AMII @ THIRTY

Lifestyle blog by a thirty-something city dweller


Leave a comment

Things to do in Amsterdam: Nine Streets

Amsterdam is a really great city and I love to head there for a few hours on a Saturday to experience all the different things going on.

There are so many things to do in Amsterdam but one of my favourite areas to spend time in is the Nine Streets (De Negen Straatjes). This picturesque neighbourhood sits in the heart of the Canal District – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and is a 15-20 minute walk from Centraal Station and a 5 minute walk from Dam Square. negen straatjes, nine streets, amsterdam, netherlands, things to do in amsterdamnegen straatjes, nine streets, amsterdam, netherlands, things to do in amsterdamWithin the Nine Streets, you can find an eclectic mix of designer and vintage boutiques, gift, book and record shops, cafes, restaurants and bakeries, and so much more.

How to spend a few hours in the Nine Streets:

Continue reading…


Leave a comment

What to pack for a ski holiday

If you follow me on social media, then you’ll probably have seen that I recently got back from a family holiday to stunning Lapland. As well as snowboarding and skiing, we also did a bunch of really fun activities – visiting a reindeer farm, taking a night-time horse and sled ride, driving husky sleds, and more.what to pack for a ski holiday, levi, Lapland, skiing, winer holidayLapland was magical. The most wintery place I’ve ever been with so much snow and just a complete festive feel every day. We stayed in the lovely resort of Levi, approximately 170km north of the Arctic circle so we had to be prepared for the cold.

levi, lapland, finland, arctic circle, skiing, winter holiday Continue reading…


Leave a comment

The Best Ways to Learn a new Language

The world is getting smaller with more opportunities every day to travel, live and work in a different country. The biggest barrier though for many people is language. Especially if you’re not a “languages person” (or think that you’re not), the concept of learning a totally new language can be pretty terrifying.

Six months ago, I moved to the Netherlands and knew approximately 10 words of Dutch. This week I finished my Dutch lessons (the first set at least). I have now completed 22 hours of study over the past 12 weeks with a private tutor and I now know a lot more than 10 words. ways to learn a language, foreign language, dutch course, language lessons, expat guideAs part of my formal education, I have taken more than 13 years of French lessons, 11 years of German lessons, 2 years of Italian lessons and have 3 GCSEs, 2 A-levels and a Diploma in these languages. I have also lived in Germany and Québec (the French-speaking part of Canada for anyone who didn’t know).

From my experiences in the classroom and through lots of other learning methods, I’ve compiled these tips on the best ways to learn a new language. Continue reading…


Leave a comment

Explore Netherlands #7 – Amsterdam Light Festival, part 2

Following this visit to the water exhibition of the Amsterdam Light Festival, I went back a few weeks later to see the land exhibition. Usually spread through the city, this year the land exhibition was concentrated around the Marineterrein area – about a 20 minute walk east of Centraal Station.

The land displays were only available from 14 December til 7 January (the water artworks can be seen from 30 November – 21 January) so I had to get in a visit before I went back to the UK for my Christmas holiday. amsterdam light festival, amsterdam, street art, light display, immersionI’ve added photos of a few of the different artworks below but I want to share my thoughts on a couple which really hit me hard and that Continue reading…


2 Comments

6 things you should know about using Airbnb

There’s travelling like a tourist and then there’s travelling like a local. Airbnb has made the second option so much easier in recent years. By staying out of hotels and hostels and getting to live in a home, your travel experience can be completely different and sometimes more enriching. airbnb, amii at 30, deventer, netherlands, holiday, travel blogI love being able to experience real-life when I travel and not just stick to the usual tourist opportunities. Don’t get me wrong, I still love doing an open-top tour bus and a bunch of museum and attraction visits when I travel to somewhere new but I also like to Continue reading…


2 Comments

Getting through a flight to New Zealand

On Friday, I flew out of Gatwick on a 21.45 flight, bound (ultimately) for Auckland, New Zealand.

Nearly 28 hours later, with a stopover in Dubai and a refueling stop in Melbourne, I arrived in NZ on Sunday lunchtime.

I have done this journey before with Malaysian Airlines but flew via Kuala Lumpur and stopped there for a 3 day visit. I also did that trip on my own whereas I was with my parents this time.Emirates, airbus a380, airplane, aeroplane, airport, flightHere’s a real-time look at how I spent those 28 hours…  Continue readng…


2 Comments

How to plan a fabulous mini-break

Not a day goes by when I’m not planning my next trip. I love travelling and seeing new places and am always looking for flights and deciding where to go and what to do next. This year, though, with an 18 day trip (11 working days) to New Zealand already booked, I need to be a little more frugal when planning some other adventures. Not only financially but also when it comes to making the most of my limited annual leave entitlement (I get the UK statutory minimum of 20 days from my current employer and 3 of those get automatically allocated for the days between Christmas and New Year’s).

I travel as often as I can and try to visit new places every year. Continue reading…


Leave a comment

Navigating Schiphol

A few months ago, I wrote a post called Navigating BHX which gave my top tips on travelling through Birmingham Airport. We’re two weeks into the new year and I’ve already visited another frequent destination of mine – Amsterdam. Although, to be more precise, Schiphol Airport, so I thought I’d give my top tips and share my advice for this massive transport hub.schiphol airport, amsterdam, netherlands, blog, travel blog

The company I work for is owned by a Dutch company and we also have Dutch customers and work in partnership with a Dutch charity. As such, I travel to the Netherlands fairly frequently (in the past 13 months, I’ve visited 7 times). Before my work obligations, I had only travelled through Schiphol Airport once – on a short stopover between the UK and New York. I hadn’t therefore spent much time at all at the airport and definitely hadn’t appreciated how huge it is. Continue reading…


2 Comments

Other than England…

…or wherever your home country is, where would you like to spend Christmas? Is there somewhere you’ve been that you’d like to go to again for Christmas? Or is there somewhere you’ve never been to that you’d love to visit at Christmas time?

As a family, we have had Christmas in a few different places over the years and it doesn’t bother me if we’re not at home in the UK, which I know doesn’t ring true for a lot of people. For me, home is wherever my family is so the actual location isn’t the most relevant aspect of our festivities but I’ve had lots of friends say it wouldn’t feel like Christmas if they weren’t at home. Continue reading…