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November 2019, Utrecht – Netherlands
I wake up in the morning and the first thing I do is look out the window. Yeap, still freezing, fog rising up from the ground, no one on the streets. Just checking.
Sometimes a beautiful pink sunrise makes us think we’re dreaming. But nope, we’re still here.
It turns out there’s some strange mystical feeling about mornings, that makes you appreciate even more the quietness, the inner peace and … the happy thought of coffee waiting at the office. 🙂
Next thing I know, I pass by the park to check our new neighbours, a herd of geese. It’s the most funny sight watching them doing their daily routines. They scan you for a second, throw a loud ‘ga-ga’ at you, then get back to eating. They always put a smile on my face before going to work. Checked again, we’re still here.
After a 7 minutes bus ride, where the driver usually sings or whistles on the rhythm of music, I’m in front of Utrecht Central Station. Luckily, my daily journey ends at this point. So here I am at the office in 15 minutes since leaving the house.
Even so, from Utrecht Central Station you can reach any major city in the Netherlands in less than 1 hour. Geo spends 17 minutes on the intercity to Amsterdam south.
In the evening, it’s a real pleasure to come home walking, admire the Christmas lights in the city center, the lovely canals, or the parks invaded by splendid autumn colours. Don’t imagine it’s late. Usually at 5 PM there’s nobody left at the office.
There’s a funny thing about weekends, that we did not see coming. Before moving to the Netherlands, I had a plan in my mind to visit a new place every weekend. We thought it will be a continuous vacation, with new cities to visit all the time. Always on the run, just like we did in citybreaks.
The reality is that work takes away most of the week, and all we want to do in the weekend is relax, not chase castles. However, since we arrived here all our friends from NL reached out to meet, so i can say that quality time spent with them was more important than the ‘to do’ list i had in mind. Haha, cheers to a new beginning without overwhelming to-do lists!
So for now, as a brand new adventure starts, we will just take the time to settle in and enjoy every day, at a slow pace.
It’s true that changing your life is difficult, even if you aim for the better on the long run. The first months may not be exactly how you imagined, and you’ll keep comparing everything to what it used to be home. You will only remember the previous life as being more simple, because you didn’t have to prove anything anymore.
As a personal belief, as soon as you realize you’re in denial (the first phase of change, followed by anger, exploration and acceptance), the sooner you’ll be able to talk about it, cope with it, accept it, then get pass it.
How was it for us? Probably we don’t realize yet what stage we’re at, or the first two stages only lasted a few weeks after arrival. Ok, maybe some more, if we consider adjusting to the new cultural environment.
We’re definitely in exploring mode now.
Friends had a major role in making us feel at home again and start new habits. But it’s also a matter of mindset. We really wanted this change and planned it for a long time. We were well informed about what to expect. So when we finally went for it, it was 100%, with an open mind. Now we accept and embrace all the new things in our life without freaking out. Change can be fun!
Be aware, this is not the promised article with all the steps of relocating abroad. In contrast with our bullet style and practical information posts, this one is just a quick answer to everybody’s questions about how we feel.
We’ll be back with a complete guide about relocating to the Netherlands, hopefully by the end of 2019.
We’re also preparing a new article with what to do around Utrecht (there’s plenty!).
Take care and never stop following your dreams. Sometimes, they really do come true.
Happy travels and stay safe!