Showing posts from January, 2020

Life Without a Car

One of the most significant lifestyle changes we've had since moving to the Netherlands has been living without a car.  We actually hadn't planned to go this long without a car, but we haven't really missed not having one either. Ironically, we're likely getting a car in the near future but I doubt it will overshadow our bikes anytime soon. Our new Dutch driveway The Dutch are well known for their love of bikes and all things cycling. Having visited Friedel in 2018, I'd gotten a taste of how prominent the bike culture is here. Now that we've been using bikes as our primary mode of transport though, I have a much greater appreciation for them. We move a LOT more. I've google mapped our routes and we easily cover 20-25 km over the course of a week just doing the day to day stuff. And that doesn't count the bike trips we take most weekends, which would add another 10 km. But this city is built for bikes. Most roads have bike lanes, it's no

The life of an expat is always being ready to make a (figurative) crash landing.

Two months ago we were at the airport getting ready to start our expat adventure. I knew there would be a lot of change and I knew it wouldn't always be easy.  But the transition was harder than I expected. Before we'd left Canada, I was most concerned with getting the kids settled and worried SO much about how they would cope with all the changes. Once we arrived, I quickly realized that the kids would be fine; they're resilient and really only had to focus on their new school. Brent had also been in Rotterdam for a month before we arrived which made his "landing" a little smoother.  I on the other hand had to juggle the rest of life that goes on; groceries, getting registered with the municipality (a multi-step process), signing up for health care, new cell phone etc. Even though most people in The Hague speak some English, anything written is likely still in Dutch, so I rely on Google Translate a lot! To be honest we've felt quite "settled&qu