Amsterdam NYE Mega Meet-up
Amsterdam Travel Blog› entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
I joined Travbuddy in July 2007. At first the sole purpose of creating a Travbuddy account was to be able to have such a cool countries visited map. I had been a member of some other travel sites (World66, Tripadvisor) but the interactive travel map of Travbuddy was by far the best looking I'd seen so far.
But it wasn't after I found the feature to draw a travel itinerary on your maps in the blogs, months later, that I really started getting addicted to this site. And soon after came my first meet-up in Antwerp where I met some of these fine people for the first time. And then came another one... and another one... and another... etc...
And so we come to this mega mega meet-up. My seventh this year. How could I possibly NOT go to the biggest party of the year?
I'd invited my long-time friend Arnaud over. When I spoke to him about a month ago he didn't have any plans for New Year's yet and as the boat was docked at the end of the very street he lives in, the choice was as obvious as eggs is eggs!
After a quick, but tasty dinner in a restaurant near the boat (surprisingly one of the very few that was open) we arrived bang on time at the party boat, aptly named 'BOOT'.
It was great seeing many familiar faces again and meeting new, and not before long the party was in full swing.
Somewhere after 11 chief organiser James (pearcetoyou) grabbed the microphone to welcome everybody and officially start the TB party. There were over 70 people from 18 different countries, making it officially the largest TB meet-up ever!
There was a really cool prize for the person who had travelled the farthest distance to be at the party tonight, a T-shirt signed by everybody present, which went to Mike who had come all the way from Singapore just for this meet-up. Dedication or lunacy, you tell me, but definitely worth a prize!
James went on to thank everybody who had helped organising the event or recruited people for the meet-up and called everyone forward one by one. Somehow he felt it necessary to call me as well, because I had offered my paypal account to receive international payments. And as I hadn't run off with the money he felt I had to be in the organisation group photo as well. The only thing is, ignorant as I am, I was all the way at the back of the boat, not paying attention and completely oblivious of all the people calling me - *ouch* embarrassing :(
Anyway, the party then kicked off, culminating an hour later with a very quick countdown and a huge Happy New Year cheer.
The only thing was that it was soooo friggin' cold. The first night of the year was immediately the coldest we'd had all 2008!
Back inside it was nice and warm, no, steaming hot though, as the party continued. From this point onwards I must admit memory is a bit hazy. The next morning I realised I couldn't remember what kind of music the DJ had been playing, for example. The whole evening just went by in a daze. Just dancing, laughing, cheering, taking photos and moving on. A night full of very brief conversations and many, many, many hugs (somehow these meet-ups always end up in one big hug fest, and this was no exception)
Apparently throughout the night we'd had some great visits. The police stopped by and stayed to talk to the boat staff a very very long time. We thought they were being invited to the party as well, but eventually they left. Then a TV crew arrived and it turned out they were there to do a feature on the party which was supposed to take place at the other 'BOOT', which had been cancelled at very late notice.
A meet-up of 70 people from all over the world, most of whom didn't know each other, was not deemed newsworthy though, so they left again.
If I have one gripe about the night it is that it went by way too quickly. Before I knew it the DJ played 'thank you for the music' and we had to leave. The actual leaving took the best part of an hour though so it was nearly 6 o'clock by the time we'd arrived at Arnaud's place for one last sip of whisky and a well-deserved night's sleep.
I just want to say a big thank you to James, Anna and Alex for the impeccable organisation of this event. It was a blast. All I can say is "can we do it again next year? - pleassssse?
Some links to other blogs:
(I will keep updating this list as more blogs appear.