As I get more and more scattered, I tend to make more and more lists on scraps of paper that I stuff in my purse and find later. This time, I’ll post it on here so I won’t lose it. 

But first, something I’ve learned: Amsterdam is a city in Holland, which is a province in the Netherlands. So, while I am going to live in Holland, it doesn’t apply to the entire country, much like not everyone in America is a Californian.
Also, our living situation there is based on whatever the school finds for us, which they might not know until August 15. Lovely. Here’s hoping.

Things I’m excited about in Amsterdam:

1) Riding bicycles. Amsterdam is the biggest biking city in the world (next to Copenhagen). Everyone rides bikes. I’m excited to compare this to Portland, where biking is very popular but not widely appreciated. As in, I still get flipped off. I’m hoping that might not happen in Amsterdam, unless I’m biking the wrong way down a one-way lane. Which, now that I think about it, could happen.

 2) Eating cheese. Okay, so I’m kind of a cheese fanatic. I just really like it. I’m not a snob or anything–I can’t taste the grass flavors, or appreciate a year’s extra aging. But I get excited for cheese plates in restaurants, and a grocery store with a cheese case is my best friend. Eating cheese with a chunk of bread and a tasty beverage is one of the best things in life. The Netherlands is big on cheese, with whole towns bearing the names, like Gouda. With a name like that, the buildings are probably made out of the soft white goodness, and people ride around on cheese wheels. Probably.

Cheese Market in Gouda.

3) Living minimally. I’m fully expecting to live in a one-room apartment around 50sf, like those tiny ones you see set up in Ikea. I’m okay with this, since we only have one suitcase each anyway. I’m looking forward to making do with less, and being outside or in cafes more. 
4) Meeting people. I’m nervous, I’m excited, my self-esteem is trying to be strong. I believe that good people make a place ten times better, so I’m really hoping we can make some good friends. I hope people like me. Why does that little voice inside always tell you they won’t?
5) Finding our neighborhood. I hope we can live in a good area, where we can find our neighborhood cafe, our favorite restaurants, our favorite walks. Where we can settle into our little corner of Amsterdam.

I hope our neighborhood has canals.

6) Traveling. Everything is so close! I’m hoping that we can get out of the city and explore the Netherlands, and even get out of the country every once in awhile. Germany, Belgium, France, and the UK are all within 3 hours away, making perfect weekend trips. But that’s another list…