A Seven-Month Reflection

I totally meant to write this post at the six month mark, but the month of December completely got away from me as far as blogging goes. So, without further ado, here it is:

The view from our apartment in summer.
This Saturday, I will have officially spent seven months living in Amsterdam. I will have spent seven months living without a clothes dryer or a microwave. Seven months in an apartment with one (one!) tiny, built-in closet. Seven months without measuring cups or spoons. And seven months in a country that doesn't sell ingredients I had never thought twice about before, like corn syrup, baking soda, and monterey jack cheese, yet has a whole section devoted to black licorice.

No thank you.

For seven months I've dearly missed my family, my friends, and the countless delicious flavors of single serving yogurt cups. Oh yea, and I've spent an outrageous amount of money at the foreign food store to by some must-haves from home (would you believe that a box of graham crackers is €9 and Kraft macaroni & cheese nearly €4?).

I've also spent seven months turning a new apartment into a home, finding creative solutions to the lack of storage space and learning how to practice a more minimalistic lifestyle. I've spent seven months trying new recipes, new ingredients and new ways of cooking. I've spent seven months relying on my legs and my bicycle to get me just about everywhere I need to go. Seven months searching for a job and overcoming frustration to develop my patience. Seven months discovering a new city, experiencing a new culture, and making new friends. And did I mention that I've spent the last seven months living with a boy?

Our cozy home decorated for Christmas.
These first seven months have been quite the ride, not to mention quite the adjustment period. It's been difficult to be so far away from my family and friends, but thanks to strong relationships and modern technology, I am able to stay connected. And yes, it may be easy to rattle off the things that I miss about home in Minnesota, but I can just as easily rattle off the things I miss about the other homes I've made in Chicago and South Korea. Plus, I know that if I were to move back right now, I would have a whole new list of the things I miss about Amsterdam.

So, as I close this chapter of my first months in Amsterdam, I keep myself open to new experiences and will continue to adapt the best I can. I have a good feeling for my future here and am excited to see what it has in store. (Hopefully it includes a teaching position).

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