Love Your Mistakes

We all have them. Those moments where we make a choice, and at the very second that it’s made, we know that it’s probably a mistake. For some reason though, I’m guessing mostly out of uncontrollable curiosity, we do it anyways. Sometimes it’s a make it or break it move, other times it’s just a tiny thing that doesn’t really have much of an impact. Sometimes we end up regretting the choice for a long time, other times though, even though it looks like a mistake, it’s the exact right move that needs to be made. A messy road that needs to be walked to get through the chaos and come out on the other side to find the right path.

Sometimes a moment of the present seems so much like a nostalgic part of our past that it’s hard to be mindful of the fact that nothing has really changed, and then you lose yourself in it. Making the choice to walk it will have you running around in a circle of what could have been, but isn’t.

A bittersweet moment of walking through all of the what ifs and all of the dreams and hopes that you’ve already worked so hard to let go of. And you find yourself in the eye of the storm, with a blurry vision of everything around you. You’re blissfully and painfully aware of what is, and what’s to come at the same time. Then you wait.

The storm either hits you hard when you’re not quite ready yet, or you choose to take the painful steps into it. You let it hit you, and you let yourself feel all that needs to be felt so that you can come out through the other side as a stronger and wiser human being.

Sometimes, being hit by the storm is the only way of making sure that you won’t get trapped by the very same storm once again in the future. The next time you see it approaching, you will know where to turn and how to prepare yourself. You’ll recognize it for the pain that it caused and the new pain that it promises. You will no longer be fooled into the mirage of what you want it to be, as opposed to the reality of what it actually is. You will know better!

Do not get yourself down for the mistakes that you’ve made. The choices that you wish were different. It has already been done, and no matter how much you practice the what if game, it will not change anything.

Learn to love your mistakes. Be grateful for whatever it has taught you about other people, but mostly about yourself.

I can promise you one thing though; you will make new ones!

That is the beauty and the pain of being human.

Just know that your mistakes do not define you, but you can make the choice to grow from them. To learn, to get better and to be grateful❤️

I very recently made a mistake. A wrong choice that I knew I should have not made. A path to walk that I instantly knew that I probably should not venture out on. Now, I find myself here on the other side, and even though the walk came with pain and tears, it also came with a profound healing. It was just the path that I needed to walk to realize the reality and the difference between my past dreams and the present. I could finally see it all for what it actually was, and I can finally move on.

Does it still hurt? Hell yeah! In so many ways! But now I know that the pain is part of the healing and of the letting go. I have no desire to go back. I have no need for what ifs, and I am no longer a host of delusions for some dream that will never come true.

Dear mistake, I wish I didn’t have to experience you, but I’m glad that I did. I love you for all that you’ve taught me, and for all that you will continue to teach me.

Thank you❤️

Vegan in Amsterdam

Being a vegan when traveling can from time to time be a bit challenging, so it’s always interesting to travel to a new city and explore their vegan options.

When I was planning my Amsterdam trip, I had already done quite a lot of research around vegan places I would like to try out. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to all of them, but the ones that I tried was absolutely amazing!

Juice by Nature

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Warmoesstraat 108, 1012 JJ Amsterdam, Netherlands

On my very first day in Amsterdam, while wandering around in the city, I stumbled across this place. I almost walked right past it actually, but I’m glad that the sign on the other side of the road grabbed my attention.

It’s not a big café, but it has a really calm and nice vibe to it. The staff that worked there made me feel very welcomed and at home.

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I ordered a hummus wrap, black coffee, and a carrot cake, then I found myself a table and enjoyed the hell out of it! Up until that point, I had eaten the vegan options from Starbucks and local stores, which were surprisingly good (kudos to Dutch Starbucks for serving vegan food options), so it was to sit down somewhere quiet and have a proper meal.

The hummus wrap was good, but it could’ve been a bit more spiced up. But the carrot cake was divine! A vegan, no bake, no sugar cake that just melted in my mouth! Holy moly was that a wonderful experience!

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I left the place feeling very satisfied and happy, and I went back several times for juice/smoothies (which were amazing!) and salads.

A really good spot for a lunch or a snack. They did have soups and other hot dishes too, but I did not have time to try them out. Next time!

If you want to know more about Juice by Nature, you can visit their website here: 

www.juicebynature.com


VEGABOND

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Leliegracht 16, 1015 Amsterdam, Netherlands

When I came across Vegabond while doing my research, I knew that I had to visit the place! First off, it looks super cozy! Second, VEGAN DONUTS!

I had been craving donuts for weeks but did not have the time to go in search of them here in Oslo, so Amsterdam was donut time!

Vegabond is located in a quiet area, with a view of one of the many canals. It’s quite small though, so don’t go there and expect to get a very private table. But I loved that part too. It was a great way to meet new people and easily interact with fellow vegans.

 

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Photo: http://www.vegabond.nl

 

Vegabond is not just a café, it’s a shop too. You can buy lots and lots of vegan products like snacks, food prep ingredients, sodas and more.

I was met by a kind, smiling and welcoming staff that had plenty of recommendations for food and cake options.

So let’s talk about the donuts! It was well worth the wait! I think it’s actually the best donut I’ve ever had, and that’s not even an exaggeration. When vegan donuts taste that good, and they’re sprinkled with good conscience, why would one ever opt for having any other kind??

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The first day I was there I had a wrap, the second day I went there we tried a “mozzarella” sandwich, “brie” sandwich, spinach pastries and several cakes, plus snacks, coffees, and sodas.

Their vegan mozzarella and brie tasted so like the real thing that if I didn’t know that everything they serve is vegan, I would’ve thought that it wasn’t! Amazing!

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It’s fair to say that we stuffed our faces and had absolutely NO regrets!

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I got to enjoy the view from the table at the window both times, and I got to meet and talk to some really amazing people while I was there. It’s a great place to go as a solo traveler, or to enjoy food/desserts that will make your taste buds have a proper party! And don’t leave the place without having tried the donuts! You can thank me later!

Vegabond is definitely my favorite vegan spot in Amsterdam, and I can’t wait to go back there for my next visit!

If you want to know more about Vegabond, you can visit their website here:

www.vegabond.nl


 

I found Amsterdam to be a city where it was easy to be a satisfied and happy vegan traveler! As long as you do a little bit of research, then there are quite a few places that are completely vegan, or at least has vegan options on the menu.

I also found that being a vegan on the go was quite easy too. Most of their food markets/retail stores had a good variety of vegan options and every single one that I tried was tasty.

I already miss all of the wonderful food and the vibe, and I can’t wait for my next trip there❤️

Silver Lining • POEM

All of the looks

The words and kisses

Before I even knew

I’d fallen into the trap

Lost in a present

That looked like the past

All of the questions

The answers I feared

And did not want

They were the truth

The pain I needed

To finally move on


©️Christina de Vries

ClinkNOORD – HOSTEL REVIEW

When I first decided to go to Amsterdam for VidCon Europe 2018, I initially booked a hotel. It was cute, had a library in it and looked like a great place to get some interesting video footage.

But as life and situations often do, things changed and I decided to do something a bit different. I wanted to rent a houseboat and travel with a group of friends, but when the departure date was approaching, the friends that I had hoped would join me couldn’t make the trip this time around. By then, all the houseboats were rented out for the period when I was going.

So I sat down and started browsing the web for an interesting, but also an affordable place to stay. There were some interesting apartments on Airbnb for sure, but I started to think back on my two recent trips to London and how much I enjoyed staying at St. Christopher’s Inn. And then the search for interesting hostels in Amsterdam begun. The one that popped up most frequently with high praise and rating was ClinkNOORD.

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I clicked my way into their website and as soon as I started to look through the pictures, I knew that this was the perfect place for me to stay!

It’s a big hostel situated in the Noord district. It sits on the bank of the river IJ, and is just a few minutes boat ride away from the Amsterdam Centraal Station. Oh, and the ferry runs 24/7 and it’s free!

With colorful open spaces and lots of social events going on, I knew that this was my best bet for a social and unique experience while I was traveling alone.

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As soon as I got there I was welcomed by a charming receptionist that gave me all the information that I needed to get situated. I got there a few hours before check-in, but they welcomed me to either store my luggage in the luggage room or to use a padlock (you can buy one from them (€6), or bring your own) and lock my things in one of the many storage lockers that they have in the reception area. I locked up my valuables and headed into the city to explore.

Later that day, I got back to the hostel and could find my bunk. I was sleeping in a 14 bed shared facility. I met my bunkmate, a wonderful 68-year-old woman from Canada, and instantly bonded with her. There were lots of stories to be shared throughout the time I was there.

Every bed has its own locker, so you can easily store your valuables while you’re out and about. There’s also a reading light, power outlet and 2 USB charger ports over each bed so you can charge your gadgets. The beds were comfortable. The showers and restrooms were right outside of the room, and it was clean and inviting throughout my whole stay. You can rent towels from the hostel for €3.

They have a kitchen that you can use if you want to make your own food, or you can order food from the café or bar. They have a good range of vegan options for both breakfast/lunch and dinner. I had the falafel sandwich for lunch and it was delicious!

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I think what makes ClinkNOORD so special is all of the activities.  Cider pong, quiz, solo traveler meet up, yoga, secret concerts, beer tasting, free guided tours of the city and more. There’s always something to do, and if you just want to be social, then you can head to their bar (Zinc Bar) and use the 2 for 1 voucher that they hand you when you check in. Buy a new friend a drink and chat away!

All in all, I had an absolutely fantastic time! ClinkNOORd is hands down the best hostel I’ve been to so far! I highly recommend it, and I can’t wait to go back!

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You tempted to try ClinkNOORD out? Click on the Hotels.com logo below to read more!

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☼If you shop via my affiliate link, I get a small commission☼

 

 

Amsterdam – A Magical City

Some cities have magic in them, but the magic will always be different for each person who experiences it. To me, Amsterdam has a certain kind of magic that is hard to put into words. It’s not about being high, although that can certainly make the experience into something special for sure. It’s something else.

It’s the canals and the houseboats. Where people live on water and have a different outlook on life. A city where you’re always close to water.

It’s the crowded streets. The vibe from all the people, and not just the Dutch, but there are people from all over the world. As you walk through the alleys you hear so many different languages, and see so many different and beautiful faces.

It’s the restaurants, the cafés, and the vegan food. A city packed with cozy places to sit down for a meal, a coffee or a smoke.

It’s the atmosphere in this city that makes me smile just thinking back on it.

I guess magic is the only right word to really describe it after all!

During the next couple of days, I will be posting some reviews and other tidbits about my Amsterdam trip, and I can’t wait to share it all with you guys! The video from the trip will be up sometime later this week too, so stick around for that 💛

Now I’m going to get myself a much needed good night’s sleep!

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Do you have a city that’s magical to you? Let me know in the comments 😊

 

 

VidCon Europe – Why It’s Not Worth Your Money!

So I went to VidCon Europe 2018, and I have some thoughts!

Day 1 – Very Disappointing! 

VidCon Europe 2018 has been my very first VidCon, and after seeing videos from other YouTubers that attended the event last year, I wouldn’t say that I had very high expectations, but I also expected them to have improved since creators were so disappointed the last time around.

So I had mediocre expectations for the actual event, but high expectations for the people, the vibe, and the networking.  Unfortunately, I would have to say that the whole thing was very disappointing. The venue that they’d set up was way smaller than what I expected and the talks that we went to were nothing much. The most interesting thing I saw all day was the AMA with Anna Akana, and that was just because it was entertaining. I didn’t feel like I really learned anything from the first day. Most of what they were all talking about was information that I’ve already been able to come across online, for free, by people who are much more interesting to listen to.

Everything felt like it was catered to creators who were totally new in the game, and for those who were and that got lots out of this; GREAT! Good for you! I wish I could say the same!

When the tickets cost €199, I was expecting a whole lot more from an event like this. I wanted insight, representatives from more brands, more people, a social gathering the last night, but got nothing that I felt was worth my time or my money.

The vibe too was very uninspiring and didn’t motivate me in any way. I went there together with Leif Nygaard, and we felt pretty much the same way about it. You can see his video from the first day here:

Like we mentioned, the social media room was kind of cool, but it was small and very uneventful except for the Instagrammable tulip and bicycle setup, free snacks and coffee, and the goodie bags from Facebook/Instagram.

Another thing I really missed was YouTube merch. There were no stickers, totes, t-shirts or anything.

We left the event after the first day, unsure if we were even going to spend the full second day there.

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Day 2 – We Ditched VidCon

On day 2 we arrived a bit late, but for the first talk on the agenda that looked somewhat interesting. It turned out to be just as much of a newbie theme to that one, and when lunchtime arrived and the fact of the matter was that there wasn’t even lunch included in the €199 we paid ( you had to buy food there) that was the tipping point where Leif and I looked at each other and knew that it was time to leave. We were staying in a wonderful city, with a vibe that’s inspiring in its self, and we were wasting our time and energy on an event that gave us nothing.

The money spent for the ticket is sad enough, but nothing to do about that now. So we headed into the city and we had a fantastic day instead! We wat vegan food and cakes until we thought we were going to burst, had a smoke in the sun by the canal, browsed some shops, met some wonderful people and then we enjoyed the city by night!

The trip to Amsterdam has been inspiring and awesome, and I can’t wait to post my vlog from the trip, but when it comes to VidCon Europe, I’m freaking disappointed. This had the potential to be so much more but ended up being time and money lost.

I would be very surprised if there’s a new VidCon Europe next year. They would have to make some major changes for it to even be close to worth what they’re charging for the tickets. So my tip to anyone who’s considered VidCon Europe is don’t waste your precious time and money. Use all the information that is already available for free online, and try to go to another convention instead. I’ve heard that VidCon US is pretty spectacular, so if you have the option to go there instead then that will probably be a totally different experience.

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That being said, I’m glad that I had a fellow-minded YouTuber to ditch the event with and make some absolutely fantastic new memories! A big thank you to Leif Nygaard for bringing even more laughter and new experiences to the trip 😊

 

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Picture taken by Nicole/Homenest Digital while we had lunch at Vegabond

 

What I Have Learned From Pain

A lot of people have a very strong fear of the feeling of psychological pain, and that is completely understandable. Other have a craving for it. I wouldn’t say that I fall into either of the two categories.

I don’t particularly enjoy the hurt, but whenever I come across it, I choose to be very mindful of the pain. It’s not the same as wallowing in it, or making it into a bigger deal than it is. It is about being open to the lessons that are there to be learned because of the pain. It’s about daring to say: You know what, I’m not okay, but that’s okay too!

In a lecture by Alan Watts, he talks about how there is no wrong way to feel because feelings are something that comes to you, and that happens (very often) without your ability to control it in that very moment. You can control how you choose to act on it, and thereby shift your path into new ones that will come with other emotions, but what you are feeling is a 100% true to you. I really like that way of thinking, and I believe that kind of mindset is a way to be very mindful of your emotions.

Don’t shut them out. Don’t hide them. And don’t be embarrassed by them. Meet them at the door and instead of telling them to leave, ask them why they have come. Ask them what they can teach you, and how you can grow from it ❤️

That is what I have learned from my painful experiences; that no matter how much it hurts or how hopeless everything feels in the midst of it all, I always come out on the other side as a stronger and more aware person. Through all of the experiences, all of the emotions (good and bad) and all the people I meet, that is the way that I grow. And if there’s one thing that I will always strive for, it is to continuously grow for as long as I get to wander this earth❤️

Home is where the heart is!

I’ve been traveling quite a bit, and my parents moved around a lot when I was a kid, so I don’t really have one particular house that I think of as my childhood home. I have my hometown that I’m very fond of, and I always enjoy coming back to it, but there are other places that feel more like home to me. The weird thing is that the places where I’ve traveled to that feel the most like home are not places that I have any relation to. It’s more of a feeling that just comes over me whenever I’ve visited the first time, and that feeling persists for every visit.

London has always been like that for me. Every time I arrive in London city, I get this feeling of utter bliss. It’s heartwarming in a way I find hard to explain.

Copenhagen is the same.

I remember having that very same feeling when I used to travel to Amsterdam with my dad as a kid, and the very same feeling came over me when I arrived here yesterday. I’ve now been here for almost two days, and it feels like being in love. I small all the time, my heart beats a little bit faster, and it feels like I don’t have a worry in this world.

So maybe the saying is completely right, but for me, I travel with my heart on my sleeve and sometimes the destination is a perfect match. Maybe I have a stronger connection to some places more than others because it was somehow meant to be. I’m a strong believer in everything happening for a reason, and I think that some cities and I were meant for each other.

So here I find myself in Amsterdam, totally, utterly, unbelievably in love with a city. A place I hope to someday in the future be able to call my home for a while.

For now, it is home though, for a few more days at least❤️