And the winner of The Art of Solo Travel Giveaway is…

Melanie at So Very Vienna! Congrats!

Let’s get in touch about the prize from Indie Travel Media: a copy of Stephanie Lee’s e-book, The Art of Solo Travel.

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Amsterdam = houseboats, hammocks and glitter

After 10 days in Amsterdam, I’m now officially ready to announce that I could live there. I liked it that much. I almost never say that about cities I visit (with the exception of Cape Town, South Africa). It’s definitely my favorite European city so far.

Why’d I love the city so much? Maybe it’s because I got to spend nearly a week with a Belgian friend who lives there and showed me around. Or maybe because I attended a unique Dutch-style wedding (for two American friends) that included cocktail hour on a boat while floating around the canals. Or because just being out of the States — for the first time since I returned home from Africa a year and a half ago — felt so freeing. Inspired by the travel, I made some serious improvements to my manuscript.

A few of my favorite photos from the trip:

Houseboats line Amsterdam’s canals:

Male dancers covered in gold glitter took the spotlight — literally — at a club where we partied after the wedding:

This store sells only hammocks. I want a hammock when I grow up:

A bicycle parking lot:

Me in Antwerpen, Belgium:

And now it’s back to the real world. Job-hunting and manuscript-revising, hooray!

When your friends get married in Amsterdam…

You know how in your late-20s you get tons of invitations to weddings, so many that you simply have to decline some to maintain a positive bank balance?

That’s where I’m at. But one of those recent invites happened to be for a wedding in Amsterdam. No, not Amsterdam, NY, which is right up the road from me. I’m talking about the Amsterdam that’s in Europe. And when I get invited to a wedding that requires crossing an ocean, I don’t decline. It’s the perfect excuse to travel!

So I’m in Amsterdam for the week. It’s my first visit to the city! I’m spending the first half of the week with a Dutch friend, the second half celebrating the union of two good friends.

I’m also using it as an excuse to get away from the blog. That means no Writers’ Roundup this Friday.

See you next week!