Turning 30
Expat Life Journal

Turning 30

Group Shot!

I usually don’t believe in luck. I believe that you have to work for much of what you get out of life. But, there is no denying that since we have moved to Amsterdam that we have had some lucky breaks. From finding our apartment to making some great friends, sometimes it’s all in timing.

Sangria and food

Though we don’t normally get too personal on this blog, I’m going to try to start opening up a little bit more. Showing you more of what we are like and how we live. Which brings me to this past week. I turned 30. I’m not quite sure what that means. Many see it as a milestone of sorts, but I think you are as old as you feel.


As a kid and young adult, you have no clue what being an adult is all about. I think it means: Doing your best to keep up with the must-dos (work, taxes, insurance, birthdays, etc.) while trying to figure out how to do the want-tos (vacations, staying fit, learning, etc). But I think most adults just want to let loose. They want to dance, play games, and laugh. Simply, we all just want to be happy.

Candid Shots

This weekend, I was happy. I love sharing what I love, and in return it seems that I get love back. That’s how the world should work, right? I threw my birthday party in my home with most of the wonderful people I’ve met in the past nine months. I shared my favorite things, Brazilian Cheese Breads from Fat Pao, some chocolate cupcakes from Van Ness, and some wine from The Library. Sean and I whipped up some new recipes that people seemed to love, as well as recipes we knew we’d love. Mix that all together with a roof terrace, some sangria, and great friends and you have one awesome party.

Candid Shots

People who came to my party are from all over the world, and most did not know each other. It was one of those unintentional networking events where you don’t have to try too hard because people just want to be social. It’s great to meet new people, and I think some made some good connections. I like being that connector!

Birthday Quad

Because I find it so interesting how people meet one another and make friends, I’ll tell you how I met people. Warning, this is super random! One friend was an exchange student from high school who now lives nearby, I met one at an expat fair, two who are vendors (and now good friends!) at various markets and make delicious things, a couple I’ve met from Yelping around, a travel blogger who is sweeter than you can imagine, meetup groups, a wine shop, and my internship. How random is all of that? I love it. And these people are genuine friendly people of all sorts. Some like to party, some live a healthy lifestyle, and some are shy, and some are outgoing. But it all meshed. And I am thankful. So so thankful for these friendships.

Birthday Cupcakes

When I talk to people back home and they ask about life here, I feel like it almost sounds like I’m trying to hard to express how much I love it…and that it sounds insincere. It’s not. How can you not love a place where you favorite cupcake shop gives you a birthday cupcake when you order cupcakes for your friends? When part of your gift is one of your favorite foods? Or when people you’ve known less than a year somehow manage to give such thoughtful gifts and cards?


If you are thinking of embarking on a big move of your own and have questions for us, we are happy to answer. Of course, not everyone has the same experiences, but I just know that we feel very fortunate to have such a close group of friends in our new home. Sometimes you just need to shake life up a little bit and you get the most amazing rewards!

This is up there with one of the best birthdays ever. What was your best birthday?!

Turning 30 Pin

Expat Life with a Double Buggy


6 thoughts on “Turning 30

  1. Jessica, once again, thank you for inviting us. We had such a great time and these cupcakes – waaaay too perfect!

    1. So glad you came! Weren’t they just beautiful? 🙂 Your strawberry vanilla cake AND Chinese dumplings were absolutely delicious!

  2. I turned 30 when I was travelling in NZ and spent it with the eclectic mix of friends I had picked up while living in Auckland. It was fantastic, we had a plan to do a pub crawl to 30 pubs – of course, I think we only made it to about number 18 on the list! I love your description of how you met all your friends; in my experience, this is the perfect example of how it often works for expats. You don’t know where and when you are going to meet them but eventually you do make a group of friends. #expatlifelinky

    1. That was quite the plan! I think I’m glad you didn’t make it to 30 pubs 😉 Don’t you just love the variety of the kinds of friends you make when you start over?

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