Nick de Beer
Hi Nick, when did you arrive in the Netherlands?
I arrived in the middle of summer in August 2019 and my partner joined a month later with our two fluffy cats. We went straight from the airport to pick up my ‘verblijfstitel’ from the IND. This was surprisingly done within 5 minutes, and we were on our way again. I saw how efficient and smooth the system worked here for the first time. When I arrived at my place, summit developers had already placed a crate of groceries to welcome us. They really did think of everything.
How did you experience the first few months in the Netherlands?
The first few months are always overwhelming to adjust to, as you have to get to know a lot from scratch again. However summit developers made it incredibly easy for us, and regularly checked in to make sure we are settled. The first few days were a haze, from driving on the opposite side of the road, to figuring out how the railway works, but once you get the hang of it, it’s smooth sailing.
Does it feel like home?
It took a while for it to feel like it, but we can now happily call this our home. This is something that keeps growing as we get to know the Netherlands better.
Do you still live in the same house as in the beginning?
Funnily enough, yes we were fortunate enough to have bought the same house we started out renting in the beginning. It’s a lovely area north of Barneveld, and we fell in love with the neighborhood from the start.
How was it to learn the language? Was it easier or harder than expected?
For us it was harder than expected, and it still is, but consistency is key in getting better. It took me a few months to adjust and get familiar enough with the language before it started feeling a bit more natural.
What do you miss most about South Africa?
We miss our family and friends most, along with the sunny climate, but we have made a nice group of friends here that keeps us busy. And you can braai anywhere, right? 😉
What appeals to you most in the Netherlands?
Culture is definitely on top, as it feels very similar to Afrikaans culture. Safety is also another big appeal, as being able to walk around and not look over your shoulder constantly is a huge relief.