Thursday, December 10, 2015

My Little Dutch ABC Book ~ N

My Little Dutch ABC Book


Nederland ~~ Netherlands…. But if you want to speak Dutch you are speaking Nederlands

What can I say about a country I love so much? Five years ago, this week our incredible journey to the low lands began. It all began with a message on LinkedIn requesting an interview with my husband about a job in The Netherlands. I didn’t even have a passport. My husband had been asking me for years to travel with him on his work trips to different places in the world but to be honest, I was scared. Scared to leave my children, scared to fly on a plane that long and the fear of leaving my country to a land unknown to me.

But as our family discussed the opportunity, excitement surpassed my fear. Yes, I was still afraid and I still am at times… but I knew it was the right thing to do for our family. Leaving 2 of my children in the States to continue college (along with a chunk of my heart), we began our new life here in The Netherlands with our youngest daughter in tow.

My husband fully committing himself at work, plus surrounded by all the newness of international finances for our family, taxes, running of the house with all the differences. My daughter jumped into her new international school and made so many life time friends from all over the world. And I … forced myself out the door to begin what would be a life altering time in my life.

Joining not only the North American’s Women’s Club of Eindhoven, I also joined the International Women’s Club of Eindhoven. The North American club would be my home. Surrounded with friends who just “get it”. We all have that group or I hope you do if you are away from home. People who speak the same language… not only my mother tongue of English but also understanding words like Target, Nordstrom’s, Cream of Mushroom soup, Pumpkin Pie mix in a can… stuff at home I took for granted but here became a real challenge. Yes, I’ve made a pumpkin pie from an actual pumpkin and hey it’s actually better! But people who just get it!

My international friends that I’ve made here have changed my life in ways I didn’t even know I needed. My eyes and heart have been opened to a new understanding of the world around us. I won’t say I know everything because that is impossible. But I will say my little world has changed. It’s so very interesting to sit and really listen to someone from another culture explain their way of life and why it’s important to them. And to have them listen to me and truly understand that American’s are not like the Kardashians.

But I’ve also done something I can highly recommend if you ever get the chance to live in another country other than your own…. Step outside and meet your neighbors. Yes, it’s a tad scary but once you get over the fear of saying Hi my name is … friendships can begin. I have made a ton of friends in my community that are Dutch and I love that and them for helping me along the way but also laughing with me and sharing life stories.

So when people say What’s it like to live in The Netherlands… I’ll say sure it’s windmills, tulips and a whole lot of water… but it’s also home for me. A place that will always be in my heart. Nederland… my home away from home.

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