#InAshleighsShoes – What Amsterdam Taught Me

Well, I’m taking myself off to the city of 1,500 bridges, ceaseless amount of canals and an unimaginable number of bikes. With travelling back and forth to the Netherlands since a young girl, I completely get why Amsterdam is one of Europe’s favourite and most popular cities and it’s not just for the reasons it’s famous for. I cannot simply put into words just how excited I am to do it all over again.

I could write all day in regards to what I’ve learnt from the Dutch culture, what I’ve enjoyed about visiting the different cities and what I truly appreciate about the way of life in the small country but we don’t have time for that.

One thing I can give full gratitude to the Dutch culture for is the fact having an open mind comes as effortlessly to me now as breathing and with that, usually comes a sense of honesty (too much too often for me, says some LOL). At 21 years of age I feel that being honest and open minded are two qualities that are vital and very much essential, especially in this day and age.

Here’s why:
I’ll start on the fact it helps us make mistakes. I understand your instinct is telling you that can’t exactly be an advantage but trust me, it is. If I’ve learnt anything within the last two years, it’s the fact mistakes are a vital part of life and if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have experienced the valuable life lessons that have shaped me into who I am. Having an open mind, gives you less fear in everyday life and leaves you open to experiencing new challenges and we’re all aware that fear is one of the main things that stops us moving forward. Fear of making mistakes.

Having an open mind helps us step out of our comfort zone. We grow up being taught certain beliefs which confine us to our familiar surroundings being it venues or people. This usually, unfortunately leads to us being ignorant towards people who are ‘different’. Being acceptant helps us go against this, making us aware of unfamiliar beliefs and values which only lead to more beneficial interactions and life lessons.

And lastly but to me, most importantly, you’ll gain confidence. Living with an open mind, gives you a great sense of self as well as strength. I can defend and explain my beliefs without the dread of being offended or agitated by someone else’s. I’m also learning about the world around me and seeing it through other people’s eyes. I’m learning, I’m growing and I’m building belief in myself. This is essential for everyone!

So to the stereotypical Dutch, I salute you for your well known personality traits & very grateful for picking them up throughout my years of visiting.
Have a wonderful Easter weekend, I know I will,
Ash x

Post Author: Belfast Times

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