Personal, Places, Stories, Work

SHFT Happens: a work-retreat

Engine on

When you start working on a project, whatever the nature of it, it’s like you’re trying to get a rusty engine to work. It will take time until you actually see some sort of motion going on. As cliche as this sounds, all you can do is work hard every day. More often than not, it will take quite a while until something visible occurs because there are no shortcuts to these things. This is especially true when you are starting whatever you’re starting from scratch. When you have no relevant connections in a specific field, sometimes no former education in it, when you have never done it before, starting a project is always a walk in the dark. Even if you have some sense of direction, you can’t really see where you’re heading to. It’s like you’re blindfolded but still, have to make your way to the other side of the road. It makes you nervous because your eyes are not used to the dark. Most people give up before they manage to get to the other side (or turn their engine on, if you will). It is just too much uncertainty. But here’s this: there are ways to make the crossing smoother and less scary. You could find a mentor, go to coaching, surround yourself with creative people, go co-work with people from your field, inspire yourself with the example of more experienced folks. Or you could do all of this at the same time. Usually, that’s when SHFT HAPPENS.

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amsterdam, Culture, Places

‘Innenschau’ with the Amsterdam Culture Club

It was quite a while since I’d gone to a theatre show. Receiving an invitation from the  Amsterdam Culture Club to join one of their gatherings felt like getting a message from a bigger force – introduce cavernous voice here – Wake up Anaaaa. Make your way back to the theatreeee. I obeyed. Spent my uni time studying theatre, after all. Can’t be this long away from it.

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amsterdam, Culture, Places

Seventeen​ new places in 2017 | part II

Hey-ho, there we go, (again)!

Yesterday, I have introduced you to the first nine of seventeen discoveries I made during the year of two thousand seventeen in Amsterdam – wow, this just sounded super Jacques Cousteau-y, and I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, but anyway. As I have told you, I am shamelessly embracing the blogger / urban explorer (millennial?) in me and “compiling” stuff for public service. Like a hunter-gatherer of modern times. Here we go: the other eight of the seventeen of 2017.
Picture on header: FC Hyena

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amsterdam, Places

Seventeen new places in 2017 | part I

Dear all,

I thought of compiling the seventeen new places of two-thousand-seventeen in a blog post primarily because urban explorer is my middle name, and I feel I should be doing something with this information broth. I’ve been reluctant to “make lists” on the blog as those have become a dominant blogging cliché and I wanted to take distance of such marketing approaches. I come from the tradition of old-school blogging, where people used to share non-branded highly personal stuff. Although I have adapted quite well to the current blogging ways, where image and social media have become essential, it doesn’t make sense for me to maintain a blog that is just about gathering impersonal information. When it’s just about listing “hotspots”, it’s not a blog but a website, even if a photo of a trendy girl accompanies the text. When it’s about the “Ten (*insert whatever*) you cannot miss in Amsterdam”, it’s BuzzFeed. This being said, every time I am talking to friends and acquaintances, I also realize that decently-curated informative posts can be valuable to my readers. Moreover, when I am travelling myself, blogs are my primal source for finding my way around, so I guess I should be contributing as well. Maybe it’s not about the lists, but the actual voice behind them.

So let’s get to the juicy stuff. These are not necessarily places that have opened their doors in 2017, rather the ones I have become acquainted with, during last year. If you have been following Amsterdive for a while, you won’t be surprised to find a good amount of specialty coffee spots here. Other than that, there’s art, culture, sustainability, yoga, a church, a tower, a cinema festival, a club, a co-workspace, and a beach! With no further ado, let’s dive into the first 9 places of my seventeen favourites of two-thousand-seventeen (there will be a part II to this post).

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amsterdam, Culture, Personal, Places, Stories

Amsterdam: Take your mom out this Christmas

I have always loved Christmas. I feel it is a time for cosiness and introspection, and so I try to pay special attention to those around me and honour the blessings I receive. It only makes sense to spend Christmas in Amsterdam, for it is here that I feel home.

Some of you might be acquainted with the fact that my mum usually spends Christmas in Amsterdam with me. This year will be an exception. Mum is spending Christmas in the tropics and, oh well, who can blame her? So I will recap some of the things we have done together on Christmasses from previous years so that I both celebrate this lovely lady from whom I got my smile (they say) and hopefully give you some ideas for the following days.

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food for though, people, Personal, Places, Stories, Work

Did anyone say Meaningful Work and Money?

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?

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Culture, Places, Travels

Between the lines of Chiharu Shiota

“Our life is like a journey but we cannot see the final destination” / Chiharu Shiota

I did feel I was searching for the line. You know? Those days in which your inner-world is blurry, and you feel slightly disoriented. Perfect occasion for heading to the museum.

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people, Places, Stories

The winding road to *your* hairdresser

The hair struggle

Until you end up wearing a beanie every single day (@jan.arsenovic)

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.

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Personal, Places, Stories

This summer love

We were crossing the Ij to Amsterdam North with the ferry, and he asked me, with eyes wide open, if there were fish in the Ij. I was struck by the question. Fish in the Ij. Damn. I had never thought of it. I used to have cool conversations all the time with artists and creatives of all sorts, folks of different nationalities who could speak at least a couple of languages, and had university degrees, and were cosmopolitan, and well-travelled, and kept themselves busy with exciting occupations, and knew a lot of complex stuff about fields of which existence I ignored. And then this guy I had randomly met at a party asks me, in his broken English, if there are fish in the IJ, and I am mindblown. Who would have cared for such a seamless, simple thing like the aquatic vertebrates living down under water? To what sort of person could this piece of information matter? At that moment the love seed germinated.

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amsterdam, Culture, food for though, Personal, Places, Stories, Travels

Where The Sheep Sleep

Coming home

Every now and then I am walking around the city – wait, who am I kidding?, I never walk – I am cycling, cycling around the city -, and I get struck by this feeling that we are all so disconnected from each other. Which is ironical given the fact that we are also living crammed to each other and yet emotionally so far apart, always busy, never really paying attention to what’s happening around us. Then I can’t avoid my mind to wander to a place where it all was different, where connecting was the rule and not the exception. Where everyone smiled at each other, where people acknowledge each other’s presence, where interactions with other human beings were easy, simple, and free. This description might sound like a mere utopia to most of us. But the cool thing is that there are places like this in the world: not many, that’s true, but they exist.

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