike any city I have ever seen. It’s built throughout canals, so there is water everywhere you look, which is beautiful. The city is somehow so hip and so classy and historical at the same time. I’ve never experienced anything like it. I decided to walk everywhere because it’s beautiful and also I didn’t want to figure out the public transit system lol. I also just thoroughly enjoy walking. So I started out to where I was going to go on a walking tour. As I was walking I found a street fair/market type place at Waterlooplein. It was awesome. They had everything from food, to vintage post cards, to clothes of all kinds. They had second hand everything. Piles and piles of winter coats and denim jackets and shows. It was amazing. Too bad I have no room in my suit case for any of that lol. Next time. I spent a while there just browsing. The vendors were very nice and talkative, and everything was pretty cheap! I got a few things, which shall remain a surprise since some of them are gifts. On the same little square of area I found a vintage store called By the Kilo. They literally sold everything by the kilo. You weighed it and it told you how much it was. This store was my heaven, and had more things I had no space for. (you might not know, but vintage stores, record stores, and book stores are my weaknesses). I cried a little bit when I stepped out of the store empty handed. I’m fine. Everything’s fine. As I kept walking everything started looking a little older, and I ended up in the Jewish Quarter which was where my walking tour was. I went into the Jewish Historical Museum for the remaining time I had left before the tour started. It was beautiful and thought provoking with art pieces and videos and stories. I wish I could’ve spent more time there. The walking tour started (Anne Frank and the Jewish Quarter) which was so awesome. Our tour guide, Talia, was born and raised in Amsterdam and brought the stories of Jewish heritage and Anne Frank to life. She showed us the memorial, and statues, and walked us by many important places. She told it through the eyes of Anne Frank and he diary, which was an interesting and beautiful perspective of the city. I also found out that she used to be a film editor, so we talked about the business for a while. That was awesome and unexpected. She felt creatively stuck as a film editor after 15 years, and started teaching and guiding tours. She is a gem. We walked to the Anne Frank statue (beautiful and pure) and to the Anne Frank Hius. I didn’t have enough time to go inside, but Talia gave us all of the information about the house so when I do get to explore it, I’ll have an insiders perspective on it. After, we were done I only had a little bit of time left, so Talia suggested I walk around the area we were in before heading back, so I did. Whatever Talia says goes. I walked by the tulip museum, cheese museum, cafes, bars, countless canals and bridges, and ate a crepe along the way (with strawberries and Nutella). It’s a peaceful town, while also being full of love and so many interesting people. I learned so much just from being amongst the people. Learning about the city through the eyes of World War 2 made the vibe of the city make a lot more sense. They were tricked by propaganda and split up from their loved ones. Now, they just want peace and happiness. I want to stay there forever.
At the end of the day, Nate and I were gushing about how in love we are with the city. It feels like a theme park, but you can LIVE THERE. Everyone seems happier there, and rides bikes and boats everywhere. Everyone is friendly and will talk to you. They’re not in such a hurry to get places. There is a tulip museum and a cheese museum. Coffeshops, cafes, and pancakes and crepes on every corner. And they have richest history which they are so proud of. Moral of the story: I wish I had more time in Amsterdam. I’ll be back soon.
Have any of you ever been to Amsterdam? What were your favorite places? Anyone who hasn’t been want to go?
finding happiness in belgium
Belgium. Is. Beautiful. I knew very little about Belgium going into this trip (except WW1 stories). I still don’t know a lot about the country, but experiencing the culture is wonderful. The craziest fact to me is that to live and work here, you have to speak at least three languages. The culture here is so diverse because of all of the government places here (European Union headquarters, Nado, etc.), so everyone speaks at least Dutch, French, and English. You have to know those 3 languages just to get a job at a fast food restaurant! Man, America is slacking hardcore. It makes you feel very ill equipped lol. Another thing I love, is that they take their comic books very seriously. They’re expensive and you put them up on the shelf right next to your hard cover Les Mis. Brussels even has a comic book museum. How cool is that? Their most favorite Belgium creation here is Tintin. Apparently, he’s as famous as Mickey Mouse all around Europe. He’s a normal hero that all the little kids aspire to be. There are five comic book schools just in Brussels, and the artists are commissioned just like any other artist to paint murals and design post cards. You see comic-like paintings all around, and it’s incredible. (I learned all of this off of a short video the family I’m staying with had me watch lol). We spent the day in Brussels. First, we actually went to a market just outside of Brussels, filled with waffles and flowers and produce. I had my first and second of three waffles of the day. (AMAZING.) We headed in to the city and straight to the palace. Did you know Brussels has a king and queen? Because I didn’t. It’s a beautiful palace with gardens and huge gates and lion statues. We went to the Fine Arts museum, which was crazy cool. I spent most of my time in the Magritte section. He’s a surrealist and had some very radical ideas back in the early 1900s. They had photos of him and his wife and friends, and a ton of his pieces. I’ll post some of my favorites in the pictures section of my website. In school last year, we had to do movement pieces based off of the artist Francis Bacon’s pieces. All I wanted to do while looking through Magritte’s art was create movement. He was an amazing artist. There were also a bunch of “Dutch Masters” pieces, like Rembrandt. Those were huge and beautiful to see. Then we walked down to the main square where all of what you think of when you think of Brussels is. We saw the huge buildings, waffle stores upon waffle stores, and the Manneken Pis, and so many chocolate stores. We bought Belgian chocolate, another waffle (this time covered in strawberries and whipped cream), and Belgian Frites. Don’t call them French Fries. They get angry, and they’re better than French Fries (apparently they’re double fried). The waffles have melted lumps of sugar in them, and I could literally eat them all day. The chocolate is expensive, but worth it. Melt in your mouth goodness. We also got to go to a second hand record store which was tight. They had the Sex Pistols in Dutch, and I wish I could’ve found a way to carry it home… oh well.
I’m staying with some old friends of my Dad’s who are wonderful and treat me well. I get to help cook and they have Mexican food and peanut butter and cookie dough and all is right with the world. They also have two cats and two dogs, whom I love and cuddle with. The other night we watched Princess Protection Program (they have a daughter a few years younger than me, so we decided to throw it back a bit) and ate ice cream and cuddles with cats. It’s been a great few days. Everyone seems happier here than they are in Paris. More friendly, I guess. If I smile at someone, they actually smile back. I love it here.
Have any of you ever been to Brussels? Thoughts?
Heading to Amsterdam for a few hours tomorrow! Next blog AND vlog will be up soon
Hi friends! I'm 20 and don't know what I'm doing with my life, so I'm embracing life full-force and moving to France for a bit.