It’s been fourteen years since I wandered the streets of Amsterdam, eyes wide open in awe of all the colourful, the crazy, the mad. I remember feeling like coming home in this city, dreadlocks sticking out of my head, big plastic earrings dangling with every step. As a teenager, I wore only colours. As many as possible, and all at the same time. I dipped my dreads in blue paint, tied pink laces in my silver shoes. In my hometown Leuven I felt like a complete alien, in Amsterdam I blended right in.
Of course the city changed a lot in all those years. Floods of tourists drown the alleyways. Chain stores are everywhere. Parks are packed, where do you find peace in this place? I stroll down flea markets and vintage shops, read books on terraces, order espressos wherever I go.
People are extra nice in Amsterdam. I’ve always had a thing for Dutchies, they just love to talk. There is no shame in speaking to strangers, something a lot of Belgians feel. When you enter a bar in Amsterdam, you won't be alone for a second. No need for plans, things just seem to work out. Days and nights take you along, over bridges through laneways where you meet people from the past.
I love exploring new places, the feeling of freshness, of seeing things for the first time. Childlike joy making my eyes sparkle, let's go out and play! Amsterdam was the perfect playground for a weekend away. Alice in Wonderland, discovering fun things behind every corner. Coming home to Brussels, I swam in a hot bubble bath with a glass of rosé in my hand, just to make the Amsterdam feeling last.