Seven reasons why the Netherlands is a great place to live

Oranje supporters orange hockeyOkay. We all go through bad patches and we all want to go home at some point because the health service/weather/food/beaches/television/football is better there.

But here are seven reasons to stay in the Netherlands

1. Holidays
While most civilized countries (looking at you, America) offer 20 days of holiday a year, the Dutch are serious about taking it. They have mysterious extra holidays called ATV days. They get compensation for working public holidays. See seven holidays in three months. They save for their holiday before retirement. If you don’t take a few weeks off every year, you’re not doing it right.

2. Travel
With all those vacation days, the Dutch travel. They pop over to Tunisia for a few days. Or head off to Thailand for a few weeks. They might own a vacation house in Italy or Estonia.

They have lots of weekends on the Wadden Islands. No-one works on Friday afternoon because they have all gone on a weekend break to Istanbul.

3. Honesty
Some call it rudeness, but the Dutch don’t pull any punches. If you want an honest answer, consult your Dutch friends. Just don’t expect it to be sugar coated. They will tell you straight that they don’t like your new coat or your boyfriend. They are also terribly proud of this Dutch trait, and not afraid to tell you that either.

4. No Overtime (unless you work for an international law firm)
Your boss is going to leave at 5pm and you’re expected to do so as well. Go home and enjoy that “work life balance” the Dutch are so serious about.

5. No long commuting
Speaking of work life balance, the Dutch think a commute longer than they can bike is unacceptable. Don’t live to far from the office and you’ll be home promptly at 5.30pm like the rest of your colleagues.

6. Dairy products
Hopefully you aren’t lactose intolerant or on some kind of diet. The Dutch know their way around dairy. Skip the cheese at the grocery store and find a real cheese shop. Try vla (it’s like delicious pudding and the vanilla version is like English custard) and all the varieties of yogurt. And try karnemelk if you’re brave, very brave.

7. Tolerance
Did you know marijuana is not actually legal in the Netherlands? The Dutch simply decided that rules against it were dumb. So they stopped enforcing them. Simple as that.

This article was first published on website Netherlands by Numbers.