Many Layers – Seeing Past the Red Light District, Amsterdam

Travel is as much a part of my life as family and friends. When I’m on a plane, a train, or a bus heading toward a new location, I’m on an adrenaline high. All I need to do is think about exploring a new country or culture and my heart speeds up. After visiting 33 countries, it’s safe to say that I can’t write about them all and I most certainly can’t write about every experience in every city. So, when I posted about Amsterdam, I wrote about what surprised me the most: The Red Light District. Everything about it was new to me. I don’t normally walk down the street and see prostitutes or strip clubs; smoking anything is not done publicly; and a “coffee” shop sells coffee.  I was in no way uncomfortable with the Dutch tolerance and public display of sexuality; in fact, I might actually think it’s a better system, but it was definitely a notable experience. I left out the twinkling canals, the cleanliness of the city, the bikes that filled the streets, and the Anne Frank Museum that I imagined touring since learning about her in grade ten. Beautiful, open-minded, and filled with something new around every corner, Amsterdam is a delight to visit, even if you skip the Red Light District.  Continue reading

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