My Crazy, Beautiful Life Abroad! Dutch Style.

Netherlands

It’s been too long since I’ve been able to sit down at my computer and write a new blog post! So here it goes! As some of you may or may not know, my life has been all over the place lately, but for a good reason! My family up and moved everything we own from our little town of Black Diamond, Washington to another small town called Heeze [pronounced Haze-Uh] in the Netherlands, 10 minutes South East of Eindhoven and about 90 minutes from probably the most well know city in the Netherlands, Amsterdam. We’re here because my husband accepted a job offer that will keep us abroad anywhere from 2-4 years. Then back home we go.

In all honesty, making this move was not something I was interested in at first. In fact, my husband originally declined a job offer here because I wouldn’t move with him. After weighing the pros and cons, chatting it over with my dad, and ultimately having a heart to heart with my husband, my mind opened up to the possibility of moving to a different country, and most importantly, moving away from my close family. Family is everything to me! I am very close to my family and my in-laws, plus we have a now 14-month old who doesn’t get to see her cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents nearly as much as she would if we stayed in Washington. I can make up excuse after excuse for why not to move across the world, BUT I can also think of one thousand more reasons for why this opportunity could be one of the best things that ever happened to me and my family.

How exciting is it that my daughter gets to grow up learning a different language? How scary but awesome is it that we get to immerse ourselves into a different culture and lifestyle? And how dang cool is it that we can travel…a lot…to a lot of bucket list places?! Sometimes I pinch myself because I forget that we’re just a hop skip and a jump away from some pretty awesome destinations like Italy, Paris, Germany, Greece,..I could go on!

Getting to Heeze and getting settled into our new [and awesome!] little house has had its ups and downs. First we had to pack up everything we owned in Washington and live with pretty much nothing for a week while our life belongings were being loaded onto a boat and shipped across the ocean. Then we had to fly 10 hours with a not-so-content baby. That in itself was one of the hardest things my husband and I have ever done. We’re currently living with pretty much rental everything…table, chairs, couch, bed, utensils, etc. Thank goodness for rental furniture, but wow I never realized how much I’d miss my own stuff! It’ll be about two months total until our lovely [and huge!] shipment arrives, but I pretty much can’t wait! I can’t wait to make our awesome little house into our home.

Netherlands Post

The weather here is similar to Western Washington weather, so that’s not much of an adjustment for us. What is an adjustment though, is how small everything is. Small cars, small appliances, small houses, small drinking glasses, etc. I promised myself that instead of comparing everything here to back home, I would rather embrace it because I want to take advantage of all the good [and different] that Europe and the Netherlands has to offer!

People ride bikes everywhere. There are more bike trails here than I’ve ever seen, and bicyclists pretty much rule the roost. I like that people would rather ride their bikes, rain or shine. I like that people would rather walk into town than drive, and I like that people take advantage of public transportation. I can bundle up my daughter and head out in the stroller and be to the town center of Heeze in nine minutes. I can also walk five minutes to the train station and get to downtown Eindhoven in ten. I love that!

The food is different, but not as different as I thought. In fact, I can find most things at the grocery store or market that I could back home. It helps when we eat a mostly whole food based diet full of fruits and veggies, whole grains, meats, etc. Some of the harder things to find have been almond butter, a clean protein powder for my smoothies and certain spices. But thanks to a “Whole Foods like” grocery store called Ekoplaza that’s just a 10 minute drive from me, I can get all the goodies!

Coffee is everything here, just like back home, but people don’t typically, or ever, get their fancy lattes from a Starbucks drive-thru. That was an adjustment for me at first. Because of that, our first splurge here was an at home espresso maker. That and a blender, because let’s be honest, I can’t live without my coffee and my smoothies! 😉

Recycling is almost a full-time job! You separate all of your recycling and make sure it gets to the right place at the right time. For example, paper pick up happens on different days than plastic pick up, which happens on a different day from garbage, which happens on a different day from compost. And then you recycle your glass [according to color] at bins outside the grocery store. Whew…it’s a lot to keep up with but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it in no time. Let’s just say I’ll be an expert recycler when I get home!

I love our little town. It has everything! A grocery store, a home decor store, a drug store, a cheese shop, a butcher, a bakery, a coffee shop, a restaurant, a bar, our bank, a bike shop, etc. Seriously, you name it, it has it! And so far I’ve noticed that this is typical of many towns here. Amazing, right? And each town has its own market on a certain day of the week, too! So I’ll definitely be venturing out to check out all of the different little markets with an assortment of fresh fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses, baked goods, etc.! Enter me with my excited voice! 🙂

We’ve only been here for a couple of weeks, but I’d say we’ve settled in quite nicely. I’ve been checking things off my never ending to-do list while also trying to just relax and soak it all in, because before we know it we’ll be heading back to the US to start our life over again.

That’s all for now as my daughter is waking up from her nap and duty calls! I’ve been trying to post daily pictures on my Instagram and Facebook page so you can keep up with my life here, from family to food to anything in between, so check me out there! Oh…and for those of you who have been asking, I’ll post some house pictures once we get our furniture in a month or so!

As always, thank you for following Nutritiously Rooted! ♥

Ang.

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Angela Freed

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