11 December 2009

Adventures Of A Dutch Girl

Born and raised in The Netherlands, I left windmills, wooden shoes, and tulips behind in 2006 to follow my heart to the United States. It led me to Olympia, located at the tip of Puget Sound in the beautiful state of Washington, and the 24th wettest city in the nation. My Olympic Adventure has been my greatest adventure yet. I moved halfway across the globe after a two-week courtship, married the love of my life and became the mother of Lola, the most enchanting girl I have ever met.

It hasn’t been all moonlight and roses. My pursuit of the American Dream didn’t quite work out the way I had imagined. Surprisingly, potential American employers were not all that impressed by my Dutch employers and experience, and it did not rain as many job offers as I had hoped. Not one, to be exact. And when Ryan ended up without a job, and the economy went to pieces, stress levels in our household went up a bit.

This did not keep us from stubbornly proceeding with our plans to build a home. We built a small but very charming barn in our backyard. Unfortunately we ran out of money before it was done. That did not stop us either. We simply rented out the house, and moved into the barn, finished or not. We had no windows, no stairs, no bathroom, and no running water. We didn’t mind roughing it, because we were convinced our persistence would pay off and one of us, if not both, would find a proper job and all would be well. And in the meantime, we were building character.

Interesting decisions and not very wise ones, in hindsight. We were not rewarded for our perseverance. Although we did find work locally, it was not enough to turn my Olympic Adventure into a success story. Because both of us have family there, we expanded our job search to include Wisconsin. Within two months I found a job as a marketing manager, and things are looking good for Ryan as well. In the Northwoods no less, where marketing and sales jobs are few and far between. I think the universe is telling us something.

Having been a city girl all my life, I cherished the rural feel of Olympia’s Westside. I loved pretending to live the country life, with city benefits. It was just us on forty acres of land. One acre was ours, the rest was a nature reserve. The nearest supermarket was a mere five minutes away, and good lattes were readily available. In the Northwoods I have to pretend no more, it really is the country. No yoga classes, no bead stores, no fancy bakeries. My Northwoods Adventure might just surpass all my other adventures.

All this drama does have an upside; it makes for good blog copy. (It would have been great copy if I hadn’t edited myself. Not everything needs to be on the world wide web for all eternity, after all. I have to save something for the book.) Because let’s face it, Happily Ever After is just plain boring.

I want to be boring now. At least for a little while.

Back to The Dutch Girl's Adventures


Colleen Brown said...

Hi Hanneke! Loved reading your story above. I am a transplant from Australia married to an American so can totally relate! Good luck on your adventures and I'm glad I saw your link on "Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest".

Cheers for now!

Kim said...

Indeed, everything need not be blogged about. What a charming and funny story. I like your spirit, even if you aren't often rewarded for it!

Linda said...

Good Morning. I am coming to you by way of SITS.
Your story is a good one. I enjoyed reading it. Have a good day.

Jessica Olland said...

Hi Hannes,alles is omgezet naar het nieuwe mailadres, ga vooral zo door! Kan me voorstellen dat het erg leuk is om reacties te krijgen van totaal onbekenden. x Jes

Anonymous said...

Wow . . . you two sound like a very resilient and amazing pair! You have one lucky little girl!

Robin said...

The American Dream is overrated. Define your own dream -- sounds like you're doing that well!

Enjoy your adventure.

Anonymous said...

Good morning. I saw your feature on SITs. Congrats! Your blog is personal, touching, and thoughtful. (I also love the design). Good luck with the adventures in your life. I'll be back to check on how it's going.

SuzRocks said...

That takes some adventourousness to move into the barn with no plumbing! Sounds like something my husband would like to do. :)

I think your adventure sounds awesome. Wisconsin is beautiful, and not nearly as rainy as Olympia- although a bit more snowy.

Alison said...

Hello Hanneke. Am here by way of SITS - congratulations on your feature day! I love your story, it sounds like it's full of adventure, and not boring at all! Your part of the world looks beautiful.

Janet White said...

Hi again! Enjoy your SITS day. Summers is Wisconsin are wonderful! My sister and her family use to take vacations there regularly. Glad to hear that things are going better at least!

April said...

Girl, I admire you and your perseverance! I am 1/4 Dutch-maybe we're related-haha. I doubt it, but I do have a special love for Holland. I've never been there though. My parents went without me when we lived in the UK-I was 6 and had the chicken pox. Thanks mom and dad!

Anonymous said...

My baby girls nickname is Lola. That what I call her, other than baby girl, on my blog.
Is that your little girls real name or a nickname?

in bed with married women said...

Hi, I'm also here via SITS (which kind of sounds like an acronym for a disease to me).

Love your words and pictures.


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