It feels like just yesterday I arrived in Amsterdam knowing not a soul and feeling alone. But with a little work and elbow grease (aka beer) I met some people and started to experience life in the city. Just as quickly as we’d met and said hello for the first time, one of my fellow expats has already said goodbye and gone back to the states. This got me thinking about the kinds of relationships I’m most likely to have this year.
With some effort it’s been relatively easy to meet people here in Amsterdam. I’ve found that most people – expats and locals – are friendly people and willing to help where they can. Fellow expats offer to help when and where possible. More so, I think, than if we were all in the US and just new people in a new city. It’s almost like a family where we share a common connection and all understand what the other is going through because we’ve been (or will be) in their shoes at some point. This is a very reassuring feeling.
But as we all move here many of us also leave. I guess I hadn’t really thought much about this up until I had to say goodbye last night. I realized that it’s going to be a year full of meeting new people, making new friends, and starting over again and again and I’m not quite sure how I feel about that. It makes Amsterdam seem more transient than I’d noticed before.
Fortunately I’m not left alone. I still have friends here and continue to meet new people. Even better, my new apartment which I move into next week, is just around the corner from a couple of those friends so if ever I feel lonely or alone I can walk past our neighborhood bar, across a canal, and to their doorstep. And that feels pretty good.