One Month Abroad

My routine two months ago:

On weekdays, I woke up at 6:30 am. That’s not true, I woke up at 6:53 after hitting snooze several times. I then showered,  had tea and scrambled out of the door to be at work by 8 am. My three and a half mile commute would likely take me at least a half an hour.  I would grumble at the various construction that threatened to make my journey even longer. After dusting that stress off, I started my work day at 8 am and usually ended at 6 pm. Though the hours were long, I loved my job– the fun days, the long days, and the tough days included.

After work, I’d drive home, and somehow that was an even longer commute for those same three and a half miles. I hated how congested Western Avenue was, but I knew that all my other options (Damen Avenue, I’m looking at you) would take even longer. I’d finally make it home, greet my darling husband and animals and then melt into the couch until dinner. Dinner we either cooked together, went out, or perhaps too frequently–we ordered in. Other nights I would meet up with friends after work, and we’d enjoy dinner, drinks and catching up with each other’s lives.

My weekends were always busy. On Saturdays, a long brunch with friends was ideal. Throw in bottomless mimosas and the day would be golden. If I wasn’t at brunch, I was reading something for school, or working on the never-ending task of organizing our second bedroom. That task was never completed, by the way. Weekends were busy with errands, friends, babysitting, and pretending to clean.  All of this was my routine.

Why did I share all of this boring information about my old day-to-day? Because even though falling into a routine can get a bad rap, you realize just how much you miss the old routine when you’re snapped out of it. I experienced that recently as I approached the end of my first month abroad. Living here has been great; there is so much to explore, see and do. Everything is new and interesting, but sometimes my soul longs for the old and familiar. I suppose that’s to be expected, and I won’t deny myself those feelings. When I feel a bit homesick, I call home to speak with my mom, Facetime with a friend, or I go out for a walk. Having my adorable little pooch here with me has helped a great deal also.

My new routine:

I don’t have one yet! But I can recap what I’ve done in my first month in the Netherlands:

  1. Registered to officially live here.
  2. Visited several towns and cities including: Almere,  Baarn, Utrecht, Nijmegen, Arnhem, and Amsterdam of course.
  3. Had my first Dutch job interview (new post coming about that!)
  4. Went to an Expat Fair and met lots of great people.
  5. Lost 6lbs! (and failed to start using metric)

All in all, it’s been a good first month filled with many new experiences. And many new unpronounceable Dutch words.


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