All good things must come to an end.  Transitions must happen, and people must move on.  But the things I did, the people I met, the sights I saw will forever by with me.  I did things that before, I had only read about in school and at Pitt. On this experience I stood where Charlamagne paid respects at, where JFK gave a speech to the other side of the world, and where the Queen gets her chocolate cake.  I believe that at the end, I am very satisfied with my work here, my travels, and what I've done.  If done things that I only dreamed of every doing, I went to the first advent mass at the Notre Dame, interacted with politics in the EU HQ, and had the best curry wurst in all of Deutschland. 

Regrets? None.  I would pick no other city in no other land.  I consider myself an eternal Amsterdammer.  I talked politics over advocaat, learned the finer points of Sinterklaas over kopstott, and ate fried ragout as though it was going out of style.  This culture is so open, so free, and encourages one to chart their own path.  This city gave me four months of experiences and happenings that I will carry to the end of days.  This also brought me together with some of the finest people that I could ever hoped to meet.  Fellow students all dedicated to learning and living, and it became apparent that borders don't matter to our generation. We are truly the first world family, and we are together, even if we are so far apart. 

I may be an ocean away, I may journey through my days at Pittsburgh, and plunge head-first into a new era of my life.  But there will be not one moment that I will forever forget what I did here.  Amsterdam gave me a new base to model my life from, to go the next great journey onto something bigger than what I was before.  This journey set into motion a changes that may not be immediate, whose effects are not yet known, which are lying untouched in corners not yet built, and sending eternal ripples through our beachless memories. This gave me something special, and something that I will always cherish.

 Zo dank je Amsterdam, waarvoor is gebeurd en voor die gebeurd niet.  Dank je voor alles, voor de tijd van stilte en voor de mensen.  Ik zal niet vergeten.  To those I have met, thank you, for things unsaid and said, for things done and that never happened. We will never be apart, maybe away, yes, but never so far that we shall forget.

In actuality, I do not believe that all good things end.  Nee, denk ik that we can perpetuate that which is good.  It may not be in the same form or sense, but we can bend it to our future. My time in Amsterdam has ended; in four months I accomplished so much, traveled so far, and affected many.  Things change, but their foundations never shift.  This is ending, but only serving as a base to new things.  I will be able to go to the top and see an entire new world, but will be able to take the stairs back down to what keeps its up.  Amsterdam is unique, Amsterdam is happening, Amsterdam is now apart of my life, acts and experiences that I will carry sun up and sun down, and that will shape my unknown future. 

So goodbye Amsterdam.  It has been positive, fun, at times rainy, and magical.  No regrets, countless memories, and four months that will be hard to surpass.


_“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere - on water and land.”
--Walt Whitman
Jennifer Witt
12/20/2011 10:16:08

Aaron,
To you I say thank you. Your four months in Amsterdam, your blog, your pictures and your experiences have truly been an experience for me. I loved reading about your travels and your foodie experiences throughout Amsterdam and Europe. You have truly been blessed to have had this experience. And for those of us that have not had the chance to travel overseas, I thank you for letting us be a part of yours.

Welcome home and Merry Christmas.

Jenn

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Michael
12/20/2011 10:37:52

Aaron,

Inspirational! I echo your thoughts, and am proud to have been a (small) part of a great experience. I will keep these memories for life.

Michael

P.S. Go Vols

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Aaron
12/20/2011 16:48:52

Jenn----thanks, I'm glad that I could let others in on what I was doing. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction to know that others learned from what I did.

Mike----You know where your Vols are at (with Pitt football in the gutter). Secondly, the entire thing wouldn't been what it was without you man. Cheers to all those beers, all those doners, and everything in between.

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