Hello Dear Ones,
So as it turns out, I am actually a bit late with this post. My brain was convinced that I moved here on the 9th of October, but it turns out it was the 5th! Whoops! I guess time really does fly when you are having fun! As I have said before, picking Loek and moving here are the two best decisions I've ever made.
I think the Netherlands is an amazing place to live, I'm so glad this is where we chose to make our life. And although it takes time no matter if you move across town or across the world to adjust, I am home.
So, here it is the reasons I love the Netherlands!
1. My love is here, okay this one is a gimmie, but there are so many people with partners of a different culture who don't like the culture. Sure there are somethings that I find baffling about the Dutch, but to be fair, I find just as many things baffling about Americans as a group.
2. The international community is thriving. It is so amazing to me that my friends and co-workers are from all over the world, from so many different cultures, it helps me learn something new everyday.
3. Each city has a distinctive and very cool feel. Amsterdam is not Utrecht, Den Haag is not Amsterdam, Maastricht is not Groningen. Actually, I have never been to the last two cities, I need to rectify this ASAP. It is a small country, only about the size of Maryland, but there is a ton to do.
4. No dubbing of tv shows. If a show is in English, then it is presented in English. Same with German or any other language. They just add Dutch subtitles! This is amazing and I think it is part of the reason the Dutch have an extended English vocabulary.
5. Drugs are well treated differently here. I'm not going to go into the whole drug debate, but coming from a place that is investing a ton of money into the war on drugs, and the crime rate associated with it, to a place where the whole attitude is different and the crime rate is much lower.
6. Stroopwafels and oliebollen: My favorite Dutch treats, the latter of which is only available in Winter. But in the words of the Starks, "Winter is coming!"
7. I do not need a car: They are completely redoing the train and bus station here in Utrecht, and while it is driving me bonkers, I am glad that I do not have to drive a car. I hate driving!
8. I have great friends: Seriously, you just have to reach out and people are there to hang out with you. And, they make the days that you have expat blues so much better.
9. Living here is fun. There is always something to do or some new place to explore. Plus, the work/life balance ain't bad!
10. It's Europe. If my contract is renewed at work I will have 5 weeks of vacation. There are lots of places to explore and inter-europe travel is pretty cheap. I've got trips planned in my head. Here's hoping my contract is renewed.
Can you guys believe it has been two years already? What do you love most about where you live?