Relocation — This Time It’s Personal
It’s difficult to truly explain and describe the relocation experience. The act of leaving home and starting a new adventure is like setting sail on unknown seas. You never know what will happen and where you’ll end up.
When we decided to move abroad, away from our home in Istanbul, we knew it would be easier for C. He was more likely to find a job than I was. He’s a back-end Java developer with plenty of experience, skills that nowadays are wanted everywhere. So he started applying for jobs in London and Amsterdam, cities which we thought would be most suitable for our cultural background.
More importantly, C. was looking for an opportunity that would allow him to grow as a developer. There are some cities in Europe that are known for their hi-tech “forwardness” and we knew Amsterdam was one of them. Its high speed start-up scene and focus on cutting-edge technologies are a perfect place for anyone trying to build a career in development.
The process was fraught with difficulty. Communication with the firms was labored and slow. The interviews, technical assessments, the “challenges” were stressful and at times discouraging. However, all that passed and finally we had decided on a firm and the contract was signed!
We were really happy and eager to move to Amsterdam, a city of freedom, filled to the brim with culture, history and oliebollen! (Look it up if you don’t know what that is, they are awesome). But of course, the acceptance was just the start.
Next there was the jumping through bureaucratic hoops. As we are not European citizens, getting a visa was more difficult and typically involved plenty of paper work. At every step of the process I thought to myself “All right this is where we get rejected”, but lo and behold, we were granted a MVV visa!
All was set, we bought the tickets, we said our goodbyes and we were off!
When we landed, I was filled with excitement. Amsterdam is a sight for sore eyes, believe me. Beautiful canals, the tilted “dancing” houses and flowers everywhere. We had the first day to ourselves so we roamed around the city to take it all in. Amsterdam is beautiful and it brought us joy with a rare occurrence that day, sunny weather.
That night, as we settled into the hotel, provided by C.’s company, I could see that he was anxious. He didn’t know what to expect, didn’t know about the corporate culture and whether he would fit in. As I sent him off to work that day I was also anxious, I didn’t know what to expect from this city and I certainly didn’t know whether I would fit in.
Today, 4 months has passed since that first intense day. I won’t lie, it wasn’t all fun and games but it has been worth every trial. It is a relief and a privilege to live in such a city. It is a safe and happy place full of wonderful little things. At least that’s what it feels like to us…
Amsterdam with its huge expat community, has welcomed us as one of its own. We never feel out of place. There are always cool new people to meet, great new things to eat and most importantly it is abundant with opportunity.
Me and C., we are really happy that we took this leap of faith. And I’m really thankful that with Try Catch I now have the chance to help others on their relocation adventure too!