amsterdam, the netherlands: reflection

It is ironic that my last post was about good vibes when the theme for this trip was loneliness. Although I was absolutely feeling the great energy externally, and had an amazing first day with my friend, Erin, on the second day, I was hit internally with a wave of feeling alone. Naturally, there were external factors contributing (getting sick, rain, no common area in the hostel where I was used to meeting people, 12 hour travel day sans wifi- although, I wish I could say I was not phased!), however, most of it was due to what was happening in my head.

As soon as I was hit with loneliness, I snowballed deeper in my mind and rolled into endless anxiety. Sometimes I am so existential that I trip myself out. Like a kaleidoscope not seeing clearly. Not seeing reality. At times, feeling lonely can feel empowering to me: a symbol of strength. However, this time, it was full of pain and sadness. I love the movie Inside Out and in these dark moments, I pictured sadness hanging out, lingering on my shoulder.

My friend Will just started a Book Club and our first book was “The Lonely City.” Reading this book could not have come at a better time as I was starting to embark on solo travel.  Some of the many takeaways have been that feeling loneliness is to feel alive, that you are trying, that you are human. That we all feel loneliness whether we like to admit it or not and are all in this together. To find comfort: befriend yourself, after all, then you are not alone and remember, “this too shall pass.” All of the times I remember feeling lonely, it came and went, as did this.

I am so grateful for the lonely moments as they contribute to my self-growth, give me strength and help me to even more appreciate the good in little moments. Now just to continue remembering that when the lonely feeling comes through again :)

PS- More irony. This is my second time writing this as my computer crashed the first before I saved it. I guess it just really needed to be learned/heard :)

Favorite places because even in loneliness, there is fun!: Koko and Volkshotel for coffee/great co-working spaces filled with inspiration, La Perla for amazing wood-fired pizza (thanks, E!!), cycling in De Pijp and Amsterdam Oost (more local)!, the parks, FoodHallen/FilmHallen (great food/movie hall with amazing options), the canals, of course, and although I did not do them this trip, all of the amazing museums!!

From left: 1. random walkway in the city center! 2. tulips=AMS 3. Koko (coffee + shop!) 4. Volkshotel (a la Ace Hotel of NY) 5. FoodHallen 6. my friend, Erin, & I biking!!! 7. Stroopwafels! 8. "Writing is the new texting" (relevant :))

Lauren WittigComment