A time for firsts 

One important part about traveling is trying new things. You and your friends rent a condo at the beach, so try a new meal when you go out to eat. You visit a new city for the first time, so try staying in a hostel. Give it a go. The list goes on and on.

My Europe trip was also a time for firsts. 

Let’s start with Amsterdam. The grand, big hype surrounding Amsterdam is weed. It’s legally okay to smoke there, as opposed to America. The fun fact is that it’s only decriminalized. It is not 100% legal. But still, it’s okay to smoke there in comparison. Whenever I told someone I was about to leave for the city, I heard so many counts of advice around smoking weed. So I did.

I’ve never smoked before. I was saving a weed experience for a special occasion. Amsterdam. What I can conclude after trying a few hits from a joint and eating an edible is: I still hate weed. It tastes terrible. It smells terrible. And it gave me a headache.

I applaud Amsterdam for decriminalizing it and giving their people a safer place to use it. Having coffee shops all around the city is actually smart. Their government knows that the population would just smoke it anyways. Why not work with that? I assume it makes them a fair amount of money too.

The first night in Amsterdam was not only my first weed/coffee shop experience. But I also tried craft beer for the first time.

The group of students I was traveling with had a welcome to Europe dinner in Amsterdam. Part of what came with that were two beers or glasses of wine a piece. I’m not s big wine or beer drinker. I like my cocktails. But I tried a blonde beer made in house. Go local.

Similar to my weed opinion, I still don’t like beer too much. I downed half of the blonde beer I ordered. But that is not without making some funny and unpleasant faces to the taste. At least I can say I tried. 

In London, I went on my first pub crawl. I highly recommend trying one of those whether you’re in a big city like London or one like Chicago in the states. It costs around $15. Tour guides who work for the pub crawl company lead you around the city to a variety of bars. Each attendee gets one free shot per bar & discounts on vodka or beer drinks. 

This was not just my first pub crawl. But it was my first experience going to clubs. I turned 21 last year and have enjoyed legally drinking. But I have anxiety. Going to a club for drinks or fun is not within my element. I start freaking out or panicking. I shut down.

In London, I was surrounded by my girlfriends on the trip with me. They watched out for me but also pushed me to let go and have fun. I actually danced with them at the clubs. I danced with random boys at the clubs and on the bar crawl with us. I embraced new experiences and people. That’s hard for me. 

My Europe trip was full of first. These three were the big ones that I feel impacted me in some way. I learned something about myself from them. It may seem silly to someone else. But I value these experiences for me. 


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