5 Years in the Netherlands
2022 was my 5 year anniversary living in the Netherlands. What a 5 years it’s been, from extreme highs to extreme lows and quite frankly everything in-between. I’ve been lucky to meet some truly extraordinary people who I am honoured to now call my (best) friends (and other select words), who have created a family for me in the Netherlands. Im incredibly grateful to have met people who are as sassy, understanding, crazy and cat loving as I am.
Here are some just a few highlights from my 5 years in the Netherlands: cocktails (so many cocktails), selfie museums, staycations, surviving the pandemic (just), games nights (and virtual quizzes), bets (mostly me losing them!), concerts, musicals and museums, buying a house (and everyone helping me to to paint it!), skydiving, Wadlopen and of course, cats, my precious pampered cats.
Its been a truly astonishing 5 years… Whilst I will never see Brexit as a positive thing, I am grateful that it brought me to the Netherlands and forced me to start everything from scratch. This is the 4th country Ive lived in (also my second time in the NLs), learning Dutch has been a unique experience (I have no doubt I’ll always murder the language even though Im at level B1) and merging 3 cultures (American, British and Dutch) has not always been an easy task. I am grateful that I now call the Netherlands home and look forward to seeing what the future holds.
Every year I try to visit a place called Zaanse Schans, which is a quintessential tourist location of window mills, lots of wind mills. I take a picture and then get to compare myself over the years. Its a massive tourist attraction but there are times when you can plan it when its quiet and theres something really calming and quaint abut it.
2022 seems to be the year everyone forgot Corona existed, to see how far we’ve come and yet how quickly we’ve gone back to our old ways.
What a year it’s been. Some of my highlights from the year: 3am emergency vet visit in the Hague, Friendsmas, days out, swimming with dolphins, turkey hats and laughs, there have been so many laughs! I like to think that laughter keeps me sane.
Coming from a family of scuba divers, this year I decided to officially dip my toe into scuba diving. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a fan of the ocean, I find it dirty (not in a tree hugger, think of all the plastic you use kind of way). Thanks to my germ-a-phobia I have, I think this will always be an issue. However, what I realised with scuba diving is that I get sick sea and then land sick (awesome!) for days afterwards.
After a the very unfortunate and tragic death of George last year, Callie changed. Her entire personality changed, she’d follow me around the house and would run to the door every time I would come and go. Given that Callie was never like this with other cats, I thought she was lonely and wanted a friend. Lady Penelope (Penny) joined the house, she has brought energy, entertainment and sass, shes a very sassy Maine Coon kitten. I thought Callie wanted a friend, 7 months later and Callie is yet to be fully convinced of another cat in the house and most certainly have buyers remorse on my behalf. They do play together, occasionally until Callie realises shes also too old for a kitten. Its Callies biggest secret that she likes Penny but it’s a closely held secret. I now have 2 cats with seem to be the combination of who I am, one whose rather autistic and hates change and the other whose ready to do something, between naps.
Its been a year, a year of challenges, progress and laughs.