I think I owe you an apology, Amsterdam. You see, I just don't think things will ever work out between us.
But it's not you — it's me.
I made the mistake of trying to get to know you at the wrong time, Amsterdam. I met you for the first time after visiting an old fling (London), being introduced to a new suitor (Paris), and then being unexpectedly swept off my feet by a charming new acquaintance (Bruges).
To be honest, I don't think you ever really stood a chance.
Yes, I will concede that with your pretty canals and narrow houses, you really are just as attractive as everyone's always said. I delighted in snapping photos of your bridges covered in brightly colored flowers, and your houseboat-lined canals.
But looks aren't always everything.
For every beautiful canal I strolled down, there was an angry cyclist whizzing by. For every quiet moment I found in a park or down a quiet side street, there was any annoyingly high or drunk tourist around the next corner.
You actually stressed me out a little bit, Amsterdam.
From that first night when I visited a coffee shop with some friends and took a stroll through the sad and disturbing Red Light District, I knew in my heart that it just wasn't meant to be, Amsterdam. I wasn't looking for weed or peep shows, but that's all you were offering at first.
It was partially my fault for falling into the tourist traps straight away.
But, even when I ventured beyond them, I just didn't feel anything with you, Amsterdam.
I spent the next few days giving you chance after chance, trying to get away from your touristy areas and trying to participate in anything I could to make me like you a little bit more. I was looking for that connection; that spark that would help me fall for you.
I rented a bike, spent a whole day wandering on foot, went looking for some history at the Anne Frank House, and even took a canal boat cruise. While some of these things were lovely and interesting, we just never “clicked.”
Maybe I was just burnt out. Maybe I was missing other destinations. Maybe I was looking forward to others a little too much. Maybe it would be best if we just try to give it a go again another time.
For now, though, I'll take all the blame, Amsterdam. It's really not you — it's me.
Perhaps we can still be friends?
When it comes to travel, there are some destinations we instantly fall in love with, others that we become fond of in time, and others that we just never click with.
I gave Amsterdam a second chance a couple years later – but it's just not a city that's a good fit for me. But that's okay! Cities are like people – you can't have a good relationship with them all.
Have you ever just not vibed with a city you wanted to like? What do YOU think of Amsterdam?