The adventureAbout four years ago the adventure started: my wife and I moved to Moscow. She's Russian, so for her it was simply moving back home. But for me Moscow had been, still was, and still is, a completely different world. I loved it, I hated it, I loved it some more, and even had my 5 minutes of fame.
But then we wanted to leave, and we moved to Prague. Prague was nice (although not always), but we mainly traveled a lot.
We knew that Prague wasn't going to be forever, and most likely even not more than two years or so. So when Unilever announced they were going to move marketing personnel to Rotterdam, we knew we had only a few months left.
Going back home?Our move to Rotterdam was quite unusual. On our previous moves we used to pack our stuff and just go, having a place to live already waiting for us. This time, all of our stuff was packed for us, which was great, but we don't have a place of our own just yet. Unilever has been kind enough to arrange temporary accommodation for a month, after which we'll start renting (also temporarily), while searching for a flat to buy in the meantime.
All that's great, and being back in the Netherlands is nice too. So far we really like it in Rotterdam, we've had a great start, and we'll probably be here for many years to come.
But there's some big things that make it feel different than before. For one, Rotterdam is quite different from where I've lived before (in semi-rural Twente). It's still the Netherlands, though, so it's not "supposed" to be any different. I guess that's going to add up to my reverse culture shock.
Also, we have more financial freedom to properly explore the Netherlands, unlike last time. And we're going to be doing that a lot :) Because perhaps most importantly, already now I can tell the Netherlands is also not going to last forever.