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Surviving My First Winter in Amsterdam

It's March! Thank God.

This is a picture my husband took of me last weekend when we spotted a tree with some blossoms on it in Vondelpark.

I didn't know a lot about The Netherlands before I moved here at the end of last summer, but one of the things I had heard was that the weather during the winter months was going to be horrible. As I started meeting new people and introducing myself as an Amsterdam newbie, almost everyone warned me to prepare myself for the impending doom that winter will bring. They warned that the sun will basically disappear to the point that a lot of people need to take a vitamin supplement to cope, that the wind and rain was going to be constant, and that I should just plan a vacation to a warmer country until it's over. As someone who already hates winter, this took my dread of the season to a new level.

Pretty much everything they warned me about lived up to the expectations. The sun started setting before 4pm and didn't rise again until well after 8am (thanks a lot, Central European Time Zone). This made the evenings drag on and the mornings sluggish. The few hours that the sun was actually up, it was usually hidden behind a thick covering of clouds that brought lots of unpredictable showers. We also had a series of bad storms that came back to back spanning over the entire month of February with horrible winds and rain that just never stopped. I wish I could say despite all that, I had an amazing winter, but I can't. I am very much a creature of the sun, so I find it hard to be motivated enough to get out and make plans, or do much of anything, when the weather is bad, especially since I have to walk pretty much everywhere I go. This coupled with the fact that not many people want to hire a photographer during the winter months anyway, has resulted in a lot of indoor time, a lot of anxiety, and just an overall sluggish feeling.

I don't know about anyone else, but getting through February always feels like the biggest hurdle to jump when waiting for spring, and now that we are past what I consider to be the worst time of the year, I already feel so much lighter. I've started seeing small signs of spring here and there, as buds start to form on the trees and small clusters of daffodils are popping up. To me, that is sign enough that we are through the worst of winter (knocks on every piece of wood around me) and are in the early stages of spring. I've been told that spring in The Netherlands makes up for the rest of the year here, and after surviving my first winter in Amsterdam, mainly from the warmth of my apartment and the occasional cafe, that news is music to my ears. I am more than ready to get out in nature and frolic through the tulip fields and hopefully start seeing the sun every once in a while.

Can't wait to start taking some more spring portraits!

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