I apologise that I have been exceptionally quiet online lately, but I have a huge life update to share with you. I have just moved to Amsterdam! That’s right, not just gone on a jolly for a few days but moved. Indefinitely. Packed up everything (well 44kgs) and jetted off to start a new life in the land of tulips. Why? Well, I was ready for something new, for an adventure. My Anthropological instincts kicked in and I wanted to see a new country and a different way of life and it felt like a good time to leave the UK for a little bit. I wanted to choose somewhere cool that wouldn’t completely isolate me with a language barrier. So here I am, practising my Dutch and enjoying what is left of Autumn in this beautiful country.
If I am totally honest the whole move has not been a walk in the Vondelpark. Before leaving I had a completely idyllic view of my new life. I pictured myself working part time in a cute vegan cafe for a little bit, making loads of new Dutch friends who happened to be artists in their spare time, maybe I would babysit for a great Dutch family who would welcome me with open arms and we would all drink Dutch beers in pretty glasses in my cheap utilitarian apartment with a cat I had rescued called Hans. In reality, it didn’t quite turn out like this. I have probably never looked so haggard. I have huge dark circles under my eyes from working crazy hours on what is quite frankly an illegal minimum wage in an overpriced Japanese restaurant run by some of the most unfriendly members of staff I have ever met. The other day the assistant manager told me I was walking too fast and then just told me to stand still next to the people who were eating. Seriously. On the plus side there is often a lot of free Sushi leftover which really helps when your weekly disposable income can afford you roughly two flat whites. I am still persisting with my applications for other jobs though, and crossing my fingers that something a little more enjoyable will turn up.
Also accommodation? Not that easy to find! Whilst the rent is not as expensive as London, there is definitely more people than houses and trying to get a place is probably harder than job hunting if you are on a budget. I think I applied for over 100 different places and heard back from about ten and actually got a viewing for two, but fortunately I have a place (for 6 months) starting from November. So until then, I am living in an AirBnB with no living room, dinning room or oven, so the next month is going to be interesting. I will keep you posted.
On the plus side, Amsterdam is such a cool place. There are so many independent shops and cafes and quirky things going on. Everyone cycles and Amsterdam is small enough to get around but big enough to keep discovering new things. I am also loving exploring and learning about the country, Amsterdam is amazing and it is no wonder that so many people want to build their lives in this exciting city. To anyone out there who is finding themselves in the same situation, perhaps somewhere else in the world; remember that sometimes we need a good slap in the face from reality. We need to be pushed outside our comfort zone. Yes it’s difficult, but what an experience!