Hallo uit Amsterdam!

We’re finally here! Though we’re far from settled yet, it’s so exciting to finally be off on an adventure that had been in the works for more than a year.

One way flights with ALL the bags

I’m hoping to chronicle some of our life here, including the highs and lows. Moving abroad may sound glamorous — and maybe it will be later on, but it’s also difficult.

The last two weeks have been draining, including apartment searching in a super competitive market and losing out on two favorite places; living out of suitcases and hauling them up and down Dutch staircases to various Airbnbs; missing our little pupface; and not sleeping well. For Tom, there is adjusting to a very long commute, a new office, and working across multiple time zones. For me, there is the challenge of being completely alone for the majority of the weekdays.

But, it is beautiful here, and we’ve been lucky to have mostly sunny days over the past two weeks.

Daffodils blooming everywhere in early February

The one touristy place we’ve walked through

We’ve checked off a few crucial items:

  • Opening a Dutch bank account and getting new debit cards.
  • Acquiring our “burgerservicenummers” or BSNs, which are our residence numbers and ID cards. That means we’re official residents here.
  • Drinking Heineken (which we realized is actually much better on tap than in a bottle) in a neighborhood brown bar and in Vondelpark on a sunny day.
  • Visiting two breweries.
  • Getting take-out Indonesian food, which is a big thing in Amsterdam, and it was delicious.
  • Drinking way more lattes than ever before. (Regular coffee is SO strong.)
  • Walking miles and miles exploring the city’s neighborhoods and parks.
Exploring parks

We’ve yet to rent or buy bikes, so I guess you could say we’re not quite official Amsterdammers.

We’ve had a few mishaps, too.

  • Breaking a washing machine at an Airbnb. (Thank goodness for Tom finding YouTube instructions that allowed him to open the door, take out our clothes, and also order a new plastic door handle. The tiny, tiny piece of plastic that broke just happened to be crucial to latching the door!)
  • Making hot chocolate with “karnemilk”… instead of buying what I thought was whole milk, I got buttermilk. Whoops. That didn’t turn out right and went straight down the drain.
Furry roommates at one Airbnb
Uh oh. It won’t open. (At least the controls on this one were in English, unlike many others.)

I’ll try to write more here in the coming weeks and months about what it’s actually like to move abroad and get settled… including more about: apartment hunting; all the bikes everywhere; and what may be one of my biggest challenges, what it’ll be like to cook with a teeny tiny oven/microwave combo and a dorm size fridge!

For now, “goed nacht”!

We’ve hauled these bags to three different Airbnb’s so far…