Exactly 1 year ago today, my parents drove us to the airport and we said our goodbyes, as Roxy, the cat and I boarded our flight, and moved to Amsterdam. Due to the time zones and flying time, our 1 year anniversary of arriving in Amsterdam isn’t until tomorrow, but this is close enough.
In some ways, it doesn’t feel like we’ve lived here for a whole year. That sounds like such a long time. Of course, in that time, we have: spent 2 weeks back in the US, almost a whole week in the UK, 5 days in Rome, 4 days in Budapest, and 3 days in Brussels, plus visited Nijmegen, Den Helder, Maastricht, Rotterdam, Utrecht, and Haarlem, as well as drank beer at a monastery and visited a castle.
I’ve consumed countless Heinekens (it really does taste better here than it does in the US), developed a fondness for Trappist style beers, tried gluhwine, mixed Guinness with hard apple cider, and broken at least 2 glasses at bars.
I’ve pedaled my bike through the snow and the rain, as well as the occasional sunny day. I’ve almost been blown over by the gale-force winds that blow through the island we live on. We’ve BBQ’d in the park, consumed chocolate and waffles in Brussels, and wandered through several red light districts.
We’ve had our favorite Italian restaurant close, but we’ve discovered a place for great hamburgers, and one for authentic Mexican. I’ve strapped a small Christmas tree to the back of my bicycle, and eaten my fill of warm olieballen and stroopwaffles. I’ve also discovered the joy that is pannekoeken.
I feel like we’ve just barely scraped the surface of Amsterdam and Europe. We’re looking into buying a flat here, and plan on spending at least 4-5 more years here. If that time goes as fast as the past year has, we’ll be back in the US before we know it.