2014: A Dream Come True

Collage 2014

This year was a dream come true and full of planning, friends, work, goodbyes, hellos, and luggage. But most importantly, we made a long-time dream come true! We moved to Europe!! We found Amsterdam to be the best spot for us to settle for a while.

The Travel Bug

But I am getting ahead of myself. I mean, we had a life before Amsterdam too! At the beginning of February I went to New York City for the first time EVER! I took my brother on a bus from D.C. to N.Y.C. for the NFL Honors Awards. It was such a cool experience, and I hope he loved it too (I’m positive he did!).

Sam Brown

Later that month we met Samantha Brown at the Travel & Adventure Show in Washington, D.C. Between Samantha and Rick Steves, they inspire amazing travel! We saw Rick the year before and were excited to see Samantha since she wasn’t able to attend last year for the best possible reason. She was having twins! So, if you want inspiration, you should watch their shows. They make everywhere look like a dream.

Final Local Stops

We FINALLY went to the Highland County Maple Festival. Plans were in place each year and yet it never happened. There were really cool stops along the way and even a terrifying drive down a long, windy, narrow, muddy, slick road in the civic. I was pretty sure we’d end up in the small river below. Luckily, we made it out with only mud along the car as evidence of that scary moment in our lives.

Laurel Fork Sapsuckers

Laurel Fork Sapsuckers

Some girlfriends and I had an incredibly relaxing afternoon at the White Oak Lavender Farm. It’s so obvious when you are about to leave, how many things you haven’t done in your own neighborhood. I would go to this place over and over again if I still lived in Harrisonburg. It is beautiful and peaceful, and the owners are just lovely. I was a little sad the lavender was not in bloom, so I can only imagine how perfect it would be with purple blooms all over and the relaxing smell of lavender.

White Oak Lavender Farm


In August, Sean took his flight to Amsterdam and I followed two and a half weeks later. In those weeks, I finished working, packed up the apartment, lived with a friend, made new friends, and then said goodbye to Harrisonburg. In Front Royal, I don’t even remember what I did except a pedicure date with my mom. On my last day, my parents drove me to the airport with one of my brothers. I had knots in my stomach. I was so excited but could not imagine what my life would be like. And of course I couldn’t wait to see my husband!

Saying Goodbye to Friends

A New Life

I am so happy. So freaking happy. Amsterdam is amazing and we’ve made some cool friends and connections. Life is really normalizing now that we have a long term apartment, since Sean is working, and I’m looking for work. Holidays are a little strange, but not in a bad way. It’s more like we are starting fresh. Figuring out how we fit in the world and how we want to celebrate things. Being around a new language is challenging but keeps you thinking, and customs are a little different (three kiss-on-the-cheek greeting, tipping, etc). Everything takes a little getting used to, but we already feel like we have a support system here…and that is a HUGE relief.

178 Bottles, 1 Message

178 Bottles, 1 Message

What’s Next?

2015 has a lot to live up to. We already have one trip planned and a concert booked. But we have so many other ideas that we hope will pan out. Traveling a lot is a must do for 2015! We might take a bunch of weekend trip and couple longer trips. One day, it would be amazing if we could take an around-the-world trip! Most long-term goals are still in the works. I will tell you that one long-term goal is to see every continent. There are just endless possibilities to life! We’ve just started a new chapter and nobody knows what happens next.


I wanted to take a minute to thank those who read and share the blog! We love coming up with content and spending more time focusing what was is fun to do and what would make life easier if you knew about it. Connect with us however you’d like (lots of social buttons above). We’d love to hear your thoughts or comments on the blog or anything! Also, sign-up for our monthly newsletter where you’ll get information before anyone else! And it’s just a fun thing for us to connect with you.

Happy New Year to you all! Follow your dreams and follow your heart.


Jessica Cutrufello wearing a green floral dress, glasses and pink lipstick

Hi! I’m Jessica, an American who made Amsterdam her home in 2014. I share European gems through food and memorable experiences. Want to know more? Head to my about page or check out my YouTube channel.

Travel with us - Tuscany October 2022