Dusting Off The Cobwebs For An Update From Amsterdam

Oh dear friends! Do you remember me? 

If you need a refresher... here is what I look like. :)

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Is this face ringing a bell? Maybe you've seen me posting on Instagram or Twitter?

My name is Dani and I've had this little slice of the internet for almost 7 years.

Unfortunately since moving to Amsterdam 11 weeks ago today (yes I am still updating folks on a weekly basis), I have neglected my poor little blog. 

Adjusting to life in a brand new country where you don't speak the native language has been a bigger challenge than I thought. Now I am lucky. Almost everyone in Amsterdam speaks English. There are a TON of ExPats here in the city and that helps a lot. However a majority of signage and items in stores are in Dutch. Google Translate has been my #1 partner in crime since moving here... when it works properly. :P Sometimes it translates a little too literally and therefore doesn't make sense.

But I am proud of how much the wife and I have accomplished in these first 11 weeks. No we haven't traveled anywhere yet (together), but we are crushing the "getting adjusted/life in order" shit:

  • Dutch Phone Numbers Acquired ✔️
  • Dogs Successfully Arrived 4 Days After We Did ✔️
  • Joint Bank Account ✔️
  • Sweet Apartment ✔️ (Big thanks to the wife for finding this cool place)
  • Cable/Internet Set-Up ✔️
  • Resident Permits ✔️
  • Health Insurance Addressed ✔️ (Just need to get those pesky cards that went to our previous address)
  • Weight Watchers Membership Reinstated ✔️(Awesome having the wife doing it with me now and going to the meetings together)
  • Multiple Trips And Orders To IKEA ✔️
  • Gym Membership Created ✔️ (Hello Pool)
  • Bike Rented ✔️ (Thanks Swapfiets)
  • Massage Therapist Located ✔️
  • Hair Dresser Found ✔️ (They even use the same products as my salon in the US! WOO!)
  • Nail Salon Identified ✔️ (Might need to revisit this again after seeing the price of said pedicure - HA!)
  • Vet For The Pups ✔️
  • Dog Food That Fit Dogs' Allergies ✔️

I think we are doing pretty darn good for getting our lives in order, but we haven't been so good at the "exploring our city" or "living that European lifestyle!" (ie no traveling and working a ton). But with the day to day life things we are rocking it. 

Granted I was lucky enough to take 2 trips since getting here (both for work)! I went to Southern Germany for a kickoff event and Reading (UK) for Orientation at our EMEA HQ.

When we boarded the plane to come here, I told the wife we would need 3 months to get settled then we would start traveling. And you know what? We are spot on! Our first European trip is planned for April 13-15, which coincides with our 3 month anniversary of arriving (Jan 14 - April 14). Can you all guess where our first trip would be to?

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DISNEYLAND PARIS OF COURSE!!!!!!!!!!

We vowed to try and take a trip a month (if possible) and so far we have some good ones on the docket:

  • April - Disneyland Paris
  • May - Liverpool (for Rock n Roll Marathon Liverpool Half)
  • June - TBD
  • July - Rome for the wife's birthday
  • August - Dublin (for Rock n Roll Marathon Dublin Half)
  • September - Disneyland Paris (for Disneyland Paris race weekend)
  • October - TBD
  • November - TBD
  • December - TBD

There are a lot of TBDs in there as we wait for some work schedules to pan out, but I am pretty pumped with what we have so far. :) 

Now the biggest hurdle for me so far has been the lack of a Tribe. :( It is freakin' hard to make friends people. I had such an amazing support system in Boston/US that I am scared to find anyone to match them. But I have yet to find anyone. I am going to make a bigger effort to step away from the work computer and get out in the world. Yes this feels like online dating. I joined a few Meetup groups this weekend to see if maybe I can find some folks to run or workout with. *Fingers crossed* Here's hoping. I am a little jealous when I see folks hanging out going to a spin class together, grabbing coffee, etc. I know it will happen, but I need to give it time. Any suggestions on making friends in a new country?

Since I keep it real. My anxiety/depression were at an all time high when we moved. I felt overwhelmed with self-inflicted pressure at work and trying to keep everything together for my family (since it was on me the whole move thing). Honestly getting the Peloton bike delivered and being able to sweat out the anxiety has seriously turned things around for me. It is a daily struggle with the inner demons, but seriously I have turned a huge corner of the last 2 weeks!

Wow! So I think that was a bit of a brain dump of everything that has been going on in my mind over the last 11 weeks. I really want to get better at making this little blog more of a priority because I honestly feel so much but whenever I write here.

So bear with me friends. Continue to check out Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more updates... Oh and check out the pups in their new home. #ExPatDogs :) 

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