sábado, 14 de diciembre de 2013

Expat life..

When I left The Netherlands 5 years, 7 months and 14 days ago I had seriously no clue what was waiting for me  over the Dutch borders...

I never traveled a lot, never really got the feel of the world around me and I was a proper Dutch ´Cheese head´ as they lovingly (or not)  call us...
The only holidays I went on I spent on typical tourism areas like Marmaris in Turkey, Torremolinos in Spain,Mallorca,  Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt , Paris France and one school-trip in the Bordeaux area.. So safe to say ..me? no clue!!

On the day I left my little country I really thought I was world wise and would have no issues whatsoever with adapting.. gosh was I wrong...

Just a bit of history here as for why i left the Netherlands:

I was 25 years old ,  living in a small city called Dordrecht , had a fab apartment , a good job as Account manager at KPN and had a nice group of friends and family around me. 

And then out of nothing Love hit.... 
I met my now husband Shayne online ( via the good old MSN) which is another story on its own, and went on a holiday with my friend Karin to Malgrat de mar, Spain where he lived. 

Safe to say , we hit it off straight away and were very much in love.. So much even that i decided ( me impulsive? naaah..) that i would move to Malgrat de Mar as well.. 

Well all said and done.. i kept to my word and roughly a month later I was standing in the Airport in Eindhoven with some dumbstruck family around me , who basically thought ( and some probably still think) I was totally bonkers!!
But I knew this was the right decision for me... 

What i didn't know though then was in what kind of tornado you will end up in.. Everything what was so normal in my environment was all gone and I had to start settling again.. As much as a big adventure it is, its not always an exciting one.. there are so many things you have to get used to again.. Your world get turned upside down!

Even though I had lots of support from Shayne ( he went through the same years earlier so he understood) it was still a hard journey..

I realized that it is very hard to make friendships in another country and especially with the residents.. However as all the expats are in the same ´boat´ , we understand each other which makes it easier to make friendships!

The negative side about this is that you can lose friends as easy as that again as well... with losing i don't mean necessarily that you will never speak to them again, but there are not many ( young) expats who are staying on the same place for the rest of their lives..  This for me is the hardest part of this life i am living.. the friendships i took for granted my whole life, are suddenly not so self evident anymore.. you have to say more goodbyes then welcomes and that is very hard.

Which as obvious result that I am way more careful now with who I am letting in my life.. 

I know i sound a bit sad in this blog , but this is because i just had to say another goodbye to a very good friend which hit me pretty bad this time..

But that doesn't mean I don't love my life as an expat , because I definitely do!! There are many many pro´s of living ´the good life´!!
One of them is learning other cultures and backgrounds from the people around me!! As I am working ( as many expats do ) in a multinational company , the people around me are from all over ( mostly ) Europe!! From UK, Ireland, Spain ( duuuh) , Italy, Germany, Sweden, Portugal, some from India, Brazil, Mexico and on and on..
Another pro of course is learning a new language and also improve my English which at this point is pretty good if I say so myself :).. 

Also a good point is the work opportunities. The reason why most of us work in multinational companies is because of the language we are speaking.. The reason I am in IT now is because of my native language.. If I had to have it from my experience in IT ( which was none ) , i would have never ended up in this work field and that,  my friends,  would have been a shame as I totally love to work in IT!!

Definitely worth mentioning is the food!! Although of course I miss some specific Dutch food , which i let ( read: ask nicely ) ship over from The Netherlands, Spanish food is awesome!! Even the Catalan Botifarra ( click here for the explanation), i find delicious!!

So after a lot of adding, deleting and changing in this blog as it is really difficult to describe the feeling of being an expat, I will leave the rest to your own imagination.. 

Hasta Pronto!!

6 comentarios:

  1. I did writre a comment but it's gone already, again...Well it's a good story of your life in a nutshell;-)

  2. Very nice post as always! You just forgot to mention another good point which is that you'll never meet a human being geek as me! :p
    With this comment I want to thank god or whoever got me living for having given me the opportunity to meet such a good person as you! In just 6 months you became a very valuable friend in my life.
    I had some downs due to bad life moments some months ago, and you were there to cheer me up. Also at work, because nowadays sometimes things get messed up just because of the age difference, but you always sticked up for me and that is something i'm really grateful for.

    Besides, the positive way you are having 2 little girls, working some night shifts, taking care of home, etc. and all the different woman problems (i don't even know the half of them :p), you are always there with a big smile and transforming boring moments into funny moments! You are 100% brilliant, in other words, you are 100% Jany.

    Big hug from "your little brother from another mother" !


  3. Alex you make me cry dude!!!!! Thank you so much for the sweet words! You know how i think about you as i wrote in a previous blog!!! Xxxz

  4. Aah, I was thinking you might be a bit down this week. Don't worry, you've still got me and I'm definitely planning an assault on your place one day! And maybe we can plan a kid-free trip to Ireland one of thee days for a visit...

    1. Ah your sweet!! And would be nice to have u over someday! A kidfree trip to ireland..hmm i dont know if thats safe girl hahahaha