I carried a map in my pocket for the first few months, exploring most of the city by foot, tram or bike. Having just packed up everything and said our goodbyes to Melbourne, I wanted to get a feel for our new home.
I had spent a girls weekend in Amsterdam, many years ago, but didn’t know very much about the city, so moving here with a young family was an adventure and a fantastic opportunity for us. We began to research different areas that would be suitable for a family of four to live, close to parks, schools and shops. A friend recommended that I join the Facebook group “Amsterdam Mamas”, which has been a great resource for me as a parent in this city. It’s a place where parents can find out about lots of great activities in and around Amsterdam, and connect with other parents (which is so important when you move to a new place and find yourself starting from zero on the friend front!)
About a year after we arrived, I started a small juice business from my kitchen making fresh green juices. One of my regular customers suggested we meet for lunch one day, and there the idea for a new cafe focussed on healthy food and cold pressed juice was born. We partnered up and opened the vegan friendly hotspot Juice by Nature. Starting a business here as a non-Dutch speaking expat was quite an undertaking. However, despite the challenges (and a lot of Google Translate!), we now operate a vibrant cafe on the busy Warmoesstraat.
I think Amsterdam appears to many tourists to be all about peep shows and pot, when in fact, it’s a beautiful, vibrant, culturally rich place, and a great place to raise children. With it’s beautiful city parks, children’s petting farms and museums, there’s always plenty to do in this International melting pot of a city. I really appreciate what we have here in the Netherlands. My observation of the Dutch is that they are incredibly accepting, tolerant, welcoming, wonderfully calm and cool. I love that people here are kind before they are cruel. In a lot of places around the world where it is busy and there are a lot of tourists, that’s not always the case. We’ve been very lucky to move to such a place and have a very positive experience. We would highly recommend Amsterdam to families considering making the move to NL.