If there is anything that life has taught me, it is that it constantly changes. The moment you lay back and get comfortable, life has a way of shaking things up. There are a few ways to look at change, and I suppose it depends on how you deal with it. Do you embrace it? Resist it? Either way you have to deal with it, life changes whether you want it to or not. Change is movement, and movement is life. Stagnation, the opposite of movement might as well be death. Personally, I love change because it means I am actively living, and even with fear or uncertainty present, I am moving forward. Change is a time to refresh, gain perspective and most importantly learn a few lessons, and while most lessons are hard, that is part of the journey. So where am I going with all of this?
Disenchanted with the “American Dream”, you all followed us on our journey to Sweden, where we were breaking out of the cycle to embark on a journey of self discovery, of experiencing life and what we want out of it. We spent 2 blissful months in Sweden…well maybe not entirely blissful, remember it was cold, and gray about 99% of the time we spent there. We learned, we adapted, and began to settle. It was now time to get down to business and figure out how we were going to earn a living, savings will only go so far. A major goal of ours was to become an active member of society and to earn a living our way. We wanted to use our passions to earn a living, something we enjoy doing, not just something we are good at. Outside of the cycle, out of the rat race, just real living.
After lots of research and a few sleepless nights, we came to the realization that we had better opportunities elsewhere in the EU. We made the tough decision to leave Sweden and make our way to The Netherlands. There we will be able to begin our own business, earning a living doing what we love and what we feel passionate about, all while having time to enjoy the life we are living, now. We packed our things, rented a car and made the drive from Sweden to the Netherlands. It was a trip planned for 9.5 hours, that turned into nearly 17 hours. Aside from the snow storms, traffic jams, detours, and getting lost more than once, it was a wonderful trip across Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Living in the Netherlands
It has been just over a month since our arrival in Rotterdam and a productive month it has been. In our first month of living here we have managed to get a get our business started, this means registrations, applications, business plans, contracts, etc have all been completed. We have settled nicely into a small apartment about a mile outside the city center. It is the perfect location, close to the city, while enjoying the benefits of living in a well established residential area. Just steps from our apartment is a wonderful park were Puppers can run free, off her leash and chase the ducks to her hearts content.
Within a short 5 minute walk we have a nice downtown area that is lined with every kind of store you can imagine. Most locally run shops, with goods such as meats, breads, cheeses, and produce. Mixed in are a variety of resturants and quaint cafes. In addition to this, there are grocery stores, and a mix of odds and ends shops, anything from party stores to bike shops. Should we feel like making a slightly longer walk, we can be at the city center within 25 minutes. We are just far enough outside the city to hear lots of birds in the morning, as well as kids as they make their way to school.
We have been hard at work towards permanent residency here in the EU, and the Netherlands has welcomed us with open arms. Everyone we have interacted with has been warm, friendly and helpful. Even the staff at the various government agencies we have had to navigate, have been patient and helpful with all the necessary paperwork and documents that go along with the process of not only residency, but also for beginning a business. This is why we have not been keeping up with our weekly posts here on thinkingbold.com. Now that we are back into our groove, we will be posting more and keeping you all updated on daily life here, lessons, insights and all the things that we feel passionate about.
Stay tuned for more posts coming more frequently. We have had a lot of experiences in the past few weeks and have much to say and share. Thank you for sticking around through our dry spell of creating new posts