amsterdam, Creative Living, Stories

Hear Here – An Amsterdive meet-up

This story is dedicated to Linda, Jan, Giulia, Bernardo, Vanessa, Shari, Theodora, Sima, and Pavlina

We did it. And I’ve promised you a piece of writing on it. Here it is.

On a sunny Saturday ten of us came together at cultural cafe Oko Melting Point in Amsterdam. You had seen the event on Facebook. Or perhaps you saw a mention on Instagram, or maybe you got the newsletter. In any case, for some reason, every single one of you thought it was a good idea to trade free access to vitamin D for this thing called “Hear Here – An Amsterdive meet-up”. And you really were there. Not the way that we sometimes show up to a networking event. You guys were actually present, which was the core value of the meet-up.

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amsterdam, Creative Living, YouTube

Co-working days at The Thinking Hut

When I was invited to a try-out at co-work The Thinking Hut, I was thrilled. I all starts with a name. They call themselves creative co-work, and that sounds just right for me. The idea of toiling in a hut brings out the hippie in me, which is my most playful side and, I risk saying, the best one. I like to create in vibrant places that do not feel like traditional offices. So I was willing to have a steady workplace of my own for the first time in my content creator life and take the opportunity to do a semi sugar & caffeine detox (in which I failed spectacularly, by the way).

I have been doing the freelance thing from cafes since I’ve kicked out Amsterdive. If you follow me on social media, you know how passionate I am for third wave coffee places. If a day passes without a visit to a cafe that means I’m sick. However, I also love creating together with other freelancers, and it is handy to have a dedicated space for that. I dislike working from home, and cafes are not always quiet or spacious, and many of them do not provide power sockets. Plus, I had the feeling I was spending way too much money on fancy coffee and cake. I’ve been increasingly interested in co-work spaces as a laboratorium for exciting projects and collaborative labours — a place where ideas take shape. Plus, I love this idea of a community of freelancers from different fields doing their thing together and stimulating each other along the way.

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amsterdam, Stories

A burst of humanity at Antiquarian Hoogkamp

In the break of two appointments in the Spiegelkwartier I find myself taking a stroll along the bustling Spiegelgracht, a route favoured by a million tourists every year. I’d just gone on a private Rijksmusem tour (check it out here, if you wish) and while my mind was reproducing Jan Steen’s households and Rembrandt’s merchant couples, and going through possible words to convey the nuances of my blogger’s friend voice while she spoke of how Van Gogh got inspired by the latter, my eyes got stuck in these prints of human body parts, and colourful birds, and canal houses, displayed in wooden boxes by both sides of an open door. I step back to read the sign above me and almost get murdered by a furious cyclist. Jumping back to the sidewalk prooved equally life-threatening, with me having to squeeze between a wall of passer-by’s until I finally managed to take a breath and look up. It said, Antiquariaat Hoogkamp.

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amsterdam, Personal, Stories

Making friends in Amsterdam

Friends: possibly the question I get asked the most. How to make friends in Amsterdam.

I have written about this subject before but felt reticent to tackle the “how-to” because of how personal this is. Telling someone how to make friends is similar to try to teach them “the steps to fall in love” (hate this expression, but you get the idea). We connect with people differently and my ways to make friends work for me, not necessarily for everyone else. We all need to find our own ways as there are no formulas one-size-fits-all. This being said,  because the question keeps on coming – and especially so when folks realize I am also befriended with Dutchies -, I’ve realised this is a thing. I have promised someone to write about this topic (Hi, F.!) , which is a strategy I’ve been employing not to procrastinate on blog posts. So here’s my take on the friendship thing. I hope it can be useful. Also, feel free to ask any question or to share your own impressions in the comments section! Yes, we zijn zover, which is to say, here we go.

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amsterdam, Personal, Stories, Travels

Once upon a spot – a Spotted by Locals tale

It was 2013. I had just quit my hospitality job, and I didn’t have a plan. So I did what many of us do: decided to escape the burden of not knowing what to do with my life by going traveling. I booked an inter-rail ticket which would last for one month. Once it was over I’d see what I’d do. I had never travelled alone in my entire life, at least not more than five days in a row, and to places where I’d always visited friends. Right now I was travelling alone-alone, to countries where I didn’t know a single soul. I had worked enough to maintain myself for a few months without a job so there I went. I started in Italy.

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