It has been nearly 3 months since I left my small town in North Carolina and moved to the cool international city of Amsterdam. I honestly expected the move to be really hard, and for months leading up to it I was mentally preparing myself for my first time living abroad. A lot happened before I moved, I quit my newborn photography position, I planned my entire wedding and got married, I had to sell my car and a bunch of other crazy life events were going on right up until I got on my flight. When I finally got here, I immediately threw myself into as many social situations as possible, something very out of character for me as a natural introvert. Most of the people I was meeting were fellow expats, and almost all of them warned me that it will take a long time before I really start to feel at home here. I was trying to stay grounded and not get ahead of myself with all the excitement I was feeling about living in such a cool place, because I know myself, and I am a very sensitive and emotional person. I just knew the sadness was going to come because moving to a different country is hard, and I had been told, by myself and by everyone else, that this is going to be a really difficult adjustment. It's been 3 months, and I'm still waiting for that sadness to hit.
I hope that writing this blog post doesn't curse anything, but the past 3 months have been some of the best of my life. I know that moving here as a newly wed has A LOT to do with that, but I honestly can't complain about my life here in any aspect. Sure, I miss my family, but I already feel like I've taken a massive step in the right direction by leaving my small-town lifestyle for a more metropolitan one. Life in Amsterdam is more dynamic than what I'm use to, especially from a photographer's perspective because as far as picturesque cities go, Amsterdam is pretty high up there. There are canals, ivy covered walls, cute bridges, cozy cafes, wobbly buildings... I could go on and on about how absolutely stunning it is here, but I'll just attach some of my favorite pictures and let you be the judge.
I don't want to sugar-coat it too much, I've definitely cried a couple of times and had some culture-shock to overcome. The Dutch aren't exactly known for being the warmest of the European countries, and I mean that literally (it's so cold outside!) and in the sense of the people, but maybe that's just city life in general haha. I've also had to hustle harder than I ever have in the past. My fellow photographers and other entrepreneurs know that one's social network is a massive part of running a business, and when you have to leave everyone you've ever met behind you on a different continent, finding a new social network is a crucial, but daunting task, especially if you're shy like me. But the lifestyle in Amsterdam feels almost made for it. I have found making friends and meeting new people in Amsterdam to be easier than any other place I've moved to, and I've moved around quite a few times throughout my life.
Amsterdam is the largest city in The Netherlands, but despite that it is often said to feel like a village. And I know I've only been here a short period of time, but I already can speak to that statement and so far, I love Amsterdam. If I change my mind, I'll keep you guys updated ;)