Moving to the Netherlands FAQs


In four days, I’m starting my new adventure. It still doesn’t seem real, probably because I have yet to start packing up my life or even make a list of everything that I need to bring with me. Note-to-self: do not forget adapters – your hairdryer & curling irons will not work without them! Over the last few weeks, a lot of people have taken an interest in this ‘huge life decision’ I am making. I have lost count of the times I’ve heard how ‘brave’ I am to give up my job and venture into the unknown all on my lonesome. If doing what makes me happy is brave, then I am feeling very brave & courageous right now! The same questions have been asked over and over, so I thought I would answer them in a post so I can just direct people here when I don’t want to repeat myself anymore (Just kidding. Kinda…)


1) Why are you moving to the Netherlands?
I lived in the Netherlands from September to December 2013 while studying for my Masters Degree. I studied in the city of Utrecht and I fell head over heels in love with the country and culture. As soon as I left, I knew that I wanted to return. I have this very innate Gemini-habit of wishing & dreaming but never doing. I believe that often the idea is far better than the outcome. However, I am at a point in my life where I have nothing to hold me back. I have no ties. I’m not in a relationship. I was in a job that I wasn’t passionate about. My house rental lease was up at the end of August. There are so many things I want to experience before I’m 30, and turn into a real grown up!! It is now or never!

A few posts that led me to this decision:
Making Changes
Nourishing My Soul
Life is Short. Do the Stuff That Matters to YOU
I’m Moving Country!!

2) Who are you moving with?
Me, myself and I 🙂

3) Where will you be living?
I’m hoping to base myself in Amsterdam, but I have friends and ‘surrogate family’ in Utrecht to put up with me for a bit while I get myself set up.

4) Do you speak Dutch?
Ik spreek sen beetle nederlands. Very, very basic Dutch. But I’m hoping to enrol in a Dutch language course once I arrive. This is the first year in my life I am not going back to school/university in September, so I’m looking at this as my reason to study this year!

5) When are you returning home (to Ireland)?
Who knows! I may be back in 3 months, I could be back in a year. I might even decide to move to  another country completely after a while. That’s the beauty of it all. I have no real plan. I feel more at home on the continent than I do in Ireland right now, so we shall have to wait and see.

6) Do you have a job lined up?
Nope, but that’s a minor detail! In an ideal world, I wouldn’t work at all. I would take a year to immerse myself in culture, travel around all the old cities of Europe soaking up history & art, learning the languages and customs of the countries I visit. But in reality, I know I will need some sort of employment to support myself. I can’t decide whether I’d like to just work in a bar for a while or actually do something grown up with my degrees.

7) Be honest, are  you moving for love?
Yes. A love of the country (please reread question one!!)

8) How are the moving preparations going?
As organised as I like to think I am, I am approaching this move far too casually for my liking. In short, the answer is that the preparations aren’t ‘going’ because they haven’t really started. I was in a bit of a panic last week when I discovered that I could not find my passport anywhere, but as soon as I found it (in a handbag I used for my graduation in June!!), all panic subsided and I returned to my initial assumption that I would start packing the evening before my flight. On second thought, maybe I should write a list or something….

9) What are you most looking forward to about the move?
EVERYTHING! I am looking forward to cycling everywhere again, strolling down the lit canals at night, hearing natives at the market selling bunches of flowers for ‘vijf euro’, the feeling of accomplishment after having my first coherent conversation in Dutch, meeting new people from all over the world, exploring, the handsome Dutch men, stroopwafels… there is just so much to look forward to!

10) What are you nervous/afraid of?
I’m not nervous or afraid about anything at the moment. I envision that finding a place to live and some sort of a job to support myself being initially very stressful. From what I’ve seen so far, rent is expensive in the Dam. On a positive note, I have a place to lay may head while I am searching so I will not be homeless, but I don’t want to overstay my welcome!


I will do a Q&A on the logistics of moving to the Netherlands once I’m settled over there for any aspiring expats 🙂 But for now, I hope the above answered some of the basic questions  on why I am moving (back!) to the Netherlands.





10 thoughts on “Moving to the Netherlands FAQs

    • I’ve never really thought of myself as a free spirit, but I am taking a chance and I’m sooo excited 🙂 This time 4 days I’ll almost have one whole day down in Amsterdam!!

  1. I am so excited for you and uber jealous!! I would love to be taking that leap right now! You are going to have such an amazing time I know it. xxx

    • Thanks so much Maria 🙂 I am learning SO much from your posts – your Dutch is WAY better than mine, but I can’t wait to try immerse myself in the language & culture as much as possible when I get there!! Xx

      • Aw bless you! I’m finding that i just waste so much time with my head in a book! You’ll come on in leaps and bounds whilst your other there!! By christmas you’ll be fluent i don’t doubt it!!
        Cant wait to hear about your time there!! xxx

  2. Welcome back to Holland, Charlene! The best of luck to you on this new go-round. I share your enthusiasm for the place.

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