We've been coming to Amsterdam as a family for years now. I first brought my husband here in the early years of our dating - he loved it immediately. Over the years we have stayed in hotels and later with family. While born Canadian I'm part Dutch although until recently not a citizen. It wasn't until two year ago when the Dutch government opened nationality to children born to Dutch mothers outside of Holland that I was allowed to be Dutch. My mother moved around a bit with me and while I never lived in Holland I came here frequently as a kid, Amsterdam was a convenient connecting city for flights between my mother's and my father's over summer holidays (one of the bonuses of coming from divorced parents I guess).
Anyway, arriving at Schiphol airport, walking outside I would always take a deep breath and feel at home.
A few years ago hubs and I started taking in earnest about leaving Toronto. We discussed many cities in Ontario, for many reasons Holland was a nice to do but a can't do. But still we kept talking about it and shared our desire with my family in Amsterdam who graciously offered us a place to stay while we got settled if we ever moved.
Fast forward a couple of years and it's the World Cup 2010 and Holland just placed second. For a lark I check the internet to see where us "latent Netherlanders" stand and lo and behold the legislation giving children of Dutch mother's outside Holland status has been approved and is just waiting for the Queen's official stamp. (children of Dutch father's born outside Netherlands were always given status) I begin the paperwork and it takes a year to get it all sorted and become a Dutch national. A year later my kids have their Dutch nationality too. We are all, save my dear hubby, dual citizens. A dream come true.
Fast forward another year, we've decided to move. A few things fell into place making the time time right. In two and a half months we sold the house, sold or gave away most of our stuff, put my business on hiatus and my husband quit his job to go back to consulting full time.
Today I'm writing this from Amsterdam. We aren't residents yet - there's of course paperwork that needs to be sorted for that to be official - but we are here, living at my families place and getting settled.
I've been asked by many if this is "forever". I don't know if anything really is but I know this is for keeps for as long as it feels right for us all. I know we are happy and as of yet there are no regrets.
Our new adventure is just beginning. We really can't wait to see whats in store.
Groetjes uit Nederland, tot de volgende keer!