Hi Pieter, when did you arrive in the Netherlands?
We arrived in the Netherlands in October 2021. It was still the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, and we had quite an exciting flight experience, especially with our 11-month-old baby. When we arrived at our new home, we had some South African friends waiting with food and beverages in hand.
How did you experience the first few months in the Netherlands?
The first few months in the Netherlands were quite memorable for us. We had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people who made us feel welcome. While the weather may have been different from what we were used to, it was not as bad as some might think. We learned to adapt and appreciate the unique climate. My advice to anyone moving to the Netherlands is – Do not throw away your summer clothes, it gets very hot in the summer.
Does it feel like home?
Yes, it certainly does feel like home. We have embraced the Dutch way of life and culture. However, we still miss our family and friends from South Africa, which is a natural part of being far away from one’s place of origin. We made wonderful friends and experienced/saw things, that I thought I would never be able to.
Do you still live in the same house as in the beginning?
No, we were fortunate enough to have purchased a house. It’s been a significant step in making the Netherlands our long-term home.
How was it to learn the language? Was it easier or harder than expected?
Learning the Dutch language varied for each of us. My wife adapted quite quickly and became fluent, but for me, it took a bit longer. It’s always a challenge to learn a new language, but the Dutch people are generally very understanding and supportive, which made the process easier.
What do you miss most about South Africa?
What I miss the most about South Africa is, without a doubt, our family and friends.
What appeals to you most in the Netherlands?
What appeals to us most about the Netherlands are the high levels of safety, job security, and the bright future it offers for our children. The country’s stability and opportunities have made it an ideal place for our family to settle and thrive.