Hello. My name is Stuart. I’m an accident-prone Englishman living in the Netherlands. “How accident-prone?” you might ask. Well, my whole move to the Netherlands back in 2001 was an accident. I’d not been planning to move to the Netherlands. I’d not even been planning to move out of England. I am an accidental expat in every meaning of the phrase. Basically, I applied for a job without realizing it was in another country (to be fair the job advertisement didn’t mention it either). I was surprised to learn that my job interview would be in Amsterdam but I went anyway, did the interview, got the job and three months later moved my whole life to the Netherlands. I had no idea what I was doing.
I’m happy to say that since then I have more or less worked out what I am doing (through a series of more accident-prone misadventures). I love living in the Netherlands. I’m now in my early forties. I’m married to a Dutch lady and we have two children (both of whom speak Dutch better than I ever will be able to, even the four year old).
I even still have the same job that brought me to the Netherlands. I work for Guerilla Games where I make computer games for a living. I’m also a blogger and cartoonist. I write the blog Invading Holland where I share all my crazy stories. Plus, you can find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
My name is Bailey Alexander and I sailed across the Atlantic, from Seattle to Gibraltar in 2002, with my husband and 2 papillons, Colette and Godot. We proceeded to live in Rome, Paris, Geneva, Malta, Venice, Amsterdam, Prague and Bucharest for 12 years before we settled down and bought a home in Piemonte, Italy. I love Italy and feel that Piemonte is the secret that needs to be told, nestled up against the Alps, producing wine, truffles, hazelnuts, Cheese and some of Italy’s finest products. I’m from Seattle so I love the industrious and productive nature of the Piemontese. I wrote a book about my adventure called “A European Odyssey; How a boxer’s daughter found grace” and am currently working on a follow up book about the Piemontese. I’m interviewing 12 local people who have touched my life and hope to have it published before the New Year. I am a Europhile but loved growing up in the United States. Life is an adventure and travel has proved a positive way to experience the beauty and diversity of the world in which we live.
Elizabeth Briel left the US in 2003 to explore the Asia-Pacific for 3 years before moving to the Mediterranean region, and became fascinated by Asia. She is in the process of immigrating to Hong Kong (year four of seven for Permanent Residency) and eventually Greece. Previous homes have included Australia, Cambodia, Thailand, Italy, France, Mainland China, and Korea.
Elizabeth works as artist-in-residence for an education foundation in Hong Kong, and has a studio in the city’s Creative Arts Centre for public projects. At the heart of her artwork are experiments with multiple layers of meaning in the interactions between material culture, text, language, and cultural collisions.You can find her work here: http://ebriel.com/aboutand on Twitter: @ArtMaterialistand Instagram: @ebrielart (personal artwork) and @ebrielstudio (public activities).
Hi I’m Rachel, an American who has lived in China since 2015. I’m currently based in Beijing, but lived in 2 others Chinese cities before that in the last 5 years. The people, culture, and city life in China are especially fascinating to me, and I enjoy sharing my travel experiences all around China and Asia on my travel brand Rachel Meets China.
Hi y’all! My name is Nina Tripp, I’ve been an expat here in Amsterdam for the past two years. I am originally from New Jersey, and I attended the university of South Carolina before moving to the Netherlands to pursue a masters degree in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Amsterdam in the fall of 2018. Since completing my masters degree I’ve been on my Dutch Orientation Year visa, using my time to figure out what I want to do next, job hunt, and walk dogs. In my spare time I am a digital and watercolor artist, a frequent reader of murder mysteries, and an avid cyclist. I currently live in the lovely area of de Baarsjes in Amsterdam West, where I spend a lot of time hanging out in cafes and lounging in the While I had plans to work for a tour boat company and find a job in the Netherlands that could make me a more permanent resident, the Covid-19 pandemic lead to a change of plans. I’ve decided to return to the US to pursue a career in human rights and refugee advocacy this September, so I’m currently making the most of the time I have left in my favorite city!
My name is Kirsten Waller and I’m a freelance writer/general communications professional, currently living and job-hunting in very picturesque East Anglia, where the main local features are a friendly accent, a distinct lack of hills and a preponderance of delicious ales and ciders. Given I live only 50 miles or so from where I was born, I’m something more of a repatriate than a current expat. I lived in the Netherlands from late 2018 until early 2020, having moved there with my long-term ex. Beforehand, I spent 13 years north of the border in Scotland (technically the same country, although I’d much rather it wasn’t), and now live in Norwich with my boyfriend, himself a current expat from Corsica. As such, I’m currently in the process of re-familiarising myself with my native county – whilst feeling a strong sense of longing for both previous countries of residence. It’s at times a strange emotional position to be in, but by no means an unwelcome one. I also helped work on the WeAreXpats project whilst I was living in NL, and can honestly say that the Expat Archive Centre is one of the kindest, most welcoming offices I’ve ever been lucky enough to enter. It will be rather fun to be on the other side of the exchange for a week…
Cassandra Neace is a writer, artist, and teacher from Tennessee, though she called Houston home for more than a decade. She just returned to the United States after teaching in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, for the 2019-2020 school year. She called the capital city home while working for the American School of Ulaanbaatar. This was her first experience living abroad, and those 10 months mark the longest stretch of time that she had ever been out of the country. She was motivated to finally make the move because she didn’t want to turn 40 without experiencing life in a completely different part of the world. While her time there was cut short by the pandemic, she is forever grateful that she didn’t put off having her grand adventure. It was so worth it.
Bula Vinaka! My name is Amerika Garcia Grewal and I live in Fiji! Fiji is an island nation with over 300 islands scattered across the 18th parallel, we’re about 2/3 of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand. It’s semitropical here, with daily temperatures in the low 20’s Celsius/ low 80s Fahrenheit. I’ve been living here since 2014, sadly, for the last 4 months my husband has been stuck in the US and is unable to join me. Daily life right now is a bit on the strange side as Fiji is Covid-contained; with no community spread schools have reopened and much business is back to normal, but the borders are still shut, repatriated citizens have to spend 14 days in government supervised quarantine.
In the next seven days I will be journeying across the island of Viti Levu, meeting up with Americans who are still in Fiji, as well as regular weekly activities like shopping, paying bills, and some volunteer activities. I’m also going to a dance performance over the weekend and meeting up with friends. I look forward to answering your questions about daily life and to sharing my experiences with you! You can find me on my own account at @amerikag if you’d like to follow me after this week.
My name is Stuart. That is to say, not really. My real name is Sjoerd, which is a Frisian name but since no-one is able to pronounce it, I become Stuart as soon as I am outside of the Netherlands. I am Dutch, despite the fact I was born in Hamburg (Germany).
I live in Belgium about 1 km from the French border and 1,5 km from the Luxembourgish border. But since my social life is based in Luxembourg, I consider myself to be living there and not so much in Belgium.
Before the health crisis I was a security agent in Luxembourg. Unfortunately, our clients were shops that had to close, so I lost my job. Before moving here, my wife and I worked as Service Delivery Managers at IBM in Poland, but since she found herself a great job opportunity here, we decided to relocate.
Before that, I worked for the Dutch Army for almost 20 years. During these years, I worked not only in the Netherlands, but I was also stationed in Germany. During my childhood I lived in the Netherlands, England, France and Belgium, so you can say I’ve been around.
My name is Amanda and I am British born. These days I call the Netherlands home. I have been living here since 2000, and have added Dutch nationality to my British one. I have three Dutch sons, and I am doing my best to tinge them with a good dollop of Britishness.
In a previous life I worked in the world of Human Resources (HR), helping new expats get settled in the Netherlands, or helping employees and their families prepare for a life in a far-flung remote location. It was in this role I learnt some expats are more expat than others.
I live life in a little piece of no man’s land situated somewhere between being a British immigrant and a local bona fide Dutch woman.