If you're someone who plans on coming to Amsterdam and reads the Expatica forums, you might find yourself reconsidering your move to the Netherlands all together. It seems that a handful of people have found the Expatica forums a perfect place to vent all their little frustrations.
As I read the hostility in these people's words and their sweeping generalisations about the Dutch, I often find myself wondering if there is a certain type of person who is best suited to the expat life, the type of person who has learnt not to judge others, not to attribute one annoying trait of an individual onto an entire country people, the type of person who finds cultural differences fascinating rather than branding them wrong or constantly comparing them to their own cultures.
If you have never lived in a new country but are considering it, there are some very important rules to leading a happy expat life;
1. Do not judge or criticise others' way of life.
2. Explore and be curious.
3. Think of everything as a learning experience.
4. Remember that it's not always easy.
A happy expat knows that being an expat isn't always fun times, it's not always easy and it's not a vacation (like some people think of it). Being an expat means leaving behind friends and family, it means leaving behind everything that is comfortable to you, it means starting everything from the beginning, new sites, new smells, new tastes, new streets, new people, new banks, new doctors, new jobs, new everything... And what makes it so bitter sweet is that a lot of these things are what also make the expat life so damn rewarding too.