It’s a common situation among expats: you arrive in a new country, get acquainted, embrace the culture, the people, the food. Then, before you know it, it’s time to move again!
Perhaps you have been through this, or you are about to go. If that were the case, what would you miss the most about the Netherlands? Here are some of the things that immediately sprung to mind 🇳🇱 :
1. Friendly hellos
If you’re new to the lowlands, chances are that you have crossed a stranger in the street and he or she has greeted you with a warm smile. You might’ve even got a wave or a full-on hallo/morgen. While it may seem strange at first for some people (depending on the culture you come from), it undoubtedly grows on you. I personally find it uplifting. Who wouldn’t miss such a friendly trait?
2. Strangers being helpful
Similar to how you’re likely to be greeted by a random person in the street, they can point also you in the right direction if you need it. Maybe you run into your neighbour and they will ask you about your life, where you’re from, the weather, your childhood traumas. In my experience, Dutch people like to talk! I wasn’t expecting that but it’s actually pretty nice. Taking that step from small talk to a real conversation makes you feel truly welcome.
3. No curtains
You are walking down a charming Dutch street full of the cutest houses, and you can’t help but have a peek inside. Who can blame you with those big inviting windows? If you didn’t grow up in this culture, it’s inevitable your eyes will wander.
That is the thing about not having curtains and owning a beautiful home in this country. The long and narrow living room that leads into the kitchen, which leads into a lovely back garden — it’s just too tempting to look! P.S. I am sorry if you have seen me spying through your window. 👀
4. Letters for everything
When I first moved to the land of bitterballen, I didn’t pay much attention to PostNL. I mean, I didn’t really know anybody, who would send me a letter? The answer is everyone apparently.
From receiving your BSN (Burgerservicenummer) to having a pediatric nurse at your doorstep (wait, what?). There is something special about waiting for the mailman in this hyper digitalised world we live in. Although, all that snail mail could have been easily been covered in an email — not so great for the environment. 😅
5. Beautiful summers
While the weather is obviously not the best asset of the land of windmills and tulips, it’s fair to say that the Dutch summer is very enjoyable. This is coming from someone who has spent the last few summers in Madrid, where temperatures can rocket to 40 degrees. I can safely say that a nice fresh, balmy summer in the Netherlands is exactly what I was craving. Even if you have to wear a sweater in the middle of July sometimes. 💁♂️
For all these reasons (and way more), I will definitely long for this land if I ever leave.
What would who miss about the Netherlands if you had to move away?
Feature Image: nikascorpionk/Depositphotos