Wait… We have to go home? After nine months on the road, it was time to conclude this chapter of our lives and begin another. We contemplated stretching out our travels a bit further to spend winter in the alps, but the logistics were tough. The Schengen visa regulations only allow Americans to spend 90 days inside of Schengen countries within any 180 day period, and almost all European countries aside from the UK are a part of the Schengen agreement. There is so much to do and see in Europe that prioritizing where to spend our three months was difficult, and it was over all too quickly.
It was hard to digest the reality that our time abroad was coming to an end (for now), but what better place for a grand finale than Amsterdam? From a logistics standpoint, it was perfect – there were numerous affordable outgoing flight options via Amsterdam, and we’d both always wanted to bike the canal lined streets of the city.
We only had two nights, so we had to make the best of our time. We immediately hopped on bikes and took to the streets. We tried as much food as possible, explored as many neighborhoods as we could, and checked out some nightlife.
Biking is fun way to efficiently explore a big city. But be warned! Biking in Amsterdam can sometimes feel like driving a car. The Dutch really embrace cycling culture and the bike lanes are crowded.
We visited the Rijksmuseum, which provided an opportunity to learn more about the history of the Netherlands and also to see impressive pieces by Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Van Gogh.
But mostly, we biked, wandered, and indulged in the best of what Amsterdam has to offer. We reminisced on our months of travel and tried to process the fact that we were not going to hitch a ride out of town to another far off region. The only trip in front of us was now the long journey home. It was a difficult and exciting reality to face, and it all happened fast.
It’s hard to explain how we felt in these final moments, but mostly we were filled with immense gratitude. Grateful to have seen all that we have seen. Grateful for the opportunity and time to travel. Grateful to have a wonderful home to look forward to. Grateful for our families, our friends, and our health. Grateful to find ourselves in that moment in time, in Amsterdam.
Thank you all for your support and for following along with our travels. We’re already thinking about our next opportunity to travel, but for now, we’re excited about strengthening our PNW roots.