This week’s guest post is from Keith Jenkins, social media consultant, blogger and co-founder of Global Bloggers Network. A good read if you are planning an Amsterdam trip.
When the Santa Fe Travelers invited me to write a guest post about a place I’m passionate about, I didn’t need to think twice about which place that would be. It’s the very city I live in: Amsterdam!
It’s not difficult to be passionate about Amsterdam. With its gorgeous tree-lined canals and arched bridges, centuries-old mansions and churches, and other historic monuments, Amsterdam is arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
I’ve been passionate about Amsterdam ever since my first visit more than 20 years ago. I vividly remember my first foray into the city when I was 18. I arrived at the Central Station and walked down the Damrak avenue to the Dam Square. There was an unmistakable buzz (and whiffs of pot) in the air. The energy was simply captivating. I felt it then and I still feel it now whenever I go on a stroll around the city. The energy this city exudes is just one of the many factors that make Amsterdam special.
As you walk along the canals and visit the world-class museums, you begin to get an idea of the incredible history of the city and its inhabitants. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Amsterdam was one of the richest cities on the planet, exerting an influence that extended to the far reaches of Africa, the Americas, Asia and Australia. Present day New York was then known as New Amsterdam. Dutch seafarers who departed from Amsterdam went on to explore places as far off as Japan and New Zealand. Back home, artists like Rembrandt led a renaissance of their own, capturing vivid scenes of Amsterdam life on canvas.
For all its fame, Amsterdam is a relatively small city. Within its boundaries live approximately 800,000 people, making it seem like a ‘village’ compared to major cities around the world. Yet, despite its small size, it is home to almost 200 different nationalities! It is this factor that gives Amsterdam an unmistakable cosmopolitan feel. Add the fact that the city is so compact (you can easily walk or cycle to the different corners of the city) and what you get is a unique ‘global village’ – at least, that’s what I like to call it.
Amsterdam never gets boring. Each neighborhood has its own distinct history and character, making exploring a rewarding experience. There are the terraces and parks to just laze at and people-watch, another restaurant or shop to discover, a cultural event to attend or markets to visit.
I’m as passionate about travel as I am about Amsterdam, and that’s another reason I love living here. Amsterdam’s Central Station has frequent high-speed rail services to great cities like Paris, London and Berlin. Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, Europe’s fourth busiest, offers direct flights to more than 200 cities around the world.
It truly is a privilege to live in Amsterdam.
Keith Jenkins is a thirty-something who lives in Amsterdam. He has visited more than 60 countries across six continents and writes about his travels on his Velvet Escape blog and exhibits his photos on The Happy Explorer photo blog. In addition to being a travel blogger, Keith offers social media consultancy and marketing services. He is also the co-founder of the Global Bloggers Network, a community that helps individual and corporate travel bloggers grow and monetize their blogs. Follow Keith on Twitter: @velvetescape