Who are you?
Where, when and why did you move abroad?
I moved from the USA in July, 2011 with my husband and youngest child who was 15 at the time. My husband took a new job with a new company.
What challenges did you face during the move?
The language difference is a big challenge but we were so happy that most people in The Netherlands speak English.How did you find somewhere to live?
Our relocation company really was so helpful with our move. We rent our home and the company helped us through all of the negotiations. Also, having the internet available to us is a big plus as we were able to narrow down our choices to rent before we even stepped foot into a home.
Are there many other expats in your area?
There are a lot of expats in The Netherlands and specifically by us as well. I have made so many friendships that I treasure with people from all around the world.
What do you dislike about your expat life?
We left two adult children back in the States and it was and still is extremely difficult to be away from them. But with all the technology of the day we’re able to talk almost daily.
What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?
Holiday traditions. But I always try to remember that I’m a guest in this country and always try to respect different beliefs.
How does shopping (for food/clothes/household items etc.) differ compared to back home?
Shopping is like a sport here. Get to the market early if you want bread or the shelves will be bare. Also, the shopping carts don’t push forward easily… they tend to slide to the side. So a little arm strengthening before you come here is recommended.
What do you think of the food in your new country? What are your particular likes or dislikes?
The food here served in restaurants is like a work of art. Always presented in a beautiful way… or it’s fried like at a fry shop. Both are fabulous. They do eat horse here so I am very cautious when buying or eating meat.
What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?
Come with a smile on your face and a sense of adventure in your heart. It’s a fabulous place to live or visit. Get out and join expat groups in your community and groups from your home country. It’s great to be able to talk to others who are going through the same experiences or have already been through them. These people are a wealth of information on the best places to go or do anything.
What are your plans for the future?
We are here till whenever… and then we will return to our love… America.