The first time I came to Amsterdam, backpacking, it must’ve been one of the best summers ever in Holland. I loved it; nothing but blue skies, great weather, canals, me and my bike. The next time I came, with my Dutch girlfriend, it was winter and a whole different experience. I hated the weather and I was struggling with the language. I remember one time I got lost, before Google Maps was a thing, I called my girlfriend to get directions and I couldn’t even pronounce the name of the street! It was a rough start for sure. But I found my feet and managed to get a job where I met some great people that soon became my close friends. Things were improving for me and even though I broke up with my girlfriend, I decided to stay.
Being an expat is a wonderful experience, it helped me break the routine I had back home. Everything was new and I felt like I was on holiday for many years, but the life of an expat can be quite lonely sometimes too and it can be especially hard when something happens and you need extra support. I’ve now learned how to deal with moments of sadness or homesickness. For me that has been my biggest learning, I am able to be alone and appreciate it.
Living in Amsterdam has allowed me to meet new people and enjoy their company to the fullest. Here, there are so many people that are in the same situation as you so everyone is really open and easy to talk to even if you don’t know them. Back home, I was not used to being around people of different cultures but now I find it amazing and enriching to interact with so many different people.