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In terms of travelling, 2017 has been an okay year for me. My main big holiday this year was the four day trip around Europe in July. I stayed at the Ibis hotel near Amsterdam Central Station and travelled around using the trains and buses and also by foot.
In those few days, I was in five different countries. The UK, of course, since I live there. I might not have been in France very long, but the train did stop at Paris, Calais, and Lille. I changed trains at Brussels and got to make as most of my short stay in Belgium as I could by exploring the shops, and mainly stayed in the Netherlands, but got to see Germany for the day.
Being asked what was hands down my best holiday memory of 2017 is a tricky one, as there's quite a lot to choose from. One thing I can say for sure is that the cannabis ice cream isn't one of them. Other than that, I think the Europe Trip was one of the best holidays that I've had. It was great to meet up with my friend and try out some of the hidden scenery you don't see from regular touristy stuff.
I've had some other short trips around the UK, which have mainly been in the big cities like Birmingham, Manchester, Leicester, and London. I'm planning on going to Bristol at some point. I've also attended several conventions and met up with some friends which were a lot of fun too.
2017 has brought lots of fun memories for me, so I'm going to list a lot of them here.
Anime League considers their cons to be the party cons for anime and gaming fans. What it basically means is that people go to their cons to get absolutely drunk.
I've been to several conventions organised by Anime League, and one of the events that is always popular and stands out to me is their odd and strange auctions.
They do two types of auctions: Cosplay Auctions where you bid on people, and another one where you bid on items usually donated by artists, sellers, or the general public. All money raised goes to a charity called Epilepsy Action.
When I first heard about Cosplay Auctions, I thought it would be like auctioning cosplay props and outfits, but nope. You're buying people and it's not meant to be as dirty as it sounds. The idea is that once you've bought somebody off the auction you can spend some time with them. Maybe or an hour or two or you get some drinks or get the most expensive pizza you've ever bought.
Then there's the other auction where you buy stuff. Honestly, anything can happen in these sorts of auctions. I nearly won a lot of green tea snacks but after £20 I stopped bidding. It went for £50.
As soon as the strip-teasing and dry humping starts, everybody was throwing money at them. I wondered if I was in the right place. Anybody's eligible. Sometimes friends bid on each other. And then there's the pervy guys that throw lots of money at the young girls and their group of friends plot to outbid him so the poor girl doesn't get warped into his sweaty hands.
Some people were fighting over two Pokémon plushies. But it was lovely that they both got to go home together. They were very entertaining auctions. It's all for a good cause...so they say. They raised thousands of pounds with these auctions. There has been some controversy with these as there were accusations of the money being pocketed by the owner. The owner has everyone on his Facebook that it's been resolved and all the money has gone to Epilepsy Action.
Then at the end of the auctions, we had a drinking game and then we went back to the dance floor. It was the first time I ever went ballroom dancing. I was standing on everybody's feet — but we were all too drunk to notice.
Cities of the Netherlands
Last year, I mainly stayed in Amsterdam, but this time I got to explore many of the Netherlands' lovely cities, and many of them, in my opinion, are highly underrated. I love Amsterdam for its lovely waters and quirky streets. The Sex Museum is fun for all the family. The Ice Bar is a refreshingly cold delight. And there are also lots of cool museums.
I went to Utrecht last year and really loved it. Didn't get to spend much time there this year, but at least I can say I went to Utrecht again. Very nice city with lots of nice coffee shops and ice cream. It's really lovely, especially in the summer.
Leerdam has a strong Christian community: very strong supporters of the Protestant faith. Something to keep in mind when you're there. It's really pretty. It's got some really awesome architecture and there are the glass museums and some really nice gift shops. I bought a ring for my friend at home and my Dutch friend bought me a ring.
Dordrecht's amazing. It's very different to a lot of the other big cities out there, but it's really nice and peaceful. And you can travel around the city really cheap with a one-day travel ticket as it includes the bus and the boat. I really enjoyed all the trips and it's always exciting to see a windmill on your travels.
Nijmegen is awesome. When I was there they had this festival going on, so the park was really busy. I got to go on the bridge and I got a really nice view of the city there. It's the largest city in Gelderland and it's quite close to the borders of Germany. You can get the bus to Germany there.
I'm not much of a talker. But when I drink, I'm like a social butterfly. I've been to a lot of parties over the year and in my holidays, and the parties really bring out a lot of good memories. Whether it's the calm parties or the wild parties including dancing and karaoke, it's all good fun. It's a nice atmosphere, and you get to meet new people and get reunited with people you haven't seen in a long time.
So 2017 has been a pleasant year so far, and I hope 2018 will bring me more great holidays.