What to Expect when your Expat-ing.
The countdown is on! We are starting to get things moving for our big move. Really I’m planning more for our US “farewell” tour, which you can read about here. The planning is a nice distraction from the reality that we are moving abroad. With the house on the market and the husband house hunting in the Netherlands this week it is time to start thinking about this move “for serious.”
Step one is research.
I’ve been creating Pinterest boards for months. I’ve divided hundreds of pins into the crystal clear categories of Ex-Pat, QMII and Travel. I’ve read none of them… yet. I love to travel but other then a two hour stop over in the Amsterdam airport I’ve never been to the Netherlands. So my first impression is going to be entirely based on what I read online; its a foolproof plan.
Meanwhile if your here looking for real advice on moving abroad, I’m not quite there yet. Hopefully, these idealized views will be provide a good framework for my exploration of Dutch ex-pat life and a few laughs along the way.
In all seriousness, I have found a wonderful blog The Three Under. Farrah has been a lifeline for me. Her early blog posts seem to focus on exactly what I need to know at this stage of the planning process. I’ve messaged her a few times on Facebook with my ridiculous questions about what to buy the kids before we leave, how to find a house when things come on and off the market in just a few weeks and what to purge before we leave. Its just nice to have someone who has already been through all this stuff and a bunch of things you cannot even imagine. (Go check out her blog and read it all for yourself.)
With our house sold, I’ve started searching for a place for us to live in the Netherlands. While the husband was house hunting he got a lay of the land and was in touch with a few Mekellar’s. It seems clear that we will not be able to find a house before we get there as things are rented almost as soon as they are posted. I am learning allot about the houses though just from looking online. Ive come to the conclusion that much of our furniture will not physically fit into a house. The only thing I know for sure is it is going to be an adventure! I have found Funda to be the most helpful house hunting site although searching “Mekellar” and our town has yielded many good results.
The other, sometimes humorous, site I have found for this move is Stuff Dutch People Like.
My DVR recently recorded the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on their rip to Amsterdam, under a catch all Netherlands recording. I watched both episodes so I’m good to go! Ha! I did learn about the pancake houses and a pancake cruise.
My husband brought back some dutch music for the kids. It has been constantly playing in the car, with the hope of at least acclimating my ear to some of the pronunciation. Our local library had the first set of Rosetta Stone, so we have worked through those although honestly the Duolingo app has been much more helpful. I find myself playing it whenever I have a few minutes. It also reminds me every day to play. I anticipate that by the time we get there I will be able to read basic Dutch, speak very little Dutch and not write in Dutch at all. (I literally miss every question where I am asked to write in Dutch on all programs, so I’m setting my expectations low.)
So… with 30 days till we leave our house for our “goodbye tour” and 90 days (ish) till our overseas move this is where we are. Slowly preparing but managing to keep the anxiety low!