Netherlands

Winter Day Trip to Scheveningen + Madurodam — Den Haag

Winter Day Trip to Scheveningen + Madurodam -- Den Haag

Like most humans, I only make totally rational decisions 100% of the time.

So when this particular day was forecasted to be one of the coldest days in winter 2017 thus far, Simon and I decided it would be the perfect time to… go to the beach.

You know. Like you do.

Now, in my defense, I’ve lived in the Netherlands for over two years now, and I had yet to visit the beach here even once. In fact, though I’d hopped in or on my fair share of planes, trains, and automobiles in the past couple of years, I hadn’t been to the sea at all since Barcelona in September 2014.

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A Foreigner’s Guide to Baking in the Netherlands

Baking in the Netherlands

There are a lot of challenges one must tackle when moving abroad. My life in the Netherlands comes with its own specific set, like trying not to get run over by bicycles, or eating a stroopwafel without half of it ending up in my hair.

Also on the list? Baking.

And no — I’m not talking about getting stoned. (Go on, get all those Dutch marijuana jokes out of your system right now. I’ll wait.)

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My Second Year in the Netherlands

My Second Year in the Netherlands -- Em Dashed

Yes friends, it’s time again for the official, rarely-imitated-so-accordingly-rarely-duplicated annual check-up. Actually, it was time a few weeks ago, but I mean: what is time, really? Think about that for a minute.

Anyway, I moved to the Netherlands back in September of 2014, which means we’ve just celebrated our second anniversary. (Gefeliciteerd, Nederland!) Let’s take a look at how things went this past year.

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Summer 2016 Wrap-Up

Summer Wrap-Up: Netherlands + Minnesota -- Em Dashed

This past “summer” in the Netherlands was pretty much what I’ve come to expect after two years.

It was cold. It was cloudy. It was wet. I grumbled and pouted and questioned nearly every day why I had chosen to live in such a godforsaken place, which I can only assume means I should get my Dutch passport in the mail any day now. (“Je bent één van ons. Veel sterkte.”)

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“Going Home” When You Live Abroad

Going Home When You Live Abroad

When you’ve been living abroad for as long as I have, the idea of “going home” starts to become a bit fuzzy.

Though I use the word frequently — both to refer to my apartment here in Dedemsvaart, and my hometown of Minneapolis — if someone were to straight up ask me what I consider home, I wouldn’t be able to answer. At least, not in the traditional sense.

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Besides Amsterdam: Travelers Share Their Favorite Dutch Spots

Favorite Dutch Spots

It goes without saying that, for many countries, the capital city is the star of the show.

But until I moved to the Netherlands, I didn’t realize the extent to which Amsterdam steals the spotlight from everywhere else. The amount of people who assume I live there is kind of staggering. (In case you’re new around here: I definitely don’t.)

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28 Fun Facts About Dutch Life

Observations on Dutch Life

On Sunday, the first of May, I will turn 28. This will be the second birthday I’ve spent here in the Netherlands, and the sixth that I’ve spent abroad. In what is perhaps an odd personality twist (given how much I like celebrating certain other holidays), I’m not really that into my birthday — aside from using it as an excuse for a night out and/or to eat a tower of bitterballen, anyway.

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The 2016 I Am Expat Fair — Amsterdam

2016 I Am Expat Fair Amsterdam

Though I am rapidly approaching my 28th birthday and can remember to change my sheets on an (almost) weekly basis, there are a few “not a girl, not yet a women”-era traits I find myself clinging to. Holdovers from the university and backpacking years of my late teens and early twenties that I just can’t seem to shake (not that I’m trying all that hard). One of these is a magnetic attraction to anything “free.”

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The Glories of Dutch Junk Food

Dutch Junk Food

I am aware there are many, many things that people Do Not Understand about my home country, the United States. Some of them I can explain (tax rates are different everywhere! that’s why we add the tax at point of sale and don’t include it in listed prices!); some of them I can’t (but that’s a post for another time).

Somewhere in the middle, there are things that I “get,” myself, but can’t seem to articulate to people from other countries. King among these is the American art of terrible, terrible junk food.

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How I Wound Up in the Netherlands

How I Wound Up in the Netherlands

As a foreigner in the Netherlands, I’m asked quite frequently what I think of this country — often by people who don’t seem to like it all that much themselves.

In fact, the question I probably get more than any other is, “Why would you want to live here?” (Usually accompanied by a raised eyebrow and that generally unimpressed tone the Dutch have when they speak in English.)

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