I often wonder what my year abroad would’ve been like if I decided to study somewhere else… The allure of some Spanish sun has often left me thinking about what could have been, but truthfully there are many things I love about the Netherlands!
- Canals, canals, canals!
This picture doesn’t demonstrate it very well, but literally on the other side of the road there was a canal. They are all over Amsterdam, you can’t avoid them no matter how hard you try, and they’re really pretty. Even nicer, are the ones in Utrecht. I’ve yet to get a kayak out in Utrecht but its high up my bucket list to do before I go. I love the canals; they just make the place more unique and special!
2. Bikes, bikes, bikes!
Whether you believe the statistic that there are more bikes than people in Holland or not, one thing you can’t deny is that they are bloody everywhere! I didn’t realise before I came here how much I’d rely on a bike! I got a puncture a couple of times, and I felt so cut off for a few days! They’re so essential, but also a really fun way of travelling, and they keep you fit!
3. McDonalds is better!
I know this is a bit of a crap point, but it needs mentioning! McDonalds has simply upped their game in the Netherlands, compared to England. The Maestro burger is a thing of beauty! AND! Something unbelievable once happened to me in McDonalds here.. Someone came and cleared our tray from the table, and then gave us a wet wipe and an after dinner mint! Restaurant quality, that!
4. It’s Eco-Friendly and generally friendly!
There’s way more greenery in the Netherlands than England. When you take a train anywhere you pass far more fields and farms, and more impressively, the trains are run on 100% wind power, meaning they’re super good for the environment! The use of bikes means cars aren’t all that popular, and although the country is proud to be orange, it’s also certainly green! It’s also a very LGBT friendly place, with loads of gay clubs and whatnot, which can’t be a bad thing. Liberal is the word I think you hear people use!
5. Coffee Culture
I’m not talking the cannabis coffee shops- I’m talking the brown stuff. Coffee is good here, and there are so many independent cafes rather than the same old chains. These places have character and I really enjoy trying them out. Also I love the fact that people sit outside all year round, aided by big patio heaters. This is definitely more of a mainland Europe thing, and I’ll really miss it when I go back to England. More than just coffee, I love having a beer outside, and it’s one of the best things about this country.
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