How We Became Expats

Amsterdam Canal Houses


I kept having this nagging feeling that this blog never did a good job at having a back story as to how we became expats. So here is our story:

To understand our move in 2014, let’s go back to 2010. We made the decision to move abroad to the U.K., but the plan fell through. You know how sometimes you just know things happen for a reason? Well, about a month after we didn’t end up leaving, we knew that it wasn’t the right time and that we were going to find another way. We took a two week trip to Europe in 2013 visiting Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Ghent and Bruges. Amsterdam quickly captured our hearts and we fell in love with the city. It also happens to be a city with a lot of work opportunities for Sean and they speak English as a second language.


Cutrufellos in Copenhagen

Cutrufellos in Copenhagen


We found our way to Europe through Sean and his family lineage. Simply put, he has a right to Italian citizenship through his great grandfather. What better way to get to Europe than to be a citizen of a European Union nation? I can’t think of any! So, after many years, he got his Italian passport and we started our planning.


Packed Car


In August of 2014, we packed up the car with two large suitcases, two carry-ons, a guitar, and a bike-in-a-box and headed to the airport. Sean went ahead to start getting a feel for things and to interview for a few jobs. And at the start of September, I shipped over six boxes, and got on a plane and met Sean at the airport.


London Underground


Since we have been in the Netherlands we have taken a train to London, England and to Cologne, Germany. Sean has been working at his new job and I have applied for residency. I’m not going to lie to you and say it was the easiest thing to move to another country. But it certainly wasn’t as difficult as I had imagined.


Amsterdam Markets

Amsterdam Markets

Life is so different here. We enjoy going to various markets and finding delicious foods and drinks. We love going bowling with the expat group from, Sean enjoys his Sunday night bar nights with a fellow American to watch football, and I enjoy meeting up with my Indonesian friend for breakfast or lunch each month. It’s the little things. We already have some travel plans for 2015, and you’ll read more about those later. I can tell you that trains will be involved because I love trains!

I am excited for 2015 because of traveling, making more friends, maybe going to a conference, growing the blog, and experience all that life has to give. The lesson of 2014, if you want something, work really hard and it might just happen! And it is never too late to pursue your dreams. So, let 2015 inspire you to work toward something that is important to you!


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