My first week in Amsterdam was a mix of happiness and panic.

My first week in Amsterdam was a mix of happiness and panic. I started the internship of my dreams in Hilversum but I didn’t have a place to live.  In that first week I learned some basic Dutch geography, it turns out Hilversum is not a part of Amsterdam! Coming from Paris, I had assumed that Amsterdam would also be really big… it turns out this is not the case!

I had arranged one month of temporary accommodation in Diemen (also not part of Amsterdam!), the struggle was real. I wish someone would’ve told me how insane the housing market is, I felt like I was on the Hunger Games. After many Facebook messages I finally found a house in the real Amsterdam, I got my first bike and got started on organising the rest of my life.

After my housing situation was sorted I decided to give dating apps a try. It didn’t go as expected, as a Parisian I was looking for some romance but having to split the bill after each meal is something that I wasn’t used to. It turns out that is very common here and it’s even referred to as “Going Dutch”.

One and a half years, and four bikes, later I’m still here; I’ve found the independence I wanted and even became a sneaker head. Life in Paris was understandably different, I was a student and I lived at my parents and I was truly a Parisian from head to toe. Living abroad has been a game changer for me, I’ve made a lot of mistakes (particularly in my love life) but I’ve also learned a lot. I feel like I’ve grown up now.

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