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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Personal, Places, Stories, Work

SHFT Happens: a work-retreat

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* SHFT Happens work-immersion * April 7 * Rent24 (Magna Plaza), Amsterdam

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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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