I have never been to Holland. It is a place that I have wanted to visit for some time after seeing pictures of its colorful and ornate buildings and the green, fresh looking landscapes. Today, we have a guest poster who currently lives in Holland! Jen from Expat Lingo has kindly agreed to share with us about her home (for the moment),Utrecht, Holland!
Expat Lingo is one of my favorite blogs. Jens’ humor and realness about expat life are always a welcome sight in my email inbox. Please make sure to check out her fantastic site and subscribe to her blog! And now, here’s Jen!
Don’t come to Utrecht. It’s in the heart of the Netherlands, but no one has heard of this place.
I shouldn’t even be here. I should still be in Hong Kong watching the slow erosion of former freedoms. Either that or in glam Shanghai breathing thick grey air and being intoxicated by neon.
I didn’t want to live in Holland. I dug my feet in and resisted.
And yet here I am. In Utrecht. A city thirty minutes from Amsterdam. A city whose railway station is linked to the country’s largest, and perhaps most depressing, shopping mall.
But I like it. I really like it.
Cycling around the city feels like flying.
Wandering through the large, historic, canaled core is enchanting. (And unbelievably nearly tourist free … shhhhh!)
Running through the city’s surrounding green space makes my heart sing. I almost have to close my eyes from the beauty of the green leaves in the summer and the brightness of the yellow leaves in the autumn.
The locals are nice. Perhaps the friendliest I’ve known in my expat wanderings. (This was the most unexpected.)
I have even been inspired to study Dutch, a language that might be considered “niche” at best and “unnecessary” at worst. I am studying it intensively. Really. For no good reason, except to be friendly (and to read my mail).
I’m glad I said yes.
My lungs are glad too.
Thank you again to Jen at Expat Lingo! Now I want to go to Holland even more! These pictures are amazing!
Now it’s your turn! What would you like to know about Utrecht? Have you ever balked at moving somewhere, only to be surprised by how much you liked the new place? What surprised you about the place that you live now? Leave a comment and join in the conversation!