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Embracing change: settling into my new life in Amsterdam

Settling into my new life


Whenever I move to a new city, I find myself swept up in a rush of excitement. The possibilities the new place offers seem endless: meeting new people, trying new food, exploring new attractions and learning new things. I compare this rush to a logarithmic curve (not to delve into math). The excitement keeps building up every day as new experiences come my way. I feel unstoppable, as if the world is at my feet and everything I desire is possible. It's a euphoria that feels endless… until it wanes.


Amsterdam was no exception. As days turned into weeks, the novelty began to wear off, and the city's charms became familiar comforts. I fell into a new routine, where the streets, attractions, food, and views became routine, almost ordinary. I was filled with new responsibilities and deadlines, and whenever I stopped, flashbacks of the life I left

behind started popping into my head, filling me with sadness and yearning for what it used to be. Is this what homesickness feels like?

settling into a new life in amsterdam

Loneliness would kick in at the most unpredictable moments. Grocery shopping was a reminder that they did not sell my favourite food here or that everything was in a foreign language that I hadn’t started learning. I felt like I didn’t belong. The culture plus the weather felt colder; the sunny days that welcomed me in late August were gone by

the time classes started. I opened Instagram to have a sense of familiarity, but it was all the opposite. It only showed that the friends and family I left behind have continued with their lives as if I were not thousands of kilometres away. How selfish of them to move on without me…


An exciting chance to create a new home


And then, suddenly, reality sets in — this wasn’t a vacation but my new life. A new path that I've chosen, where I was starting from zero to build up my new self. What looked like a cloudy day was a new reminder that I was in a new city creating new opportunities for myself. As I looked around, I realised that those around me shared the same mix of

uncertainty and anticipation. Together, we found solace in the common understanding that what initially seemed daunting was, in fact, an exhilarating chance to forge a new path.


Slowly, I started adapting and creating a new home that will become my safe place. I blended my country’s customs with those I encountered abroad, and I began to build a culture of my own. Tosties are now part of my everyday; the rainy days are now familiar, and ‘doei’ is now part of my vocabulary. The steadiness started to feel more comfortable and safe, and I began to find excitement and joy in the small details of my

everyday.


Best,

Valentina

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