Thursday, July 29, 2010

Life as a "European" is Good

Life right now is good.  I enjoy my job, my friends, my social life, and just about everything else.  I've always been saying that I like it here in The Netherlands, but I guess about 2-3 weeks ago, I came to the realization that I am really glad that I decided to move here.  It's amazing to see how different the world can be from what you are used to.  I don't think I have ever really been happy in the "comfort zone" I always have to be doing something new.

I'm not sure that I can pinpoint one exact thing or even things that makes me like it here, but I think it is a combination of everything and just the feeling that I have.  Even when I came home (see, I just said "home" there) from London a few weeks ago, I felt like "ah, I'm home."

I guess if I had to think of some things that make me like it here they would include:

  • The people
    • I feel like people here think similar to the way I think
    • They tell it like it is
    • Made some awesome friends already (still can't believe I've only known them for such a short period of time)
  • The atmosphere
    • You can walk and bike everywhere
    • Old buildings
    • Canals
    • No suburban sprawl
  • The location
    • I have the rest of Europe at my fingertips
    • I live so close to Amsterdam
    • I live in Haarlem
  • The feeling of being able to make it truly on my own
  • The language
    • Believe it or not, this one made the list!  Yes, I bitch and moan about it all the the time, but for as hard as it is to learn, I find it truly rewarding each time I recognize either by hearing or reading something that was unfamiliar to me even a couple days ago.
    • This is a true challenge that I vow to accomplish no matter what it takes.  I like challenges and this one is certainly the ultimate.  I think if I can do this, I can do just about anything else.
  • The train
    • It is awesome, there is nothing else to say.
  • Work life
    • Europeans value their home life more than there work life.  This is the way it should be and it is great that the people have control here and not the corporations.
    • 36 1/2 days of vacation!
Now, I don't want everyone in Pittsburgh (and everywhere else for that fact) to take this as I don't care about them anymore.  This is certainly not true!  I miss everyone like crazy.  I can't wait for the first person to come visit.  And if that doesn't happen, until I come home for Christmas.  I wish I could have the best of both worlds by having you all here with me, but unfortunately, that is not possible.  But know that I am thinking of you.

I'd like to close by saying I am so grateful for the opportunity that I had to come here and that I am looking forward to what other experiences and challenges it may bring.


Anonymous said...

Guess what, Nick? You have found yourself a new comfort zone and it sounds like you're very happy with it. Congratulations! Not everyone is so blessed and fulfilled.

Now, what are you doing about following Prince Charles' advice on learning a new language, hmmm?

Aunt Chris

Brad said...

36.5 days of vacation is a ton, but I guess after MHCI you're entitled to taking it a bit easy.