Relocating Abroad: When it starts to feel like home

I’ve lived in Amsterdam for five months now. All in all, it has been a great experience so far, however, with mixed feelings – nonetheless, a great experience! It’s fair to say that nothing has gone as planned. Nothing… Absolutely nothing. However, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’ve focused on settling first, becoming a local and soon, I can start exploring my new home(y) country as a tourist. I look very much forward to this!

…It started a week after I moved here when I started working at my current job. Then, I suddenly fell in love with this great guy. So while I’ve been busy making a living here: Settling, getting used to the city, people, work and a sudden boyfriend, there hasn’t been time for much else – and to be honest, I haven’t had the time or need for much else either. Too much just gets too much.  As a result, there have been ups and downs. Mainly because of limited leisure time, I haven’t done all the things, I wanted to do – the things I planned to do. It really bugged me the first two/three months. Now, I’m not too worried as I know that it’ll come with time. After all, I’ll stay here for a year or two longer. Furthermore, with almost monthly visits from friends and family, I get to do the tourist experience of Amsterdam at least for a couple of days a month. That’s more than most people living here can say.

Amsterdam home

Now that spring is slowly turning into summer, I have high hopes for the following months. I want to explore the Netherlands. As such, I wish to travel around a bit. I want to travel to the Hague, Rotterdam, Zaandam, Haarlem, Groningen, Eindhoven and Maastricht. Going too all these destinations might be a bit too ambitious as I only have the weekends. However, I’ll do my best to do as many as possible with the time at my disposal. After all, I’ll go visiting my parents back in Denmark during my holiday.

Anyway… The good thing about the slow settling has made Amsterdam feel homey to me. I can finally say that I’m settled. Next month, I’ll start a Dutch language course so I can finally say more than a few sentences when out. I don’t believe I’ll become fluent as I won’t stay here in the Netherlands that long. Nevertheless, being able to communicate with Dutch people when out and about would be nice. So here’s to Amsterdam Adventure Part 2.

Have, or do you also live abroad permanently? How did you settle? And how did you find the process – the experience? I’m very curious.
xo P!

New Beginnings: Settling abroad

Step-by-step, I’m settling here in Amsterdam, Holland. My new room in a shared apartment has been filled with furniture with a little help from IKEA, and all the official paper work has been sorted out. Furthermore, I’ve landed myself one of those 9-17 jobs… One that I’m really excited about as it combines previous work experience with my degrees – it seems like the perfect match. Moreover, my colleagues seems warm and welcoming, which is highly important to me as I’m quite the social type – a friendly and positive work environment is vital to me!

However, although having lived here for a little over a week now, I haven’t had time for what I enjoy the most due to practical matters: Exploring the city.
I guess, I shouldn’t be too worried about that for now as I’m going to live here permanently for an undecided period of time. This means that, if all goes as planned, I’ll have years to get to know the city and all it’s hidden treasures – but it’s not like me… at all! The previous times when I’ve relocated abroad, I was out exploring from day one. Maybe that’s because all the practical matters had been taken care of before moving? Anyway, at least I’ve had time to figure out the most basic things: Where to grocery shop, how public transportation works and where the green areas in my neighbourhood are.

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In this sense, though, I’ve come to wonder: What do I expect of my time in Amsterdam besides having a good time and it to be a positive experience? After some serious thinking, I’ve come to the following conclusion. In the big picture, I’ll work towards 1) Acquiring insight into and understanding for the Dutch culture; 2) Making new friends from all over the world in this highly international city; and 3) Settling in at work, befriending and getting close to my new colleagues. To me, these are the things that truly matter – especially the social aspect of it all.
Besides this, I’ve set myself certain goals to reach within the next five years. No rush, though – I’ll take it as it comes. It’s important for me not to get hung up on achieving certain things – as long as I work towards something with determination and it feels right, I’m on the right track, I’m sure.

xo P!