The happiness of living abroad always comes with a lot of other supplements, which could be life in rented whole house or shared room, with boyfriend in love or in a lonely misery, with nice neighbours or with annoying loud partying neighbours etc.
When i was first offered a job contract in The Netherlands 6 years ago I thought, well, if any country but then why Holland? I was living happily in England then, got my first mortgaged property, developing my garden and basically enjoying my life, but unfortunately there was no jobs in industry applicable to my cv in Birmingham. I thought to myself instead of taking train every morning for an hour to work in London its easier to fly to Amsterdam in 50 min, ok I will relocate and see what happends. Although my manager did warned me that after 3 months relocation I will be really staying in The Netherlands , as long as the company keeps the client, as long as i do my best to service the client and perform to keep the contract.
I am originally from Latvia, so nothing really seemed so alien in The Netherlans, similar weather conditions, similar eating patterns ( apart from a lot of deep fried food with mayoneze in Holland, Latvians eat more fresh and home cooked ). I have lived in Leiden for about a year as that was the biggest town near my working office. Leiden is very beautiful, a small Amsterdam type, but for a single foreigner it seemed little boring. The city is more for local families , happy couples holding hands and students and an emigrant could feel quite an outsider at a times. then i wanted a bigger scenery and moved to Amsterdam, rented a room from Dutch gay female, the appartment was pretty close to back of Vondelpark and i loved it, but there was a control freak situation in the house a bit, so i moved again after a year closer to city centre and rented 6m2 room from a Surinamese landlord by Rivierenbuurt in Amsterdam. Very much enjoyed the neighbourhood ( lots of coffeeshops just across the street, Rialto cinema, Albert Kuyp street)but obviously the small room was killing me with claustrophobia feeling and twice inbrake in my car parked in Amstel business park was expensive repair. Then finally I changed jobs and ended up in Rotterdam. Must say the Dutch way of working in business environment is very stresfull and under pressure. I was surprised about the amount of young Dutch people with burnout problem.
Latvians i think dont know what that means. haha
All in all living around a bit in The Netherlands i can compare the cities, people and environment. I cant say im unhappy in The Netherlands, but, yes, after living 15 years in UK i find Dutch people not so friendly and smily. Some of the neighbours i had were overcontrolling and really managing my life in a way. All seems so regulated here, obviously where i come from you can just pick up a train after work and go to lake to swim or walk in the woods. Dutch very much watch everything, some of the situations early morning on train could be aggressive, fighting for seats, removing bags from seats with angry look or spreading their extra long legs over your nose. Its rather funny adrenaline wasout. In UK it is more relaxed. And again at my age single female emigrating will always be difficult, not easy to meet new real friends, but ever so easy to join any dating parties, swinger clubs etc. Joking. The freedom is definetely here, but the struggle with high volume of emigrants definetely turns some people away. The language is the first thing you need to learn, otherwise no way of survival, job agencies dont really wanna know, only Booking.com . I do speak Dutch ok, considering that i never had proper language lesson, only 17 by private teacher in Leiden. I am pretty close to airport, so no problem to fly in 2 hours to Latvia or in 50 min to UK. So, all good. The food and Dutch diners are not for me, but I cook the same Latvian food as at home, you can buy everything nowadays and Indonesian, Javanese, Vietnamese food is all over here. Not so fond of flat Dutch nature, im more valley and mountain person, but lots of water and canals here. People ask me, are you gona stay in The Netherlands forever? Is that a dream country you want to retire at? Not a clue. Will see. Emigrant has to work always harder and develop more then when you are local born Dutch person. So it is. The Dutch directness in UK is called rude, but hey, i also should smile more then i do. Hormonal problem? haha