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An Escape Enthusiast Abroad: The Netherlands Day 1

Back in February I decided it would be a grand idea to attend the Up the Game conference taking place in the Netherlands in May. I have never really travelled far outside my country and I can think of worse reasons than an escape room conference!

My friend Errol suggested I write a daily blog on my adventures experiencing the escape rooms of the Netherlands! I thought it was a splendid idea! Then I spent 10 hours flying, 2 by train, and jumped ahead 6 hours from my normal time zone. I am crashing to say the least.

I am still determined to plow ahead! So below is a report of things I have learned so far :D.

Day 1:

Flying– It’s awesome. It’s also incredibly nerve wracking. It turns out all the sounds a plane makes while taking off are the same sounds a video game makes when everything goes wrong. So my nerves were a bit frayed by the time we went above cloud level.

But then I got to see the wonder that is being 33,000 feet above EVERYTHING and most of my nerves were forgotten. I think I hogged the window the entire flight. I only felt slightly bad.

Look how pretty!

Jet Lag- It is my first time going so far into another time zone and thus my first time experiencing jet lag. Naturally I had no idea what I was in store for. I have slept 3 hours out of the last 20 and my body does not seem to quite know what to do with itself.

My friends however seemed impressed I was functional. I credit my friend Mike, who advised me to eat at local times in order to trick my body. It seems to have worked so far. I am still very tired am at least coherent and know where I am. Starting to crash though.

Me right now.

The Enthusiast Community

I do have to say, it barely feels like travelling alone when I have so many escape enthusiasts from the community to hang out with for this conference. Today it was Juliana and Ariel, creators of Escape Room In A Box: The Werewolf Experiment, Ariel’s husband Mike, fellow enthusiast James Cobalt, and his partner Salem. They made the journey that much more enjoyable.

Also, they give rides. In a Tesla. Rides in a tesla are awesome.

It’s like a space ship!

Escape Rooms Played

As soon as I was off the plane, I rushed off to play my first two escapes (all I have seen of Amsterdam so far is part of a train station). Today was Escape Nederlands, the first escape room to be opened in the Netherlands!

We played two games:

The Lab– This was the very first room to appear in the Netherlands, so it felt pretty cool it was also my first escape room to experience in the country. This goes for both rooms but it has been some of the most solid tech I have ever seen. EVERYTHING was perfectly timed.

The puzzles may not have been perfect but if this is the room that is considered “Gen 1” in the Netherlands, I am soooo excited to see what the newer ones are like.

Girl’s Room: I could really see the progression from The Lab with this room. It blew the first one out of the water in my opinion and made for a more cohesive experience. There were a few Ask Why’s that we nitpicked afterwards but over all it was an awesome experience.

Happy enthusiasts!

Also, both rooms were scary. I screamed. A lot. I was quite useless. Errol would have laughed at me. I was glad he was not there.

The customer service was some of the best I have experienced. The GM was nice and chatty with us. It was one of the most impressive lobbies I have seen in a while. They even had a self serve bar!

Look at all the fun drinks! And this was just the tip of the ice berg!

I was bummed their new room, The Dome, wasn’t ready yet. They have been working on it for two years! If I manage to make it back, I will definitely have to play.

Okay, I am actually about to collapse. Until tomorrow! And by tomorrow, I mean the first day of the UP THE GAME CONFERENCE!