So I’m squeezing in my last post of 2014 – with a short obligatory reflection! This year was full of unexpected travels and adventures, cementing old friendships and cautiously starting new ones, as well as a long over-due journey of self-discovery. Moving to a new country where you don’t really know anyone will make you question everything you think you know about yourself, but I’m grateful for the change. Amsterdam really is a beautiful city and every time I walk around, I’m mesmerized by the canals and architecture.
My favorite thing about traveling is not only the opportunity to see new places and eat wonderful food, but meet up with friends. This year, I was lucky enough to see friends in Istanbul, London, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Dublin. I also finally took that trip to Costa Rica that I won last year thanks to G Adventures (more on this next year) and finally home for the holidays. Last year was also the first time I celebrated Thanksgiving in I don’t-know-how-long, and it really amped me up for the holidays. Cause – turkey!
Amsterdam has a lot of different Thanksgiving celebrations – but beware – they sell out quickly! I was very happy to celebrate with two friends at the American Book Center (which is one of my favorite spots in Amsterdam). You pay 20EUR and bring an appetizer or dessert. There was live music, plenty of booze, and lots of desserts that people brought. I lazily made some sweet potato with cinnamon. One of my friends made mini goat cheese and pumpkin quiches, which I happily gobbled up. I’m happy that we went, but next year, I will try to catch one of the restaurants that celebrates Thanksgiving.
For Christmas, I was home for the holidays and my mom threw down in the kitchen (with my help of course). There really is nothing like home cooking. On my plate, you will see rice & peas (Jamaican style!), turkey, stuffing, ham, pernil (aka pork done Puerto Rican style), and veges. Not pictured: lots of love and hard labor that went into this incredible meal as well as sorrel.
Even though celebrating the holidays abroad is nice, there’s really no place like home. I’ve celebrated the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the NYE) in Germany, the Netherlands and the US, and I will pick the US every time. Although, I have to admit that Germany does Christmas well and I missed it a bit this year. In both the US and Germany, I really felt the spirit of the holidays and it always brightened my mood.
The new year is almost upon us and I hope that your dreams and wishes become reality. Let’s jump to new adventures and conquering fears in 2015!