Music fan Laura Beeby has dual Dutch and Canadian nationality and says she will miss decent public transport when she goes back to Canada later this year after 11 years.
How did you end up in the Netherlands?
I’m a music lover and my Dutchie is a musician; we met the 21st century way on a Yahoo forum for fans of the Hollies. He came to visit me in Canada in 2004, and since I had just been made redundant at my copywriting job and my son was moving away for college, I thought it was time for an adventure. Not being the biggest risk-taker in the world though, I found a supply teaching job in the UK as a plan B…then flew to the Netherlands to visit the Dutchie…and never left! We married in 2006.
How do you describe yourself – an expat, lovepat, immigrant, international, etc – and why?
Immigrant! I think the word has had an unnecessarily bad rap, personally.
How long do you plan to stay?
Actually I’m moving back to Canada by the end of the year and sponsoring Dutchie to follow. I’ve worked pretty steadily since 2005, but after a health-related break from 2012-2014, I discovered that there was little call for a 50+ monolingual with a CV gap. Times have really changed since I first moved here when all you needed was a degree and English fluency to qualify for a job. Time to return home where I have friends, family and hopefully more of chance. Maybe. Yes, I’m petrified!
Do you speak Dutch and how did you learn?
The inburgeringscursus basics, I’m afraid. Enough to get by. I’ve never stopped trying but oh well. If there’s one thing I wish I’d known before I moved here it is that it’s best to do it while you’re young, especially if you only speak English.
What’s your favourite Dutch food?
I make an awesome stamppot and I love rijsttafels.
What do you miss about back home?
My son. My parents. My friends. Real winters. Christmases. Perogies. Gravy on my fries!
How Dutch have you become?
Not very; I think I’ve become more British. I blame my Dutchie who isn’t very Dutch either!
What’s your top tourist tip?
Get out of Amsterdam!! So many other lovely cities to visit…Maastricht, Haarlem, Delft, Leiden, Rotterdam…etc!
Tell us something surprising you’ve found out about the Netherlands.
How much awesome pop music came from this country over the years. Golden Earring, Shocking Blue, Q65, The Outsiders, Cuby and the Blizzards, De Dijk…the list is endless.
If you had just 24 hours left in the Netherlands, what would you do?
Take a train trip… I will definitely miss decent public transport when I move back to Canada!
Laura Beeby writes the blog Canucky Woman
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