Hi Johnathan, when did you arrive in the Netherlands?
I arrived in the Netherlands in November of 2019 and my wife came a month later.
How did you experience the first few months in the Netherlands?
The first few months were both exciting and challenging because everything was new but we had to learn to adapt. There was learning a new language, navigating a new country and experiencing another culture and also settling into your new job. But with the help from summit developers and the local group of South Africans it made the experience more fun and enjoyable.
Does it feel like home?
Every time we get asked this question by our friends and family back home, we can confidently say that it IS our home. It all depends on your mindset and what you make of it.
Do you still live in the same house as in the beginning?
No, we bought our first house here in 2021 after renting the apartment that summit developers found for us, for a year and a half.
How was it to learn the language? Was it easier or harder than expected?
It was definitely a bit harder than expected. Of course we have the advantage of reading and understanding Dutch above other languages thanks to Afrikaans, but I would also say that it was the reason making it more difficult as it was forcing you to unlearn things you would usually say/use in Afrikaans and then re-learn them in Dutch. What certainly helped us is that both my wife’s company and mine are completely Dutch. This forces you to use what you have learned and to apply it daily. This greatly improved our Dutch speaking skills, both in work and non-work environments within a short period of time.
What do you miss most about South Africa?
Weather is the first thing that jumps to mind. It is very unpredictable, for example, in a span of 2 weeks we had all 4 seasons including a full snow day and this was in spring…
What appeals to you most in the Netherlands?
The great work-life balance and ability to travel with ease.