Friday, March 05, 2010

Expat Experiences: Netherlands - Anne Galloway

My name is Anne Galloway and I’d like to share a small part of my story of becoming an expat for the first time in the hope that it can help and inspire other expat spouses. I am married with two children who were 10 and 7 when we had to move. I gave up a job I really enjoyed and took my kids away from their friends and all because of my husband’s work.

My husband moved to Holland in April 2006 and the children and I followed in the summer. The day after we arrived was the start of 2 weeks of thunder storms and non-stop rain – you might think that I’d be used to it coming from Scotland but honestly we don’t have that much rain!

We didn’t have too much trouble finding a house. My husband looked at a few and then I took the best piece of advice I was given which was to find a house within cycling distance of the school so this really limited our choice as there was not much available to rent in Bergen at that time. I didn’t see the house prior to moving in, apart from photos on the internet, but luckily I knew that I could trust my husband on that one! I have to say that the rental process was nothing like it is in the UK where there are very strict rules for renting out property. The letting agent wasn’t at all helpful and we were basically handed the keys and left to get on with it – the letting agent wasn’t interested in any questions/problems that we had with the property once we had the keys and with the owner living the other side of the world it caused a few problems especially when the heating or the cooker didn’t work and the water tank leaked!

We later approached the owner with an offer and now own the house that we were renting...

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Being in Utrecht where the average foreigner cam here for a Dutch partner, I have been lucky to avoid the issue of expat friends frequently coming and going. But that is certainly an issue with expat life. Great interview