Getting to know your New City

There were several things we did, and you can do, in an effort to get to know our new city. In fact, most of the things I’m about to describe to you were things we were already doing on a regular basis before we moved, so this aspect of the move wasn’t a lifestyle change for us; more a change of scenery.

Once off the plane, with bags dumped at the hotel, key in our pocket, we went for a walk. We were determined to see our first canal. It was only days later when I figured out which canal it even was! (Herengracht, for the curious.)

It’s one of the best things you can do for really getting a feel for the place you’re now going to be calling home. There is so much atmosphere to be absorbed from walking around and just seeing everything there is to see.

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Making Friends as an Expat

This post has been brewing around in my head for a while. I guess because of the circles I travel in on the internet it comes up a bit. Since becoming a featured blog on Expats Blog I figured the universe was telling me I should chip in my two cents worth as well. Post something that would be easy to find, which sums up how we’re working at fitting in and finding friends.

As I will be mentioning in an upcoming post, we’ve been here a year now. That year has been full of adventures and unexpectedness. Some things were fun and worth the wait; Other things we knew would pass if we just gave them enough time and space. Getting up each day and living life helps.

In a lot of respects we had it easy. Well, easier than most. We moved to a country with a very similarly relaxed attitude to the one we had been living in, we moved with a job, we moved to extended family, and we moved to a country where they speak our language even though it’s not their own. We also had the support of our friends and families back home, which has been invaluable.

Making friends is still tricky though. As is purported in the NYTimes article I linked to above, we are both past the stage in our lives where we are in the circumstances to be making new “Best Friends Forever”.

It’s up to you to make the time and put the effort in to new people and friendships, in the knowledge that they don’t have to let you into their lives. They already have established friends and social circles, it’s you who have to fit in. Or not … But everyone we’ve met has been so welcoming, so friendly, so willing to accept us and make time for us. I’m very grateful that the Dutch are as easy going and friendly as they are!

Would you like to know more?