Settling into life in the Netherlands

I’ve been living in Eindhoven for nearly half a year already, and I’m stunned by how fast the time has flown: I guess I’ve been keeping busy!

Moving to any new town is always a big step, but of course changing country is bigger again. I found that it took me very little time to settle into practical aspects of life in Eindhoven — work, my flat, the supermarket. Of course, community and social aspects take a while longer. When I first arrived, I rather relished the concept of being utterly anonymous in this foreign town: no one knew me or expected anything of me (outside of work!), and that was quite liberating.

Had the situation stayed thus, I’m sure the joy of solitude would have turned into the emptiness of loneliness. But it didn’t, of course. I’ve found various friendship groups — obvious ones include colleagues, neighbours and expats, but I’ve also met people through my Dutch lessons, regular swims and a meditation group.

Nowadays, my time outside of work fills up easily. Weekends in particular get booked up very far in advance (it’s too easy to host visitors or explore interesting new cities). As a consequence, I’ve been appreciating my quiet evenings, when they do happen, very much indeed.

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