People choose their travel destinations according to their mood, amount of money on their bank account or current trends. Internet is full of “the hottest destinations” articles where everyone can see what city is on the top and what places are already passé. I’m not saying that there is something wrong with that – many times I went for “resting” holidays, “sightseeing” holidays or just “cheap” holidays. However, there is one type of traveling that attracts me the most – “real discovering” traveling.
There are places that you go not only to show off and do the check in thing on your Facebook but to discover things about yourself. I always had this thing for psychology – I like analyzing people, getting into their heads, trying to understand them better. It fascinates me as much as traveling – every trip helps me to realize more stuff about human nature.
Amsterdam, the city of drugs and free (not in the literal meaning) love, is a perfect place to do so. Although I went to visit Amsterdam for the first time only half a year ago I’ve been there three times already. This place attracts me in an incomprehensible way and every time I go there I get sucked up more and more.
For me, Amsterdam is a city for those who dare. It’s a city for people who dare to discover their real nature. Amsterdam gives you more freedom than many others places in the world, the question is, can you handle it? This city seems to be a perfect place for stoners and people that look for new sexual experiences – but, is it really it? Who are those people that hide in the fog of feeling-killing substances and who are those who enjoy sexual services from the ladies in the Red Light District?
The answer to that question isn’t simple or trivial – it’s very complex. Have you ever seen those people who came to Amsterdam for the first time? You can recognize them very easily: they look like they gonna get killed by a crazy biker every minute, they are ashamed when they see naked and provocative ladies in the window, and they stand in front of a coffee shop without knowing how to get drugs without committing any faux pas. Only some of them look very sure of what they want and what they need; the rest is having serious doubts before committing their first “Amsterdam sin”.
I’m far away from judging those who enjoy all kind of entertainments that the city has to offer as well as those who chose to stay away from them. I only think that this place split the tourist into two groups – those who dare and those who are scared. This city gives you a chance to question your ethics or believes, to face your real desires and your deepest fears. This city gives you freedom and gives you a choice – something that not many places in the world do.
The question is, do you dare? Many people don’t. And no, I’m not talking about daring to take drugs or to have sex with a prostitute; I’m talking about being able to look at yourself from a different perspective and in a different, maybe red, light.
Being in Amsterdam always makes me question things about myself and about the others. Some boundaries are gone – you and only you decide whether you gonna establish them. You and only you decide if you are up for certain experiences. Amsterdam gives you a chance to drop the mask and see your real face in the shopwindow. The question is, do you dare to show your real face?
Crawling on the roadside
Swinging from the street lights
I hope by the morning I will have grown back
By the morning I will have grown back