Expat Life

Our New Normal

When the thrill of moving to another country wears off a bit, you need to find ways to keep discovering new places and hoping you will stay in love with your new home. For us, just living a normal life is finally starting to happen. We hope to never lose the feeling of wonder in this city, but we do have to just live our lives too. So, our new normal is comforting and sometimes boring, but it’s just how we live. Here’s what is normal to us now…

Bikes and trams in Amsterdam


  • The ding of trams and the beep of the OV-chip card on the scanner
  • The sound of chains locking bikes and the click of the rear lock unlocking
  • The ring of the bike bells.
  • Biking as much as possible to avoid paying for public transit
  • Remembering to turn on your front and rear light on your bike

Food Collage


  • Grabbing some things in an Albert Heijn to-go in the train station
  • Being in the center and making a detour for our favorite Flemish Fries in a paper cone
  • Amazing appeltaart overflowing with apples
  • Heading to the grocery store every 2-3 days
  • Making a special trip to Spuistraat for cupcakes to try this month’s flavors
  • Running around in the center and grabbing some Wok to Walk asian goodness
  • Going to our favorite markets to try various foods

Amsterdam Flower Market


  • Actively looking for things to do and learn about
  • Being excited for bowling night
  • Attempting to read Dutch in various scenarios
  • Saying “English?”
  • Taking pictures for the blog
  • Paying attention to more so that we can share with you
  • Living without a dryer

It’s funny to think about what was normal to us just a few months ago and what we are used to now. Life changes and it’s so exciting! Think about what is normal to you right now and mix it up a bit just to see what it feels like. Have you moved to a new place and experienced a “new normal”?


Expat Life with a Double Buggy

3 thoughts on “Our New Normal

  1. Lovely to read your blog post on the Netherlands. I moved back to Netherlands after living abroad for nine years. Now having been back for almost two years, the Netherlands are starting to feel like home again, although some things still amaze me here, like the gigantic bike parks, or the shrivelled frikandellen in their hole in the wall. But I must say a biertje and some bitterballen and I am in heaven!

    1. It didn’t take long for it to feel like home for me. It’s was a surprising transition! Unfortunately I don’t drink bier…sad, I know. But I’m hoping to learn to like it 🙂 I do love my pofferjes though!

  2. Funny, I was just thinking of writing a blog post the other day about the end of routines and rituals in our home country… and wondering how long it would be until we’d established a whole load of new ones. I may still write that post if I get a chance, in the middle of our transition…

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