It was one of those rare summer days in The Netherlands, and my destination was the surf school Rapa Nui in Zandvoort, the most famous beach amongst Amsterdammers. This was the meeting point for the Surfana Festival press day. I had heard a lot of good stories about this event but, as a Southern European, the idea of a surf festival in The Netherlands sounded a bit alien. Therefore I was as curious as it gets to see the festival’s premises and learn what they’re exactly about. Since I’ve recently started writing about sustainability for the Iamsterdam blog, Surfana, in their own words “the most beautiful, full of love, coolest and most sustainable festival of the summer”, was something I had to check out.
I’ve written this article upon a special request from Emily Martens, a Magazine Journalism student at the University of Suderland (UK), who’s creating her own project, called ‘Xplore’. Emily invited me to write about places that aren’t typically intended for tourists, that my friends and I would visit. This feels like going ‘back to the roots’ of this blog. I like the idea that I can help younger folks out there make the most of their travelling time. For me, the cliche that states that the best things in life are free lives up to the expectation. This doesn’t come without some creativity at times. That’s when these tips might come in handy. Here’s a little intro, for the ones who are here for the first time…
A pile of clothes, the blogger, and her stylist friend. Brace yourselves.
One year ago Linda and I got together, on a mission. To make my wardrobe great again. Today I am stoked to announce that we have done it once more. You might remember the rules of the game: there are no rules, basically. Linda comes and makes whatever the combinations she wants with the clothes I already own. Sustainability is the word here. Creativity as well.
In case you get excited about this experiment, know that Linda is launching her personal styling services, and she is offering a styling session to one of Amsterdive’s readers. Photoshoot included! Read more about that at the end of the article.
I have found the workshop “Meaningful Work and Money” while researching cultural events and activities in the city of Amsterdam. First liner: “How to do what you love, contribute to society and make it your living?”. In my head, a bright light immediately went on. THIS IS WHAT I NEED. Just a little context for the ones who are here for the first time: I am at a turning point at Amsterdive. I want to continue writing and creating content for this beloved platform of mine, but it is time to take it a step further. I want to make it my job. I already spend the majority of my time over here, which means that I do need to start translating this work into money. But how?
Once you move abroad, the process of finding a hairdresser is similar to the one of finding a doctor. In the beginning, you think you don’t need them, you might as well wait, there’s no rush. You feel fine and your hair “works”. As time goes by, you notice you don’t feel 100% in your skin so you buy some supplements and commit to skipping the junk food. Similarly, your hair isn’t all that great anymore but you decide you’re just going to experiment with different hairstyles.
In the meanwhile, you get a bit sick so you swallow some medicine you have at home and that makes you feel better for the time being. As for your hair, eventually, there will come a moment in which you realize it is a good idea to cut it, but you also decide you are your own woman, therefore, you are going to do it yourself ( oh yes I did). You feel sort of accomplished afterwards: hairdressers are expensive, you think to yourself, and cutting your hair is not that difficult after all. Except that you never feel really sure of your own opinion on the final result. The day you finally make an appointment with a doctor is – obviously – the one you cannot get out of bed to go to work. The day I made an appointment with Claudje was – obviously – the culmination of a period in which I realized I had been wearing a beanie, like, every single day.
It’s 08.30 and I’m ready to get out of the house. I have an important appointment at 09.00. I feel restless, but don’t immediately understand why therefore I also feel stupid. I mean, I’ve been through so many challenges in my life, and interviews, and meet-up-a-stranger moments, and relatively risky adventures, and I still get nervous with an appointment like this. Damn. I put red lipstick on. Red lipstick always helps. Will it go well? Will I waste my time? Will I like her? Better I hop on my bike and just go.
I had promised Kingsday outfits for your amusement. Just because: who’s not afraid of the color orange? Moreover, I take this sort of national festivities seriously. I mean, if we are all to engage in the collective Orange-Nassau delirium, better do it properly. So, what do I do? I grab all orange items I have in my possession, and I call a photographer-friend. I only tell her about coffee-plans, and once bellies are full, I suggest we pass by my place. Before she knows, she’s following me with the camera while I gypsy-dance.
Imagine this. You’ve decided you’re moving to another country. You don’t exactly know why you’ve chosen that land, other than it’s widespread reputation for being a good place to live in. You think it’s better to start writing to people prior to your departure. Those people are already living in the country of your choosing, and could hypothetically help you settle. Some of them are friends of friends, others write blogs you like reading. You never met them in person, so it’s basically a shot in the dark. There’s this girl who writes for a fashion platform you came across, and she is based in Amsterdam. You give it a try.
I’ve been planning to work with Linda since before I started blogging for real. We met countless times to brainstorm, we wrote long lists of projects, we drank countless coffees, indulged in beer, shared meals together, all of this with the noble excuse of discussing the best way of making everything happen. However, those brilliant ideas of ours kept floating in the outer space. You can call us master procrastinators. But knowing myself, I was certain this state of matters would change. This time we made an appointment (agenda and everything), she came to my place, and there we were. A pile of clothes, the blogger, and her stylist friend (who doesn’t love a good old cliché?).