Amsterdam 🇳🇱 !
November 2018 !
Solo Expedition - Europe - Mixed Feeling ♥️
Back in my school days there was a guy who was a good friend but the most hated quality he had was not to wait for anyone to join and complete the things by his own .
Back then I used to detest this norm but then one day after some years some another wise man told me that " The things which are important to you should not be left at the mercy of others " .
And then it glued on to me ...
And then you had the world famous Hollywood dialogue of " You Got A Dream , You Gotta Protect It .. Period " . And probably that was the time when I said to myself that I am gonna do whatever my heart says and in case someone is around then good to have else "I" would do along with "Me" .
Back then I was posted at the places which were very distanced to close friends and family and then travel was not something which I used to feel and probably there were other priorities that overshadowed the need to travel . At that time weekends were hard to kill and I started watching movies at theaters . Movies in a row -- back to back - 4 Movies - 3 hours each and there was a time when I actually started liking my own company and never ever pushed anyone to join for the movies .
Probably at that time I read the quote which imbibed in me " If You Can't Enjoy Your Own Company Then How Can You Expect Others To Enjoy Your Company " .
The essence of the quote is to first fix yourself and then fix others .
I accomplish a major feat by watching all major release for genre I adore for some good, handsome with decade old partnership .
When time passes by you recognize some other triggers that shapes your life , your character and your outlook towards a thing .
May be many things are what happens to you without any reason and then one day your unconscious mind meets your conscience and you know what you want to do further.. And till when you have no idea ... But that is still ok ...
This was time when I wanted to travel !
All my previous efforts was to collect and recollect peers so that we can plan a trip . Maximum of times it gets crushed when few people withdraw as a norm or habit .
Since I had seen the things and understood way back I knew my destiny and fate should meet one day and let I try to tame both of the things by my own .
Probably this was era when I wanted to tell myself that two parallel lines may intersect somewhere in the future and I need to be at the driver seat of my own destiny .
I don't even remember when did I first travel alone and how it started .. don't even know whether it was business or whether it was pleasure .. whether it was study or whether it was formation of an iceberg whose foundation was not even visible to anyone including me.
It went on like this and then one day I reliazed that travel makes me rejuvenate my soul and nature is probably the best friend I could ever have .
Rather then counting and making checklists it is more towards pleasure you derive . Travel was something which I could do without food , without sleep , without rest , without plans and without anyone else . I remember when I didn't sleep for 48 hours while traveling and it was still refreshing till the time I hit the bed .
Travellers or tourist whatever I am into , I wanted to make sure I get this vibes at constant level and that's how I decided to do Solo Expedition outside my native country as well .
And Amsterdam it was , along with many others ..
Story of Amsterdam is too much close so would narrate you now and sorry of filling the gaps of introduction till now ;)
I was in Italy at that time and heading towards London .. Along with all the Adventure with Marine God's , finally got a wave off to sail back and by that time I got a dent in my pocket for all Flights and Hotels cancellation .
So probably Learning No. 1, here is never ever short of money when you are on travel and most importantly when outside your native country . Money is fuel that is required more than sufficient limits .
This dent was good enough along with rebooking would have costed me some good euros , finally settled with erasing Amsterdam plan and settled with belief that Marine God wanted to wash away my travel plan to Amsterdam and let it be by fate and let it be my destiny .
So I took my return flight from Naples , Italy to London .
It was 10.30 PM that I reached at London Airport and now looking to have cab to reach the destination at London . Within this time when I done with my immigration formalities and waiting for my luggage from belt there was something in me telling me to stop , wait and revisit .
Probably that was a moment of heart change that I wanted to fight with my fate and not settled with my destiny ..
That brought me with my Learning No. 2 ...
Fate becomes your own destiny when you settled for something which you probably didn't want .. So Tiger , Fight ... Fight for something that you truly deserve and don't ever settled for any less in life .
It was a long hectic trip and now health was also giving signals to hold on , stay back and don't opt for a continuous journey . This one hour even after collecting baggage drew me with the words that You have got a dream , You Gotta Protect it ...And some of the Bollywood Ranbir Kapoor title movies ( Mind you , Ranbir Travel and life movies casted a spell in my life for all good ) and I decided to book next flight to Amsterdam from very same airport .
Probably the energy that takes your to new world would be for just few seconds and in case you encash it then it's yours ..
I wanted to hear my heart and I finally received the heart beats with positive note to fly again .
Next flight was at 6.45 AM ..
So again the long hectic continuous travelling and now some good night hours to spare at airport and you know this is the time when your eyes blinks by it's own and God"s of Nights are too much terrible to make it easy one .
Positive energy is so much effective that your health , sleep and everything that avoids you to accomplish any act gets on to backside .
I finally landed at Amsterdam and considering there is time difference completed all immigration wave off by 9.30 AM and it becomes super funny that your return flight departs at 18.45 from AMS and reached London at 18:45 and you know you have finally conquered the to but that's how time zone works .
My hotel was near airport and I had no idea that hotels gives complimentary pick and drop throughout the day and hence I opted for two days all travel mode pass .
I onboarded the bus from Airport and reached in 15 minutes though it was near hotel not exact .
I had this long time habit of scrolling the area by my own without Google map , without asking anyone . There are many negative of it but good side is you know about the vicinity in details .
That's how my search for my hotel started . I was with my cabin bag and one backpack scrolling and admiring the chilling , beautiful Amsterdam and then I heard a hello from a stranger .
Being extrovert in nature I like to meet and talk with people even with strangers . Probably what I do at my native should not be norm at all the places and countries but little did I know what would happen next .
He said he is from Italy and asked me about mine and to which I feel happy specially when I just visited Italy and found Italy too nice in all the ways .
He requested for his picture at one side to which I agreed specially when I know my whole portfolio is with the kindness from the strangers . I clicked his picture and he moved in between which ultimately didn't make a good photograph . While checking I knew I should click it again but then he was ok with it .. That raised some alarm in me , even when I wanted to click again and quite approachable and he stopped me for clicking then why he is not getting it clicked .. At the same time I saw two locals passing by .
He kept on saying that his hotel is next to my hotel and he would help in guiding the route . By this time I also opened by Google Map , it was almost 30 minutes and now I wanted to find correct location .
Here is the twist !!
After the next 100 meters we took a left and guess that those two locals who passed by in between asked us to stop . Like any Hollywood movie , one hand with ID card and he said I am an officer . All the movies I saw was with theme we are from FBI but then these 3-4 seconds I couldn't even gather he was from crime intelligence or it was just a British passport front page . This Italian guy started shaking and officers told me to show my passport .
To keep a cool at such situations is not that easy specially when the whole of my life I have seen Bollywood movies and it is so hard for my mind to get convince that anything good can ever happen now .
What if they are a gang ?
What if they would murder me right here ?
What if they would take away money and passport ?
What if they would make me conscious or my organs are selling in some international market ?
Before I could even react , officer asked me what is the thing that this person has given you ? Where are the drugs ? Where did you hide drugs given by this person ? How do you know this person ? Why you were taking with this person ?
By this time there is different Bollywood theme running in my conscience and pleaded to God again inside me to get me out of this mess . I probably knew that today I am in trouble and probably God knew that he would save me this time like everytime and may be good reason for him to correct me not to act agnostic any other time after this .
Somehow this Italian person flew away and no substance was found with him . Watching him go was a relief specially when I knew I would have better chances for my survival now fighting for my life with 2 people's rather 3 . Probably that was a act of being weak man but then all these heroic movies have engraved so much hype in men's life that it sound very realistic to fight with 3 Men's , possibly all armed and no sign of any race nearby .
Somehow I had the courage in me and trying to put officer on back foot by asking why are you suspecting me ? Why do you think I hold drugs ? Why did you make out I look alike like a criminal ?
To which they asked again , where are you coming from ... I said Airport ... He asked , what you are doing here ... I replied , looking for my hotel ... They asked where is my hotel ... I showed my open Google map page and told me 100 meters and you are between my way ... They asked , How do you know him .. I replied , He was stranger walking next to me ...
I could gaze in his eyes that by now he was convinced and now he told me the reason and he told me because I was talking to him they suspected me to be talking with drug pedlar and advised me not to take any money or any substance from any strangers here
And this episode put me to my Learning No 3 ..
Don't always mingled up with stranger .. Understand the difference between asking help or tried to stick on ...
I went to my hotel and first thing I checked about rules of the country and found that though substance consumption is permitted but at authorised centers and for self consumption . While it is allowed for consumption but it is crime to sell by such drug pedlars .
Luckily that Italian guy didn't reach till the time where he would have asked or offered me the substance but then I would have denied then and there but then Learning No. 4 ,
Read the country norms before you go .
Amsterdam was the most wonderful experience and probably the most pretty city in Europe ( from my eyes ) . I am still not sure whether he was officer or not , whether they tried to dupe me but whatever is the case I carried Forex card with me and it was some 70 Euros Cash along .
Even if they were team they might have thought that his life might be expensive than 70 euros , let him live .
At end I watched them going with decent body language , probably there were good smartians trying to make world better place to live .
Amsterdam was a pure and divine form of love ♥️
You have Patience of Steel , if you have read till now !!
Have a look at some of the remembrance , You may think they should constitutes good post stamps ♥️ !
Best of Luck !!