Amsterdam canals 6Why do we travel? I think most of us who go on the road for leisure are looking to experience something different. A change of scenery, so to speak – visual, emotional or some other kind. At least that is my motivation. I haven’t been to that many places around the world, so the last thing I want when traveling somewhere new is the feeling of “been there, done that,” even if I had enjoyed a particular there and that. Whenever I am picking a destination, the newness and uniqueness aspects (within my particular, Europhilic comfort zone) are two of the key factors in my decision.

The Netherlands offer that different-ness in spades. For such a small country, it boasts so many special identifiers: tulips, wooden shoes, windmills, cheese, bicycles, Van Gogh, ginormous pancakes and Indonesian cuisine – of which I learned just before the trip, the opulent still lives of the Northern Renaissance, Amsterdam’s gay culture, Amsterdam’s “coffee shops,” Amsterdam’s Red Lights District, Amsterdam’s narrow houses and canals…

It is Amsterdam’s streets, canals and buildings that make the city instantly recognizable to millions of people who have never even been there. Here they are, as finally seen with my own eyes (and camera).

Amsterdam canals 1 - Copy Amsterdam street life 2 Amsterdam street life 4 Amsterdam architecture 1Amsterdam canals 3 Amsterdam canals 8

Amsterdam street life 3

Amsterdam canals 2 Amsterdam canals 5

Amsterdam street life 5 Amsterdam architecture 4Why do you travel? How do you pick a destination?


  1. I don’t really get the chance of travelling to new destinations all that much… most of my travel time is taken up by visits to places where I used to live to spend time with old friends. Sometimes old friends move to new places, that gives me an excellent excuse to venture somewhere different 🙂

  2. My god, I miss Amsterdam! It was the second city, after Barcelona, where I got the feeling that I could actually live there. And it’s not even for the gay culture (ok, maybe not JUST that), it’s like they say, a city of freedom. Beautiful photos, I will go sob in a corner because I’m not there.

    I usually pick destinations from my never ending wish list, based on the budget for that trip. Every trip abroad for me is a change of scenery, a chance to discover other cultures and see how others live. 🙂

    • Well, yes, budget is definitely important – I am only doing London this year because I am going there for work, so I can actually afford to eat there (it is INSANE!). But I think, logistics aside (after all they are not so much about WHY we travel, but where can we manage to), the discovery is a really big motivator for a lot of people, myself including.

      • I think the accommodation is the biggest issue with London. When I visited I stayed with a friend who was studying there, but now that I’ve looked at hotels for a possible trip, I realized it’s not worth paying THAT much for a terrible room in a city I’ve visited before… :-/

  3. I love the concept of these European cities that still give off that small-town charm.

    And as for how I travel? Well, you know me: whatever’s cheapest and weirdest.

  4. I love those pictures of Amsterdam! Makes me want to hop a plane right now. My family travels to experience new things, meet people from other cultures, eat interesting food and find adventure. I’m always looking for my next trip, which could be anywhere!

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