Yesterday, I went with a big group of friends to Rotterdam. Rotterdam is a pretty short train ride away from Amsterdam, but when you arrive you feel like you’ve traveled to another country. You can immediately feel the stark contrast between Rotterdam and Amsterdam the second you get off the train. Rotterdam is characterized by modern buildings, grey tones, and clean lines. The various art installations around the city feel industrial, to match the aesthetic of the city. After being wiped out during the war, Rotterdam was rebuilt to signify – in my opinion – the start of something fresh and new. Its not that I didn’t like Rotterdam, but I think if I had come to Europe and chosen Rotterdam to study, I would have been disappointed. To be honest, Rotterdam reminds me too much of Toronto, and I wanted to study abroad to explore something different than my home.
What I love about Amsterdam is the history. I love the feeling of walking down the cobblestone streets, and looking up at the canal houses thinking that, someone has walked this same road, and seen this same view, hundreds of years prior. I just feel like I’m in a fairytale in Amsterdam, and I wouldn’t trade that feeling for anything. I don’t think I’ve given Rotterdam enough of a chance, I should go back and explore more. However, I do know that being in Rotterdam was reification of my decision to study in Amsterdam. One of the best decisions of my life.