Life update: our plans to move to the Netherlands

Many things have changed in the last couple of weeks.

Ramon got accepted to a college in the Netherlands and we made the decision to leave Belgium at the end of this year.

It’s been 4 years since I moved to Belgium, but it seems so much longer than that. These days I have been thinking a lot about the person I was when I first moved to Leuven in 2014.

I had just gotten my bachelor degree in communications when I moved to Leuven to pursue a career in psychology. I was convinced that it was my calling to become a psychologist. After only 3 weeks I started to realise that I was not meant to be there. My heart was not in it. Nevertheless I stayed in school, wasted a lot of money and I struggled for two more years before I was brave enough to face the truth. In 2016 I dropped out of school, got a job and never looked back.

Even though I came to Leuven for the wrong reasons, I am happy that I ended up here. This city became my home. I would still visit my family in the Netherlands once a month, but I would always have a sense of relief when I arrived at the train station in Leuven. Leuven was no longer a second home to me. It was my home.

I have experienced freedom here as well as loneliness. It has been hard to get used to the introverted personality of Belgian people. I have missed the Dutch mentality that I disliked when I still lived there. Most of all it was hard to live 400 kilometers from friends and family. It has been years since I was actually present at my friend’s birthday party.

In 2017 Ramon left California to move here with me. We started a new life together in a tiny apartment above a children’s bookstore in the middle of the city centre. 40 square meter of happiness.

We love our life in Leuven and now we are leaving it all behind to go to a city we have never even visited. Part of it doesn’t make sense, but in my heart it feels like it’s the right thing. Ramon has always wanted to get a college degree and when we heard the news that got accepted to a great college, we knew it was time to say goodbye to Leuven.

In a couple of months we will be moving to Emmen, a city in the province of Drenthe. Like all new things, it is exciting and also terrifying at the same time. It will be damn hard to say goodbye to beautiful Leuven, but it is time. Good things are coming our way and I for one cannot wait to show my face at all my friends’ birthday parties.

Jitske

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