Hi there! I’m Vivian, and last year I had the incredible opportunity to live in Amsterdam for a few weeks for my Internship. My time in this vibrant city was filled with eye-opening experiences, both sustainable and beyond. From navigating the intricate canals to indulging in the rich cultural tapestry, Amsterdam offered me a unique blend of innovation and tradition. As I took some time to reflect on my journey, I realized I wanted to share these moments with you. Join me as I take you along on my Amsterdam adventure, where every corner turned and every street explored was a story waiting to be told.

A green paradise? 

Nestled in the heart of Europe, Amsterdam stands as a beacon of sustainability. In this city, situated in the vibrant landscape of one of the world’s greenest nations, the hum of bicycle wheels against cobblestone streets resonates as an anthem of eco-conscious living. The Netherlands has crafted a culture where the bicycle isn’t just a mode of transportation but a way of life. As the windmills turn lazily in the distance, the Dutch capital exemplifies how urban living and environmental mindfulness can harmoniously coexist. Every pedal stroke, every winding canal, tells a story of a city and country deeply committed to a greener future.

Potential to improve


However, while online images often portray a picture-perfect scene, reality sometimes offers a different perspective. The usually clean and prestigious roads can occasionally dissolve into chaotic lanes filled with trash, people, and bikes trying to navigate around each other. This is not only due to litter on the sides of the road but often results from numerous constructions, road closures, and more, leading to a confusing mix of cars, bikes, and pedestrians. Especially in travel season, streets and roads become messy since Amsterdam is not protected from the adverse effects of mass tourism. There may be quieter quarters, but as I walked from work to the central station, crossing most of Amsterdam’s core, I encountered overflowing trash bins, risky detours, and some precarious maneuvers that could have been deadly.

Getting active

Once I could see beyond this disrupted image, I started considering how to counteract the daily littering and waste. I began to ask myself the same questions I pondered years ago when I first lived alone:

  • What do I like to eat, and is there a way to reduce my use of packaged produce?
  • Can I find a safe and fast alternative to using a car?
  • Does my workplace offer options to reheat my food so I don’t have to rely on pre-packaged meals from the convenience store?
  • And most importantly, are my future flatmates aligned with my eco-conscious values?

As I’ve journeyed together through the winding streets and vibrant life of Amsterdam, I’ve uncovered a tapestry of questions, both challenging and enlightening. But my exploration doesn’t end here. Stay tuned for the next part of the adventure, where I’ll dive deep into answering all the burning questions and share my favorite discoveries and solutions. The best parts of my Amsterdam story are yet to come, and I can’t wait to unravel them with you. Are you ready for more?

vivian trzaska

Vivian Trzaska

For me, traveling is about immersing myself in the essence of a city – about experiences that can’t be captured through a screen or in photographs. As a Business Psychology student, I’m fascinated by the rich tapestry of human cultures, and nothing compares to the joy of engaging with locals, understanding their perspectives, and forging new friendships.