when i thought of what would be my last day in amsterdam over the last few weeks, i always portrayed myself in mourning. i envisioned myself on the brink of saying goodbye to the pieces of my heart i would be leaving behind and was desperately trying to find a way to make “july 1” rhyme with “death knell”.

alas, as i sit in my room at the student hotel, still the early hours of june 30, i feel none of that. instead, the wonderful beauty of an open ending permeates the air that is wet with dutch summer rain and the fresh, sparkling hopes and fears of the kids that have just arrived and are about to turn this place into their home.

over the last three months, ties were bound, friendships fostered, and somewhere inbetween highspeed bikerides at midnight, the breeze that you feel on the prow of the ferry to noord, and a pretty stranger’s smile, my crush on this city and its buzz turned into a deep love for its unwithering lightheartedness.

what i gained and was given without anything ever being asked in return outshines the impending farewell by galaxies. the world awaits, yet i strangely sense amsterdam will welcome me back at some point with arms as open as they were this april.

it’s the same thing they say about coming home, you know.