Leaving The Netherlands: The Good And The Bad

Shockingly, some people actually leave this little gem of a country. Once you have left there are certain things you will see, do or eat that will flood you with nostalgia for the land of stroopwafel and windmills. This will probably make you think that leaving the Netherlands should never be an option. Here’s just 5 of the millions of reasons you’ll miss living in the Netherlands.

5 Things That’ll Make You Sad:

  1. Seeing a tulip- Ahh, the tulip. That symbol of Dutchness that signifies spring is coming. Every year the humble tulip graces the Dutch countryside, gardens, city centres… In fact, it’s actually pretty difficult to avoid tulips in the Netherlands. The first time you see a tulip on non-Dutch soil, your heart will ache with the memory of all the beautiful tulips from the Keukenhof to the market stalls.Leaving the Netherlands
  2. Riding a bike- Let’s face it, the Netherlands is the ideal place to ride a bike. The bike lanes, the storage, the traffic light system- riding a bike here is a doddle. So, when it comes to riding a bike in another country, you will be filled with a mixture of nostalgia for all the things Holland has that you don’t, and anger that the rest of the world hasn’t quite caught up to the super Dutch cycling infrastructure.
  3. Drinking Dutch beer- Dutch beer is cheap, tasty and available in most countries. But, as with the famous Irish stout Guinness, it just doesn’t taste the same when you’re not drinking it in its country of origin.
  4. Special dates in the Dutch calendar- King’s Day, Sinterklaas, Liberation Day, New Years… The Dutch certainly know how to party! When that time of year rolls around you’ll be seriously considering booking the next flight and joining in the festivities!
  5. Looking back at old photos (especially of pretty canals and buildings)- Let’s face it, the quintessential image of the Netherlands is a bridge over a canal, adorned by wonky, gabled houses, with a few bikes locked up being blocked by hundreds of tourists posing for a selfie. When you look back at your own version, you’ll miss living somewhere that is so pretty.

Leaving the Netherlands

5 Things That I Won’t miss when I leave the Netherlands:

Now we’ve established all those things that will make your heart ache with homesickness for the Netherlands, what about those things that aren’t quite so wonderful?? Yes, I’m going to say it- life in the Netherlands is not always perfect!

  1. Dutch bureaucracy- Ahh Dutch bureaucracy… that love of paperwork and rules that can make life (especially for expats) somewhat difficult at times.
  2. Dutch directness- Okay, maybe you enjoy being told things exactly as someone sees it. It can be refreshing. However, sometimes you don’t want to hear everyone’s opinion on your life choices or fashion sense. Sometimes the truth hurts, and things are better left unsaid!
  3. The fear of crossing a road- Dutch roads are a nightmare. The bikes, the trams, the pedestrians, the cars, the mopeds… everyone thinks that they are the most important and acts accordingly. Really, we all know bikes are king here, but it still doesn’t make navigating the traffic any easier.
  4. The food- Controversial, I know. But, Dutch food is not always great. Sure, there are some delicacies to be enjoyed here but you have to question the culinary taste of any country who loves pickled herring as much as the Dutch do.

    Hell No Netherlands Food!
  5. Actually, not many things! This list is really nit-picking. The Netherlands is actually a pretty great place to live and I guarantee that you will miss it if you ever leave!

What would you miss/not miss, if you were leaving the Netherlands? Let us know in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our Facebook group too!


  1. I would definitely miss the people there.
    They are super friendly and always greet you on the streets with a Hallo hoe gaat het? Or a nod of the head.
    Every time you visit family or friends you are welcomed with coffee and cake or vlaai. Heerlijk.

  2. I miss so many things about the Netherlands.
    Most of all my family, but lots of food items like the good bread, herring, eel, dutch shrimps, licorice, cookies and cheeses! I do buy it online but it’s not the same.
    Miss the gezelligheid, good public transportation and to many other things to mention.

  3. Dutch cheese, herring and the good infrastructure!! “Gezelligheid” is what you can bring in yourself, when you choose your friends wisely 🍷

  4. I won’t miss the aggressive driving style, the stupidity on the roads… and I’ve been in India too so used to some… I also won’t miss the traffic jams which are about as long as the country itself… and every morning. I won’t miss the total lack of nature. This must be the only country in the world where the main national park is an army training ground. The noise, the pollution, the overcrowdedness, but most of all the total lack of any socialness. Unlike most who replied here I was actually born in this country. I don’t base my opinion on a few months or even a few years. I’ve lived here for over 50 years.

    • Than you never have been in the real Netherlands, in Drenthe is a beautyful nationale park, and in Gelderland too, you only remain in the city ofcourse, you don’t see the poverty in Amerika, and the poort healthcare, the racisme, and the oppression of the real Americans, the Indians.


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