Friday, August 2, 2013

AMSTERDAM IS OUR 35TH STOP ON THIS TRIP. And, after thirty-four that felt varying degrees of jarring, there's something about Amsterdam that feels familiar.

We are cottage people. If you've been reading my blog long, this much you know. We are less go-go-go people than we are sit-drink-relax people. And while every moment of this trip has been terrific/amazing/incredible and perfectly-suited to us, Amsterdam is our first stop where we've fully stopped.

We rented an incredible houseboat on a beautiful canal. Amsterdam was one of the very earliest and most rigorously planned cities, the iconic canal system really taking shape in the 17th century. And while it feels like a glamorous place, modern and sophisticated, it also kinda just feels like we're at the cottage. And I didn't realize how bad we were itching for that.

Our weekends away were a chance to shut up and chill out. I'm not entirely sure what I'm good at, but I know I excel at lazing around. I can sit like nobody's business and can throw back several gin and tonics if I have enough cheese to go with them. For us, the cottage was really about balancing the rigour of big-city-life. It was a chance to spend time with family and friends. Or listen to music and ignore everyone completely.

This is not to say our trip has been particularly stressful. Of course, it hasn't been. But it also hasn't included much in the way of cooking, or reading, or sitting for several hours in a row doing absolutely nothing. With travel comes the pressures to see the place you're in.

But here's what about renting a houseboat in Amsterdam: Spending time in it is actually part of the experience. It's so unique to the place we are that we'd be remiss to not enjoy it. Each night when we realize we'd rather just sit here, we ask ourselves if it's okay. "Shouldn't we be going somewhere?" But no. We shouldn't. We should cook dinner and enjoy. We should sit quietly on the deck and watch people float by in their boats. Doing the cottage wave is one of life's great pleasures and we're eating. it. up.

LOCATION: Amsterdam, Holland, the Netherlands
DATE AND TIME: Saturday, August 3, 2013 12:20AM Central European Time/Friday, August 2, 2013 6:20PM EST


  1. Hi Jason,
    I just found your blog again (stumbled upon it through Pacing the Panic Room) and have gone back and read all of your travel posts. Everything sounds amazing and the house boat is stellar! I love Amsterdam, happy you are enjoying it. Take care, Angela

  2. Swans swimming up to your window omg.