Follow 

american in europe

6 Reasons Trains are Better than Cars

Audrey Hepburn

I do not miss driving. Seriously, the process to get a driver's license in this country is insane and I have no desire to have one again. I quite enjoy my daily commutes by train. Sure, it can be annoying when they are slightly late, and I hate not finding a seat, but these things are rare enough that the trade isn't even comparable. Here are 9 reasons trains are better than cars. 

1. I get more done in my daily commute. When I lived in the US, I would drive to work each way for at least 30 minutes. In that time, I could only accomplish one thing, drive. In the same amount of time on a train, I can read, study, or do my homework from the night before. I can also eat my lunch or dinner. I can plug in my computer. My commute is no longer a time suck, I am more productive. 

2. There are bathrooms on the intercity's. A little background, in the Netherlands there are sprinters which stop at every train station along the route, or there are intercity's which stop only at major stations. Intercity's have bathrooms on board. While I have never used on personally, it is comforting to know that if I needed to I could. Unlike in a car where you have to find somewhere to pull over and go. 

3. Trains are better for the environment. If there are 100 people on a train, that is 100 cars that are not on the road. The carbon footprint is less.

4. Traffic sucks. Let's face it sitting in traffic is a bummer. I would much rather be the person in the train whizzing past the cars stuck in traffic. 

5. The view is better. Even though I take the same train from Utrecht Centraal to Amsterdam Bijlmer Arena four to five days a week, I always see something new when I glance out the window. If you are going to a new city, this can be even more exciting. 

6. Trains are romantic. For me, traveling by train makes me feel more European. Like Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face. Or another equally glamorous film star of Hollywood's Golden Era. For me train travel is like being in an old movie or reading Agatha Christie. There is a pure sense of romance about being on a train.

I love trains, for me they are the best way to travel. My ultimate travel dream is to do all the great train routes of the world.

Who's coming with me?

 

Image from http://vintagelifestylemag.co.za 

Section: 

I Can Stay!

Yesterday, I received some rather awesome news in the post! Just 2 weeks, after turning in all required paperwork to apply for my visa, I was granted my wish! That's right, I can now stay here with The Verlo- for at least a year! Words can not describe how elated I feel! I can also now look for a job here, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. 

So, how did we do it, you may be asking? Well, the first step in moving anywhere abroad should first be all the necessary research. Don't just rely on what you read online, actually call if you have questions. Here in The Netherlands, you have to be on the lease to register yourself as living with your partner. This process took us about two weeks to get the lease sent to us. After we registered at City Hall, we went to IND to get all the necessary paperwork to fill out. Since I am an American, I had to get my Civil Status Affidavit notarized at the US Consulate in Amsterdam. It took 3 weeks to get an appointment. You then have to take that paper to Den Haag to have it legalized for the Dutch Government. 

Since The Verlo- just  started a new job and didn't have a long enough contract. (see Immigration for where you want to move for all requirements,) We had to provide all his contracts and tax stubs for the last 3 years. As well as, all his paychecks for this year. In the end, we just had to fill out all the paperwork, along with about 50 pieces of various required papers, and pay our fees. 

I am so excited, that it has been working out for us and we could not be happier that I get to stay here. All I can say, as hokey as it sounds is: Listen to your heart, do the work, and your dreams really can come true! 

Subscribe to RSS - american in europe