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Emily: 103 Weeks

In our InterNations Recommended Blog section we let you take the spotlight! Expat life in general is, of course, a perfect breeding ground for great, user-generated reads, and life in Amsterdam makes no exception. Take your time and browse the great blogs showcased in this article!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Amsterdam, etc.

It was not long ago in August 2011 that I moved to Amsterdam from Boston. A city not my original hometown, a little neighborhood near Los Angeles gets that honor, but a hometown nonetheless. Most localities that I live in long enough to be a regular at some cafe and know the best ways to get home receive this title. Amsterdam already holds a place on my hometown list.

When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?

I blogged before and knew this would be an opportune time to do it again. My blog started only a week after moving to Amsterdam, created not only to document experiences, but also to practice writing and photography on a regular basis.

Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?

My blog has three types of entries: a Mid-Week Moment, Weekend and End of the Week. Below are my favorites per type.

Tell us about the ways your new life in Amsterdam differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?

Cities in the States usually contain things that are generally bigger than in Amsterdam: bigger cars, bigger malls and bigger waist sizes. Where we win in size, we usually lose in height. Our physical statures are shorter - holidays as well - and attention spans similar. A sweeping generality, I know. These differences, however, do not take too much time to recognize; it is the smaller things from mannerisms to reactions and habits that can take months to observe. Anywhere is an adjustment, something I even experienced moving from one side of my country to the other and the willingness to learn and some degree of openness makes a culture shock feel more or like a rolling punch.

Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Amsterdam? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?

I knew what I knew and acted on it. Not a flawless journey in any fashion, however the imperfections instituted the journey’s particular character. Nothing would be changed in that instance - how I approached something similar in the future would.

Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?

Just read my blog and you’ll find a few. I promise.

Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Amsterdam?

  • Don’t overthink.
  • Edit your life’s possessions.
  • Enjoy the successes and frustrations.

How is the expat community in Amsterdam? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?

I met a lot of people and carried on with many empty conversations, simply on the fact that I did not know anyone. After a couple of months, actually in my case somewhere close to a year, I found that dependable friend group, which I can see evolving as I get to know the community better.

How would you summarize your expat life in Amsterdam in a single, catchy sentence?

Gezellig!

Salil Padmanabh

"At the InterNations events here in Amsterdam, I've come to know so many friendly expats. Both Indians and expatriates from other countries. "

Isabella Martinez

"For my little daughter I've been looking for a good language teacher who also speaks Spanish. I've finally found him on InterNations."

Global Expat Guide