Directions in the Netherlands
Contributing Author: Rianne Reitsma
Life has been tough on me lately and I’ve decided that I want to do something I really love. This is why I started my blog Ri-direction. Having been an expat myself I know the hassle and difficulties you experience when moving to another country. However, I also know how adventurous, fun and exciting it can be. I really believe that travel broadens your horizon and changes your perspective on life, with encounters through other people and their cultures. In summary, I believe being an expat for a little, or a lot, really enriches your life!
What I do?
I am your first Dutch Friend, I will aim to tell you more about the Dutch culture and people. Take away all the little questions you had. Not just that but I’ll be there for the bigger ones too., I’ll also tell you how to find a house, open a bank account and hopefully try to inspire you into making however long you spend here the best time it can possibly be. You want to live abroad but it is a little too much of a risk and maybe too exciting? I’ll try to show and tell you that it is really something worth doing, even for you too!
To be honest, I moved for the adventure. Before I moved to Berlin, I had studied in Istanbul (6 months) and traveled around Australia and New Zealand (6 months). So I knew what to expect when living abroad for a little while. No I am not a super brave cool kid. I was also full of nervous excitement when thinking of moving abroad. To inspire you to take the leap and move abroad, below are some of the things it brought me:
5 things I gained from living in Berlin:
Sadly my friends didn’t move with me :P I was alone, nobody likes to be alone so naturally you open up more. Besides that, other expats also don’t bring their friend. That is why it is super easy to make new friends.
Yep, even when you (or your friends) move somewhere else in a couple of years. You will keep your friends, which means a lot of holiday destinations!
German language skills
In Germany, a lot is still in German and the older people don’t speak English as well. Because of that (and luckily my company provided free German lessons) I learned German pretty well. A skill I’ll hopefully have for the rest of my life!
Getting to know the city & culture
Your new city will be your home away from home. You will naturally start exploring. In Berlin I loved to:
- Go clubbing (my top recommendation: Sisyphos and Wilde Renate)
- Learn about the history (Berliner Unterwelten & Stasi Prison)
- Visit abandoned places
- Have huge Sunday Brunches
- Visit the Mauerpark
- And many many more cool things!
A big step in my career
When I was working in Berlin, a partner I was working with asked me if I wanted to work for them. It was an interesting company, and they had relocated to Singapore. After a while working there I was responsible to SEA (South East Asia). Which meant traveling all over Asia for my work! I learned a lot and naturally it was really a big step in my career!
As an expat you will grow a lot! You’re almost always outside of your comfort zone. You will become even more curious as you learn more about other people and their backgrounds. You will become even more independent and confident.The first time you do something you might be scared and insecure, but the more often you do something you also become more and more secure and confident. You will learn how to adjust, which shows that you are extremely flexible!
Happy expat-ing :)