Showing posts from 2019

Settling In - Our first month in The Netherlands.

We're finally in our new house, and it is wonderful to have a space to call our own. I hesitate to say that our temporary apartment was "uncomfortable", but I underestimated how unsettling it would be to feel unsettled. It was much harder to "live" in a temporary space (ie, cook, go to school an work) than I'd anticipated. Will keep that in mind when we move to the far east. I've been keeping a mental list of things I love about Europe and Holland, and things I miss dearly about Canada. Things I love about Europe and Holland 1. The food. Ha- no surprise there. ;) But it's not just the food itself. It's the culture around food (neighborhood shops vs big box stores), the cost of food (SO much cheaper) and the quality of the food. Now that I'm equipped with my familiar kitchen tools I'm excited to get back to more cooking! 2. Transportation . We've been without a car for a month, and other than Brent's commute to Rotterdam,

Lost in Translation

I use and rely on Google translate a LOT and it makes life easier in many ways. But, the translations aren't perfect and they sometimes make me laugh, like this one did today. I logged in to track a package and saw this: Apparently the Dutch word for 'delivered' and 'worried' are too similar for Google. Bezorgd = worried Bezorgen = delivered.

Culture shock is not what I thought it would be

I'd read that the Netherlands, and The Hague especially, was a great place for novice expats to move to because of how many people speak English. Perhaps this set my expectations too high because it's been a more difficult transition that I'd expected. I was prepared for a bit of homesickness and longing for familiar people and places.I wasn't prepared to feel exhausted from trying to understand my surroundings. I knew we wouldn't find all of our usual foods, but I didn't know that every trip to the grocery store would involve google translate. I wasn't prepared to have to use google maps every time we left our apartment. As a tourist, these kinds of things are fun. It's all part of the adventure, and you know that it will come to an end in a few days. But, when your kids ask to go swimming and you spend an hour trying to understand where the local pools are, when they're open and how to get there, it doesn't feel fun. It f

De Haagse Markt

I was first introduced to De Haagse Markt last year when I was visiting my sister. I loved everything about it - the sense of community my sister has with her favourite vendors, the selection of food, and most of all, the prices! It reminded me of our market in Dartmouth, and I was keen to visit now that we're living here. Maren and I headed out to meet Friedel mid-morning while the others enjoyed a quiet morning in our apartment. As you can see, Maren was as excited as I was. ;) Heading to the tram at Den Haag HS Finding her beloved mangoes - 4 for 1 Euro! All of this (some organic) for less than 10 euros, about $14.50 dollars. Each of those bags of tomatoes would be $5 at home, and the mangoes at least $2 each. There are two 1/2 pints of organic blueberries we got for about $2. Not pictured: Friedel (not sure now that happened, LOL), coffee, compliments of her "coffee guy", cheese, and delicious sesame bagel type things from the bakery aroun

Letting go.

Today is my last official "working" day at the office I've been in  for 11 years, in the clinic I founded in 2008. When we opened, it was part of a long-term plan.  We built,  they came, and I've been fortunate to have a very lovely and successful practice here, working alongside some of the best people I know. But I never expected to leave, so I wasn't prepared to "let go" in short order. Even though I know that I'm leaving this baby of mine in the best possible hands, it's still hard to wrap my head around it all. But this is really just one of many things that we're having to let go of. The kids are letting go of teams, friendships, toys. They've sorted through the books and toys from their early childhood, and we've all had to ask ourselves "do we really need/want this?" many, many times.Much of the letting go has been good. Being faced with the question of having to either store or take an item around the world really

Who knew that we'd want a life less ordinary?

Only 9.5 years ago, I was blogging about the beauty of a "normal day" , knowing that our lives were about to be turned upside down with the arrival of kiddos #2 and #3. We were knee deep in all things baby (and toddler), and the idea that we'd be planning a 3-year expat adventure just a decade later would have sounded too fantastical to believe! And we are. We're getting ready to move to The Netherlands for 2 years, followed by a year in Singapore. We know what an incredible opportunity this is, and we also know how much we're asking of our families to help make it happen. Our kids will move 3 times in 3 years, we'll spend time away from the neighbourhood we know and love, rent out our beloved house, and generally uproot everything that we know to be "home".  And we're doing it because we have an insatiable wanderlust itch that needs to be scratched. Our kids will tell you that "if Mom ever won the lottery, we'd be packing