My dad is a mechanical engineer, loves his job and travels a lot. I really respect my dad, he’s like a wise old owl. He’s made me want to travel and learn more about the world we live in. My mother, she was a stay at home mom but she did have a job as a supervisor in a private nursery. Her main job was really looking after me and my sister. She passed away when I was fourteen and of course that changed my outlook on life. My mom was a truly positive person and she still makes me feel grounded. She taught me that life goes on no matter what. Her attitude and outlook has made me who I am, a positive person, someone who lives by the mantra that it could always be worse.
I think my biggest strength is seeing the bigger picture, I’m aware of my weaknesses and I don’t try to cover them up. One of the best things you can say is, “I don’t know,” and I believe that you have to make the best of every opportunity that comes your way. You only regret the things you don’t do in life, you never know what new situations will lead to.
In university I studied history, and then I started teaching secondary school in England. I loved teaching because kids are funny, they’re intelligent, and they have a completely different outlook on life than we do. ‘YOLO’ like the kids say, you’re only here once and that’s true.
I think the biggest risk I’ve ever taken in life was moving to Amsterdam. I left behind everything I knew and loved and I’m a much more open and adventurous person now. I compare my life in England with my life here quite a lot and it’s not just simple things like prices and apartments. I think about how my life balances have shifted. I enjoy myself more here, I go out more, I see new things, I make new friends.
I don’t want to have that English stiff upper lip anymore. In the UK there’s a perception to constantly be accomplishing the next thing. Here, I don’t want to do that. Now my dreams are more about building new aspirations rather than rehashing the ones I thought I wanted. Amsterdam has made me more confident being me. I take more chances now.
What is future Julie like? (laughs) Future Julie is cycling confidently around Amsterdam, knows all the roads, and she’s just really happy. That’s all I see in the future. Amsterdam to me is adventure. I want to really enjoy my life here.