The Dutch have faith in the human capacity; you aren’t encouraged to outsource as much of your life here. This applies to lots of areas, from DIY home maintenance to low-intervention childbirth. Their culture involves being more self-sufficient, repairing things and recycling, not being wasteful – it’s a nice approach.
Nothing beats the peacefulness of Amsterdam, if you are feeling stressed all it takes is a commute either on foot or by bike to feel calm again. I love that people sing in the streets here; people seem happy. If I am having a bad day or feeling a little homesick and I hear someone walking or on their bike singing, it re-affirms that this is a great place to live.
My hidden gem in the city is the ‘Upstairs’ Pannenkoekenhuis, a small room in a typical Dutch house dating back to 1539. There are teapots hanging from the ceiling and only four tables with a little cooking station in the corner. They serve up delicious authentic Dutch pancakes; their bacon, cheese and apple pancakes changed my life!