Learn Something New, Why Dontcha?

Peep the video, then read the post…or do it the other way around. Whatever.

Feeling tired of our concrete surroundings, we were happy and relieved to finally see what Vondelpark is all about.

A Vondelightful Walk In the Park

I needed this fresh air away from the stink of cigarettes and greasy food. It was chilly, but that’s something you learn to brave through quickly. Bundle up, shut up, and explore.

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Peep the Rijksmuseum in the background!

We Van Went to the Van Gogh Museum

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I really enjoyed this museum. It made me feel stupid for not having known more about one of the most famous artists of all time. Am I the only one who was unclear about the whole cutting-off-ear-and-dying-two-years later thing? Let me break some things down for you.

Vincent’s Thug Life

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Here’s how the major events went down:

  • 1880Age 27: Decided to ditch mining to become an artist.
  • 1888 – Age 35: Started to go crazy and cut his ear off.
  • 1890Age 37: Shot himself in the chest with a pistol. Died two days later.

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If you’re like me, you’re probably shocked at how quickly his fate turned from hopeful to hopeless. Like…wait a minute. I thought he was so eager for life and success, right? So what made him go from motivated painter to someone medicated by the paint brush in just 10 years?

The Letters

Aside from the progression of his work, his letters allow you to peek inside his brain and feel what he was experiencing throughout his life. His attitude reads like a somber appreciation for the simple things – he communicated his preference for bare branches and mute meadows over the complex city life. And when he began to feel threatened by his uncontrollable thoughts, we grieved the demise of his self-control as if he were our friend.

The Truth Behind How He Became Successful

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Theo van Gogh

I want to include a few other things that shocked me that I didn’t know before:

  • Vincent lived off a monthly allowance from his brother, Theo – an art dealer – for the 10 years he was an artist.
  • Vincent died before he flourished.
  • Theo was determined to honor Vincent when he died, but Theo died 6 months after Vincent.
  • Theo’s wife Jo and son Willem are responsible Vincent becoming mega-famous.

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Heavy Hearts and Hungry Tummies

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The museum left an impression on us as we walked back to our apartment. We were flustered and therefore missed an opportunity to experiment with Dutch cuisine. We chose the barestaurant down the street from our apartment, and we were disappointed to find it had mostly American food as well as endless amounts of American sport’s decor.

I caved and ordered chicken wings. Sorry guys, no pix of them beeeecause what a terrible choice that was! I mean, they weren’t bad…they just weren’t J. Timothy’s 😫💔😢💭🍗

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So, I solemnly swear to order something Dutch the next time we eat something other than the groceries we already bought. Btw, let me give a shoutout to arguably the BEST chocolate milk I might ever have in my lifetime, Chocomel 👏🏼  Screw you and thank you for being so addicting.

I’ll catch you guys up on the next museum and adventurous activity in the next post.

For now,

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Ever been to the Van Gogh Museum? Have a favorite art piece you’d like to share with us? Tell us by commenting below!

At Least One Thing’s Figured Out

Our new Instagram name, @ageof_exploration.

Do you know how hard it is to settle on something that is supposed to draw people into you in one glance? Well it’s not easy. After months of going back and forth with terrible ideas with Shan, we are officially declaring ourselves as the @ageof_exploration.

Why?

  1. Shannon’s a history teacher
  2. We are explorers
  3. We both loved learning about the Age of Exploration
  4. We’re at the friggin’ age of exploration!

This doesn’t stop at Insta – we’ll figure out new ways to incorporate it into everything we make so you guys know how to track us on our adventure across the world.

What do you guys think? Comment and tell us if you like the name or if you have any other suggestions worth sharing!

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The One Way Ticket

We all have it…the fantasy of getting up and leaving. To go somewhere…anywhere. It’s our most delicious daydream we unwrap alongside our lunch during the thirty minutes we get between meetings. The classic recipe for adventure: one suitcase stuffed to the brim, precious belongings secured in storage, and of course, the one way ticket.

You see that horrible picture of me with my hands and my phone on my head? Well, that was my face after Shannon texted me a picture of our one way tickets (I was too chicken to buy my own). Leaving EWR January 9th, landing in Amsterdam January 10th.

It’s really happening.

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Side note: that’s really me – working from home…bouncing between two laptops…stressed AF. Taken by Britt.

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