“What makes expat life so addictive is that every boring or mundane activity you experience at home (like grocery shopping, commuting to work or picking up the dry cleaning) is, when you move to a foreign country, suddenly transformed into an exciting adventure. Try finding peanut butter in a Japanese grocery story or explaining in broken Spanish to the Guatemalan pharmacy that you need cough drops and you’ll understand. When abroad, boredom, routine and ‘normal’ cease to exist. And all that’s left is the thrill and challenge of uncertainty.”
– Reannon Muth
This is one of my favorite quotes. Nearly three years after moving to The Netherlands and this life is, still, exciting. I learn something new everyday. It can be anything from a Dutch word to an item I have never seen in the grocery store, a hidden gem in Rotterdam or another Dutch city, or even something about myself. I don't know anybody that would call expat life boring haha! From trying to keep up with social gatherings, work, play dates, dance classes and so on the expat life is 'druk', in English BUSY, and sometimes you need to hit the pause button to truly appreciate where you live and the people you surround yourself with. As an expat you tend to befriend other expats. You relate to them. You have that common ground. You get each other. I love that the expat community still, after cruise ships, allows me to surround myself with such a mix of cultures. I love hearing everyone's stories, learning about their families traditions and learning about where they are, originally, from. I have loved learning about people and cultures since I can remember. It's absolutely fascinating to me!
Barbara read about me via a Facebook post and contacted me for a family/maternity session with her husband Daniele and their daughter Maya. Barbara and Daniele opted for an indoor session, which I love as it's so convenient with a young child, as she is VERY pregnant and a little uncomfortable as the last few weeks near, I totally get it! Barbara, Daniele and Maya were so welcoming!
Barbara is originally from Bologna, Italy and Daniele is from Milan, Italy. Her and Daniele had been friends for years until she realized one day, while they were working in the same office, that there was something there beyond a friendship. He felt the same, they kissed and that's where Barbara and Daniele, the couple, began. So sweet, right?! They moved to The Netherlands for Daniele's work, he's an engineer, and Barbara is a Pilates teacher and welcomed beautiful Maya. She was singing to me in English and Italian and speaking to me in a mix of Italian and Dutch. Expat kiddos amaze me! She sang away, showed me her dolls and we built a tower as Barbara got ready. Maya is still a bit unsure about the whole new baby thing, I was the same when my mom was expecting my brother haha, but she is going to be an absolutely wonderful big sister! I know it!
Barbara, Daniele and Maya - thank you so much for welcoming me into your home. I loved chatting about life with you all! I cannot wait to hear about the new baby and how Maya is doing with her new role as big sister! She's going to be great! Enjoy xx
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