Follow 

moving to europe

I Want to Ride My Bicycle. I Want to Ride My Bike.

Have you heard about the Dutch and their bicycles? I can assure you that is one stereotype that is 100% true. Dutch people ride bikes, be they 80 years old, 3 on the back of their mother’s bikes or like 9 months pregnant. There is even a story about the Germans stealing Dutch Bicycles during WW2.
What is not to love right, Holland is the perfect place for a leisurely bike ride. The country is almost completely flat and there are these great bike lanes, separated from the cars (Imagine that America) that makes getting around on a bike super convenient. Unfortunately, this posses a problem for me. The last time I was on a bicycle I was 16, so about 9 years ago. I went Mountain Biking with my first real boyfriend because I wanted to be impressive. I wasn’t. Since then, I have been a little scared to get on a bike, I have an innate sense of protection of my body from anything that could cause physhical pain. Plus, riding a bike in most states, Georgia included is terrifying. I mean you have to ride in the road, with the cars! Needless to say, I am slightly embarrassed by this fact and am afraid that I will be laughed at when I try in the Netherlands. I am sure there will be lots of falling down and scraped elbows. Not to mention, even when I was little, using the brakes was never something I was able to do effectively. And, I know there is that expression when you do something that you haven’t done in a long time it is like riding a bicycle. Well, that is a bunch of crap. You aren’t just instantly able to get back into it.
However, I really do like the idea of riding a bicycle. I always really wanted to be in the scene in Wedding Crasher where Rachel McAdams character is riding her bike serenely. She seems so carefree sans helmet. I picture being able to do this and what my bike will look like. It will be a lady bike of course, with a basket for flowers in the front and a saddle bag on the back for groceries. I am not too picky about color, I just want it to be feminine. I would ride it everywhere-to the City Center of Utrecht, around Lisse along the flower fields.,up to the coast. My bike and I will be inseparable, especially since I will not have a car for the first time in 10 years. If only I could get over myself and learn to ride. Do you think if there were more places to ride your bike in the States you would?

Section: 

Stereotypes and Ignorances

 People have all sorts of stereotypical ideas about other cultures: The French are rude, Germans are militant and direct, all Russians are mobsters, Americans have a crappy education system-Hey one of those is unfortunately true.  you get it, I don’t need to go on. Most of the time, these opinions are based on word of mouth or what we see on television. A lot of these stereotypes come from ignorance for other cultures norms.
It is my opinion that if you go to a place thinking that its people are a certain way, you will never be disappointed by lack of evidence. If you go with an open-mind you will be surprised about how most of the assumptions you had were wrong. When I met Loek’s friends for the first time, I was extremely nervous about what they thought about Americans, (Would they ask me about the Bush years? Would they think that I talked like the Jersey Shore cast? Yes, that show has even made it to The Netherlands.) I was arming myself for what stereotypes I would have to overcome, after all, I was an American.
Much to my relief, the only questions I was asked were about dining habits. I was asked if I ate pancakes everyday like the Americans on tv. To which I answered that I haven’t had a pancake in probably a year and that I live in the South so I eat a lot more waffles, because of Waffle House which is open 24 hours a day. (Man, am I going to miss the hashbrowns)They also asked me if in America it was polite to eat with a hand in your lap. That one threw me for a loop. They explained that was how Americans ate on tv. It wasn’t until later in the week that I realized that when I was eating my left hand in my lap. I noticed that everyone around me was eating with both their knife and fork and I was using only my fork unless I was cutting something. Hence the assumption that it is polite to put your hand in your lap. Because I can’t really put it too many other places.
As I live in The Netherlands, I am sure I will encounter many cultural differences. I will do my best to describe them to my readers not from a place of ignorance but from more of an anthropological study, it was one of my 9 majors in college (some habits die hard)
Do you believe stereotypes about other cultures or do you make your own opinions when you travel?

Section: 

Worry, Why Do I Let Myself Worry?

I don’t want come across as one of those people who don’t realize how truly blessed they are, you know, the ones who complain about the opportunities given to them that most people will never get to experience. That being said, moving to a completely different continent is proving to be more challenging than I could ever imagine. By nature I am a worrier. Seriously, it is the only thing about me that drives the fiancee nuts, (well, that and my constant planning, which comes hand in hand with being a worrier). Right now,here is what has me stressed. I am sure I share some of them with anyone about to embark on a big relocation. 

 Money: Let’s face it, money is almost always going to be an issue. I am worried about being let go from my current position because of all the rumors running rampant about me. ( I am not actually moving to Asia this summer, last I checked, The Netherlands is in Europe and I am not moving before October). I have to pay off some things before I move, I have to figure out what to do with my car. The exchange rate sucks for Americans, so even though I am saving lots of dollars, that doesn’t equate to lots of Euros. With the visa I am getting, it will be a few months until I can legally work and find a job. We will be living off of Loek’s salary and on a serious budget. While I realize that millions of people do this everyday, I have been basically supporting myself ever since I was 16, so having to rely on someone else is going to be tough for me. Add to that, trying to plan a wedding in Europe with plenty of notice so that friends and family from the US can be there without an income, is going to be tough.

Loneliness:  I am abnormally close to my mom. We currently live together, so that I can save money to move, we also work at the same company so we carpool together. Thankfully, we don’t work on the same floor because that would just be too much. I have never lived more than 4 hours by car from my mom. I have been to Europe more times without her though so maybe that will help me out a little. In addition to my mom, I am also super close with my half-sister who I full love and several cousins. I have a large and close knit family, many of whom, as much as I love them, will probably never make the plane ride over to see me.(wimps). I also have some great friends. I still talk to people from 1st grade and I made the wedding cakes for both of my best friends of the last 14 years (thats right Christy and Hayley, over half our lives). While I don’t get to see my friends as often as I would like, practically no one lives by me, it is comforting to know that we are mostly all still in the same state. I am worried that I won’t know where to meet people in Holland and Loek has the same problem I do, where everyone moved away after college. He also lives in a different town than any of his co-workers so they don’t hang out much outside of work. In the words of Paul Rudd’s character in one of my favorite movies ever, “I got to get some fucking friends”.

Other adjustments: Here are some of the changes that I am worried about with moving to a place that speaks a completely different language, and just does things differently- the Dutch are so logical! I am worried that I will not be able to cook the recipes that I have in my vast variety of cookbooks. I worry that I wont ever learn Dutch. That I won’t be able to find a job, that Loek will get tired of no longer having disposable income. That I will be seen as a tacky American. That Loek and I wont be compatible at living together,( he has never lived with a girl before). That there will be a problem with my visa. That my cat wont be able to come. That my mom wont be as close as Loek’s mom is to our future children. That no one will come to our wedding. That I won’t be able to sleep with it being sunny until 11pm during the summer. That I will be depressed with the cold and dark that comes with Winter. I know a lot of this is irrational, but I have already told you that I am a worrier.
How do you overcome your fears? This peach is open to suggestions!    

Section: 

Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How?

Welcome to my blog!  
The Who: My name is Kaitlin, I am in my mid twenties and newly engaged. I rock at jeopardy and I love beautiful things. I also have quite a snarky sense of humor, so you know if you are easily offended or you just don't like snark, this might not be the place for you. 
The What: This blog chronicles my journey; both preparing to move to Europe and the adjustments I will make after I am there. It is a way to keep my friends and family up to date on my life. As well as, a chance to make new friends. Drop me a line I would love to hear from you. 
The Where: Right now, I am based out of Atlanta, this fall I will be moving to Utrecht, Netherlands. Utrecht is the 4th largest city in the Netherlands. It has a beautiful city center, and most importantly, it is where my love is. 
The When: A month that ends in a -ber, that is all you are getting for now.
The Why: People have been asking why it is that I am moving there and he is not moving to the States. That's simple here are the reasons: Emigration to the States is tough for people in love. The Euro is stronger than the dollar. Loek can't drive a car and I don't particularly like it. I was an Art HIstory Major in College so where is better than Europe. I am obsessed with travel; as is Loek and most of where we want to explore is in Eurasia. So why is it called a Georgia Peach Abroad with the title being called Georgia Peach in Utrecht? Well, I was raised in Georgia and though I may not always like to admit it, I am a Southern Lady. 
The How: Loek built this blog for me so that is how you are getting content. As far as the whole how am I getting to move to Europe thing? You will just have to wait and read. 

Section: 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - moving to europe