Sunday, September 10, 2023

I'm Moving to Amsterdam!

Two years ago I wrote a post I'm Moving to California and today I can hardly believe I'm writing I'm moving to Amsterdam! Although I found out seven weeks ago and will get on a plane in 18 days I cannot believe it is happening. In 1992 I went to Europe for the first time. My sister Rhonda was living there for a year through an exchange program with her employer and on the flight home my dream of working in Europe began. It may have taken me thirty years to fulfill that dream but in a few days, I will head to the Netherlands where I am starting a new role as Engagement Manager for ServiceNow. 

Why Amsterdam? I have been telling everyone at ServiceNow my story since I started here two years ago. I would have moved anywhere but Europe is the easiest for Americans without any language skills. When I accepted the job on the EMEA team they said I could live in any western or northern country within Europe. I considered London and Amsterdam and chose Amsterdam because it is located in the EU, has a great airport, only requires five years before you can apply for Dutch citizenship, and the government gives highly skilled employees a 30% discount on taxes. That is huge considering their tax rate is 52%! Plus, it is an uber-cool city with a very high quality of life.

This move has a few more complicated steps than my previous move from Minnesota to California

  1. Get a new job. I came to ServiceNow two years ago because I was looking for a company where I could transfer internationally. As an American, in order to stay in Europe longer than the 90 days allowed every 180 days you have to be sponsored by an employer. This is no small feat in this macro economy that has created tight hiring practices. But I set a goal to meet one or two new people every week and finally, someone said yes! 
  2. Apply for permanent residency in the Netherlands. ServiceNow hired a service to assist with the paperwork but I will say being organized and anal has helped with the process. I was so excited when I got the email last week that the Dutch government approved my application!
  3.  Secure housing. This will be my 7th move in 8 years and this has been by far the most challenging search for housing. Amsterdam is experiencing a significant housing shortage. I hired a broker, which is common in Amsterdam. She worked with me similar to how a real estate agent does in the States. In order to secure a rental you must attend viewings before applying so she was my "boots on the ground" as well as navigating the entire system in Dutch. I would attend these viewings via video which may not seem difficult but I am nine hours different than NL so they were between midnight and 6am! I burned both ends of the candle for a couple weeks before I was approved for a lovely flat near Oosterpark (see photos below). 
  4. Find a place to purge my stuff. My goal is to fly over with my best friend Briggs & Riley (aka carry-on) and two IKEA duffle bags thanks to my minimalism. Everything else in my current apartment has to go. I do not own much but the big stuff is what is hard to get rid of because I don't want to get rid of my bed until I no longer need it because sleeping on a hard floor at age 56 is no fun. 
  5. Say goodbye. I plan to write a post about my time in San Jose but in short, my time in California has been amazing. I have met some wonderful people who accepted me as a local and fell in love as well. But as I did with Minnesota I am not running away from a home as much as I am running toward a new one. 
  6. Take a deep breath and believe in yourself. This step was on my list for my previous move and it remains the same for this one. Of course, I am nervous but I am beyond excited as well. I simply focus on tackling one task at a time and soon I will find myself waking up on the other side of the world.
  7. Jump on an airplane that will take you to your new home. I am flying out September 29, or as the Europeans say "the 29th of September". 

Below are a few photos of my apartment and photos of Amsterdam that I am so excited to see in real life. Holy shit I am moving to Amsterdam! 

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I have a balcony!

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