As I write this, I am looking out of the office window at my new view (the Amsterdam Arena where the Dutch football team Ajax play). Everything is still brand new to me – I only recently moved in to my new apartment. However, it feels like ages ago that the initial conversations began about me moving to Amsterdam and to be honest they were so easy and uncomplicated that I can’t really remember exactly what prompted it to begin with. I do know that it was an easy conversation with Helena (my manager), Michael (Amsterdam Partner) and Dave (needs no introduction) which snow balled pretty quickly. Before I knew it, I was at my leaving party.
I left London a few weeks ago (mid-March) to start my new adventure and what an absolute whirlwind it has been. As you can imagine (and the international relocators can testify for this), any international move comes with copious amounts of life admin and that’s exactly what this past few weeks have been for me. This is in addition to looking for a house to live in; learning Dutch; figuring out what food to buy; converting from £ to €; starting work in a new office environment; and figuring out the tram, train and metro systems. Luckily for me I have had some amazing support and advice from staff at The SR Group - Lara, Scott, Sej, Amanda, Jen, Daniel B and Christos literally organised my life for me and gave me direction when all I could think of was how I would fit into Dutch clothes (average height for a woman is 5.6, I tried on some jeans here before and I thought it was some sort of joke looking at the spare material flapping under my foot). I bet they are all pleased that the phone calls and emails have reduced dramatically now…
Whilst life has felt like a bit of whirlwind, I have learnt a few things about myself which has been interesting. One of the things I’ve learnt is that with any move you have to give yourself a bit of a break, I was literally running around like a mad woman trying to get everything sorted in the first few days (I am a bit of an organised freak, I have lists for my lists). However, I realised quite quickly that it wasn’t getting me anywhere. I put down on paper the top 5 things to concentrate on and went from there (see…a list!). Now that I have a base that I call home I can really start to enjoy my new life and adapting to the culture – the Dutch are super relaxed (no joke intended), so I am really excited to get out and start mingling as well as having people over to stay…very excited about this.
I have already had a few nights out with the new team and I already feel like part of the family. I wouldn’t have expected anything less from an SRG office to be honest and I have been lucky enough to visit a few. My new team have been incredible throughout, it was so nice to immediately feel welcomed and included before my move had been made “SRG official”. I had at least one of them on the phone to me every day giving me advice on where to live, how to find a house, where to shop, what to do and dinner/drink offers galore! I checked in with Dave and Alex recently to let them know that I have survived my first two weeks here and Dave replied saying that he was pleased to hear from me, so it is nice to know I am being thought about. We are always up for visitors so feel free to pop in if you are passing, we would love to have you. I also feel like a relocation snob at the moment so if you have any questions on my move, feel free to give me a call!