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Saying Yes, New Friends, and a Video of Me!

Something that no amount of preparation is going to get you ready for is just how lonely your first months as an expat will be. With a language barrier and no built in way to make friends, it takes some serious effort to get over the “expat blues” .

That being said, I am a big fan of taking advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. After all, you never know what path will lead you where and the adventures you will have along the way. Recently, I was contacted by three groups of students studying journalism here in Utrecht. They had a class project and needed to interview an American living in Holland. I said yes to all three groups, but since two of them were in the same class, I could only help out two of the groups.

The first ones up were Sandy and Eefje. We met at 10am at Starbucks to discuss what kind of questions they would ask. At first, I was really nervous, what if they thought I was a dud?!? Luckily, both girls were super friendly and put me right at ease. We covered a lot of topics, anything from what I was doing in The Netherlands, to if I was keeping up with American politics. They even got a shot of me trying some haring. (I ordered it correctly in Nederlands, thank you very much). Unfortunately, I didn’t think to have them document the moment for my camera. We then walked all around the city, doing lots of shots of yours truly. It made me feel like a movie star and I think we all had fun.

I met group two Tuesday at the library. I had an equally amazing time with Robert and Marije. Again, I got to talk about myself, my impressions of The Netherlands, and American Politics. We got to hangout in the library and walk around Utrecht. I even got to see some parts of the city I don’t normally wander to in my weekly strolls. I also got to check out a cute cafe that gave out chocolate chip cookies with your coffee! *you get cookies most of the time when you order a coffee from a dutch shop, they are just not normally chocolate chip! Also, I didn’t take a picture of them, I am a failure of a blogger!

So, what did I gain from this experience? Besides, being able to be more candid about my political views. I have very strong opinions, but typically don’t express them because, you are going to vote for who you want and I will vote for who I want, you aren’t going to change my mind and I won’t change yours. Hopefully, I convinced them that most people in the USA are embarrassed by Rick Santorum’s blatant lies. I got to meet four people from my new country who are around my age and who seemed to like me too. Both experiences were some of the best days I have had here in Utrecht, and I think i can with confidence say I am on my way to making four new friends!

Long story short, if someone seeks you out to do something. DO IT, you will probably have fun! Below is the first groups video, group two hasn't shown their's to their class yet. Also, how epic is the guy's mustache in the back of the top photo? 

 

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Comments

Nice Kaitlin!  What a cute video :)  I think it's great that you said YES!  I have never done something like that, and I've been here almost 19years!

I had no idea you have been here that long! I have much to learn from you oh wise one! And I know, I need to get over to your neck of the woods. Maybe we can set something up for next month!

I would love to show you around here Kaitlin.  It's really beautiful I think you would like it a lot!  Let's see what we can set up.

Very cool! (I'm a friend of Ali's- which is how I got to your page ;) I was interviewed by 2 students from the same program!

Hey Kerry!
I hope you had as good of an experience that I did! Are you in Utrecht as well? 

Hi Kaitlin- it was a nice meeting with the students, yes :)
I live in Utrecht- 10 years now. My husband is Dutch. I hope you are settling in well! If you have any questions about anything, just drop me an email!

what a great video! They did an awesome job! It looks so professional! :)

Ah, expat blues. 
I've been an expat pretty much all my life, but its only now after university that it's really hit me, and I'm still in a bit of a rut in this small town in het 'Gooi. Though I have come to the conclusion that you really gotta make opportunities happen for yourself as well - would you have had that interview had you not had this blog?

I think you absolutely have to make opportunities for yourself. Back in The States, my job involved social media and blogging so for me, it was natural to incorporate those into my expat life as a way to make things happen for myself as far as networking is concerned. 
The students actually first found me through one of the many expat networking sites that I signed myself and my blog up for. 

I think that's great! Myself I'm just getting into that groove.
Well, keep blogging! :)