Cat-sitting in Amsterdam
"To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries."
- Aldous Huxley
Our visit to Amsterdam came to us as a gift. Our journey began when I happened to see a Facebook post of a friend, who now lives in Amsterdam, stating her neighbor needed a cat sitter. When I saw the post, I admit that I got excited about how amazing it would be to be chosen for this opportunity. Amsterdam was definitely on my list of places I wanted to visit but I had resigned myself to a very short visit there due to it being a very expensive city.
Communication between her neighbor and me began about a month before the cat sitting services were needed, and it no longer felt like a coincidence when I learned that the date she needed us in Amsterdam was the exact date my last reservation would end and I had not yet made any other reservations after that date. The timing was perfect.
We arrived in Amsterdam Feb 13 and got to spend Valentine's Day with these two lovelies.
Amsterdam is a beautiful city. We were in the very center of it, the Jordaan, in walking distance to most everything. Amsterdam has got Venice beat by a million miles in my opinion. There are many canals everywhere, like Venice, but Amsterdam is much cleaner and far more bright and beautiful. Don't hate me, Venice-loving people, it's just my opinion and we all have a right to our opinion, and we all experience things differently.
One of my favorite things about Amsterdam is the energy of freedom that it holds. Freedom feels good, especially if you've experienced a lack of freedom in your life. They allow their citizens a lot of leeway, trust, and personal responsibility and that energy is palpable in the air, a feeling of freedom and independence, yet also a strong sense of community with one another.
We are both very grateful for the opportunity to not only visit Amsterdam but to stay for quite a long while. To top it off, we got to live with two wonderful, loving cats. For my son and I, who both love animals, this was a great gift. When it came time to say goodbye to those two furballs, it was tough. We grew quite attached to them. We will be forever grateful to their mom, Ellen, for the incredible and generous gift of caring for them, living in her lovely home for an entire month, and the gift of experiencing Amsterdam.
Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), quoted above, was an English writer, novelist, and philosopher. He graduated from Balliol College at the University of Oxford with first-class honours in English literature.