Visiting the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.
There is something surreal and magical after reading The Diary of Anne Frank to climb the steps behind that bookshelf that hid her and her family & friends for over 2 years. To experience the space they called home is beyond words. Where they celebrated birthdays, holy days, anniversaries and grieved for their deceased family and friends.
She describes being able to see out of a window on the roof. She could hear the bells of the churches, the bustle of the foot traffic of people going about their days. And the sound of the war that was ravaging their lives. Walking through those rooms reading her words will absolutely make an impression on you forever.
I was 16 years old the first time I visited, 17 the second. I was struck by the personal effects in the rooms, under glass to protect them, of Anne and her sister. Posters of movie stars her dad had brought before they arrived, in the hopes of making it feel like home. I was their age, I couldn’t imagine living so confined with the fear of the unknown except for stories and news they were being told. How can someone of such a young age do that?
My most recent visit was as a mother of teenagers. This time I saw the hiding place from the perspective of Edith and Otto Frank. Their fears they would be caught. Their realization that their daughter’s lives would not be the same. Their despair as they sat in silence during the day and created a life in the darkness of the night.
Both perspectives have stayed with me and shown me that the citizens of the world are a lot like us but their experiences, trials and tribulations may be vastly different. Giving this insight to our children will make the world safer, better.
Travel gives you that.
If you'd like to see interior pictures, click here to visit the Anne Frank House museum website.
Mia Mackey, MackeyMouse Travel
I am a travel professional helping families take meaningful, core memory adventures. I have been traveling since I was born and visited Walt Disney World the year it opened! I've visited over 14 countries and can't wait to expand my number next year. I love to talk travel, write about experiences and show families how they can see the world!