Faith Goal #1 : Travel to the Netherlands

This opportunity to travel and explore Europe is one of my answered prayers. Exploring other countries especially Holland was one of my faith goal and God is so faithful for allowing me to explore this place for free. Join me as I share with you my dream land : The Netherlands!

A few years ago, I was allowed to meet a warm, friendly lady who owns Sunshine Au Pair in the Netherlands, I’ve got interested in this program since this will allow you to travel Europe for free (will write another blog on how I joined this program). Last June 2018, I was invited to come to the Netherlands as an Au pair and was excited and nervous at the same time, it is my first out of the country adventure, and I am traveling alone.

The Hague ” Den Haag

My Beautiful Host family is living in a small city located in “The Hague”. It’s the 3rd biggest city in Holland and it is where Peace Palace and Binnenhof are located. Hague also has a lot of beautiful parks and gardens where you can go for free. One of my favorite and go-to is the Haagse Bos.

The first few days I was adjusting on their time and weather (jetlag is real) I came during summertime and daylight is much longer than night, its 10 in the evening but the sun is still out! That gave us a lot of time to explore the city.

A friend of mine took this photo while crossing the park. Haagse Bos
Glimpse of Peace Palace, was taken during a walk on the street.
Binnenhof The Hague

Cultural Experience

I also meet a lot of Aupairs from other countries who are also part of the program, but most of them are Filipinas. Some came directly from the Philippines (like me) somewhere previously an Aupair from Norway and Denmark. Other girls were from Finland, China, Indonesia, Argentina and many more. The Netherlands is a friendly country, peaceful and you can feel that you are safe. Dutch people are friendly and nice which is maybe that is the reason why there are a lot of Expats who want to settle there.

Weather

I was so blessed to experience the four seasons in the Netherlands. Post-Spring-Summer, Fall-Winter. I was amazed at how dutch can eat and read books under the sun while Filipinos used an umbrella on a sunny day. One way of understanding cultural differences, They do not experience sunny weather for so long and that is why they make the most out of it. On some days the wind is cold but sunny and it’s a perfect day to walk and roam around.

Shopping Stores and Foods

Shopping stores are everywhere (I always convert to peso, so it’s pricey). There are also a lot of Asian restaurants to dine with. My favorite is Full Moon Express wherein they serve pork belly and roasted duck with rice and greens + Cola. Dutch are known to eat a simple meal such as bread and coffee for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, bread, and soup for dinner. Bread in all meals while for us Filipinos “rice is life”. I am not a fan of bread but in Holland, I started loving their bread because its affordable, my all-time favorite is their croissants and Stroop waffles that is perfect with coffee!

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Museums

The Netherlands is rich in its culture and history and is known for its famous painters and museums. They have a Museum card that serves as a personal card that allows free entrance to about 400 museums in the Netherlands.

Transportation

I can say that Holland has a very organized transportation, it is accurately linked with Google Maps. It indicates the time the train leaves and arrive. They use an all in one card which you can use for all transportation.

TRAVEL – GIETHOORN

This is one of my highlights during my travel to Holland. Giethoorn also is known as “The Venice of the North”.Beautiful nature, old houses, ride boats in channels or walk after numerous wooden bridges.

Living a Dream

Living in The Netherlands is like a dream, beautiful brick houses, nice places, cool breeze. Meet a lot of ex-pats and local and was able to experience the western culture, travel and most of all developing friendships all around the world and opening doors for opportunities. It is a great way to develop oneself as well on how to be independent and find purpose in your life. It’s a great way to know yourself more because living abroad is not an easy one. So make sure if opportunity strikes, grab it and make sure to make the most out of it.

Mary Grace Labe

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