Over the years my husband and I had talked about taking a new contract abroad. We had always made travel a large part of our life and both girls were born in the Czech Republic while on a work contract there. We were interested in having the girls experience a different culture again and, frankly, Canada had become a bit predictable. Our oldest daughter was now 13 and we knew that our time with her was finite and would soon be reduced as her friends would inevitably become more and more important. We selfishly wanted to have her to ourselves for one more year. And, besides, we love Europe. What better way to show the girls the continent than to live on it?
When an offer came along for work for Ante in Amsterdam, we knew it was time. Not only were the girls the right age, but as luck would have it, some family members were between houses and were able to move into ours while we were away. Perfect. All we had to do was find a furnished place to live, pack up some clothes, and ship the dog. Couldn’t be easier.
Fate was tempted of course. Not only was finding an apartment very difficult but there were many problematic details that we had not foreseen: residence visas, bank accounts, insurance, school vacancies…and finding hockey ice in Amsterdam. Not to mention the comedy of shipping over poor Lola, our Labradoodle. And our daughters have still not forgiven us. Pulling them away from their friends at home and their beloved hockey teams was a lot harder than expected.
But we are here now and I have decided to do the expat thing and write a ‘blog’…what else does an unemployed expat do in an exotic foreign city (don’t answer that)?
Please read along if you like…I will be writing it anyway…