Sunday, March 3, 2013

Another Year in Amsterdam

I can hardly believe that another year has passed since I moved back to Amsterdam!

It's wild to think of all the packing, unpacking, cycling, traveling, laughing, crying, wondering and wandering that's happened throughout my life over the last few years abroad.

In the beginning, just conquering the bike lanes, navigating a grocery store, learning Dutch, making friends or finding directions around town proved challenging enough!

With every chapter of life, some days here are darker than others,
but together, these challenges and adventures have shaped the evolution of myself.
Turning a dream into reality, I feel proud to have made it this far.

Let me get you caught up on my whirlwind experience in Holland...
 What started as some fun summer in Leiden turned into a year as au pair  in Amsterdam
Where I (eventually) found a lovely family to work for and great group of girl friends.

That summer, I spotted a handsome Dutchman
on a tour of what's now of course, our favorite brewery.
He was too 'typically Dutch' to stop and say hello...

But a few days later, we boarded the same train back from Leiden!
Maybe it was fate or serendipity or just completely random,
but we spent that first summer together laughing and boating and biking 
and he lured me to stay a bit longer in the lowlands.
Life as an au pair was a great adventure and the year flew by!

My heart told me there might be something more
but after sometime spent back home, and an epic trip to South Africa,
it seemed like another round of life in Amsterdam was in sight...

And now, here I am. 
One more year spent abroad.

With time, I'm growing more accepting of expat life,
learning to balance love for two places will always be struggle.
You make miss out on moments back home, grow up away from your support system
and make memories fast friends abroad, only to watch them head off around the world.
I suppose adventurous spirits simply attract one another!

It's in my nature to always yearn for exploration so,
I'm not sure when I'll feel completely settled in Amsterdam,
but maybe that's a good thing, to keep me on my toes. 

Expat friends, how do you commemorate another year passing?
 Have you read this article about expat life? It's simply on point.

Each passing year welcomes a new adventure and who knows what this next year will bring,
I hope you'll continue to follow along!

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