Oh hello there! 

Welcome to Shmamsterdam,
a blog about moving across an ocean for love and figuring out life now that I'm here.

I'm Brittany, a girl from Minnesota with an affinity for exploring new places. Over the past ten years, I've made my home in Chicago, London, Seoul, Minneapolis, and now Amsterdam. This last move is different, however, as I have not moved for school, studying or a job. This time I've moved for love, with the hope that all the other pieces will eventually fall into place.

In 2011, while traveling in southeast Asia, I met this guy. He was half French, half Dutch and living in Amsterdam. Being that I was from Minnesota and about to start a two year Masters program, starting a transatlantic relationship was not the easiest decision to make. It was, however, the only one. 

We spent 26 months - some wonderful, many difficult - traveling back and forth and keeping Skype in business. I flew from Minnesota to Amsterdam on my January and summer breaks from school, and he traveled from Amsterdam to Minnesota for fall and spring trips. We showed each other around our stomping grounds, explored Lake Superior and the Dutch countryside, and took trips to France, Germany, South Dakota and Florida. Our relationship grew stronger and we planned for the future.

Finally, at the end of May, I walked across the graduation stage. The very next day, I stood next to my sister as she promised to spend the rest of her days with the love of her life, and it solidified that I wanted to do the same. So, I packed up my life and moved to Amsterdam in the middle of June.

Since my arrival in June 2013, I've experienced high points and low points, realized I'll never be truly Dutch, and finally acquired a Dutch social security number. While the topics of my posts will be varied, I wanted to create a space where I could recount my tales and hopefully provide some insight to others - whether it be about where you should go for a drink in Amsterdam, what you need to apply for a marriage license in the Netherlands, or why you should not buy fabric to cover your ottoman without thoroughly thinking it through.

So, here it goes! Welcome to Shmamsterdam.

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