A lampost in Amsterdam

Hanging Out With Squatters in Amsterdam

A Travel Journal From 2008.

The following story is part of a longer travel journal, which I sent to family and friends during an extended backpacking adventure in 2008-2009. From the highs to the lows, I wrote about everything that my wife, Carrie, and I experienced on the journey.

Journal Title: A 12 Day Layover in London and Amsterdam With Good Friends

Date Written: December 25, 2008

Locations Covered:

  • London, England
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands

In addition to our time in London, we also spent a few days in Amsterdam after our friend Damon (from NYC but has been living in the Dam for more than a month) convinced us to come get a taste of the local and non touristic culture. While most visitors spend their whole time in a very contained little area, we got to know the rest of the city.

One highlight was the evening we spent in the residence of some of the staff at the hostel we stayed at. It seems squatting laws are completely different abroad and after squatting in an old warehouse for a year, it became legally theirs. So, now they live rent free and only have to pay utilities and have been doing so for nearly seven years.

The evening was spent getting to know our new friends from around the world, chatting about pretty much everything and being cold. As I’m sure you can imagine, it’s very tough to heat a warehouse, so we spent the night relaxing in jackets, sweaters, scarves and hats.