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Year Three of Living the Expat Life

I apologize for the extended silence here on Maastricht Minutiae. I had intended to blog over my holidays but ultimately ended up being too busy with family, reading, and simply being home to keep up with the blog. I’ve been struggling for a while now with life as an expat and I think it’s telling that while last year returning to Maastricht felt like coming home, this year it felt like going away.

Who could resist this holiday cheer?

So year three. Dan and I will have lived in the Netherlands for two years come March and while I do think the good out weighs the bad, we’re pretty sure that this is our last year. I’m ready to be gainfully employed as an archivist, digital and otherwise, and Dan’s current contract will be wrapping up so it’s a good time for us to make a move. I like Maastricht a lot, but apparently not enough. And I have really mixed feelings about leaving whether it be to move back to the United States (the most likely scenario) or to the United Kingdom (which is appealing but trickier). Still, I do believe it will be the right decision for our careers (and hobbies) and I’m excited about the prospect of having a professional office job again.

"You're moving in a year?" "Does this mean we get our basement back?"

Of course in the mean time I’m already thinking about all the things we haven’t done or need to do in the coming year before leaving. And already lamenting the things we’ll lose by moving. Among other things, I’m hoping to grow the writing and copyright research aspects of my freelance business while shrinking the web design a bit. I’m still hopeful that I can find some part-time or full-time “day job” for our remaining time here since I think an office will be good for my mental health. The steady income is nice too of course. I’ve started picking up more crafting projects in the evenings and I intend to become more involved with the International Women’s Club.

In short, I still want to make this year as enjoyable and productive as possible. The only thing worse than indecision is waiting around for something big to happen.

Well, we can check the Brussels Christmas market off the list at least...

What this means for Maastricht Minutiae is that while I am going to start writing regularly again, I’m also going to decrease my posts to twice a week rather than the three I’ve been trying to maintain. I’ll be going back into the archive to cross post the articles I wrote for Maastricht Region as well, so I’m sure those will pop up in your RSS readers soon.

To sort of wrap up my blog, I’m considering putting some of the material together into a book; maybe a “Places Around Maastricht” guide of the best spots from my perspective. It’s just an idea for now and I won’t be taking the blog off-line, but a book would make a nice capper to the work I’ve done here.

9 Responses to “Year Three of Living the Expat Life”

  1. Judy says:

    Bummer…I know you’re not leaving right away, and I know there’s Facebook and all, but I’ll still miss you guys (all four of you). Especially Einstein. (Sorry, Dan :-D)

    Good luck with the job hunt! Exciting times ahead!

  2. Amanda says:

    Well, you’ve got a year to convince us to stay. ;-) Just think of it as always having a place you can visit in the States (or UK). Now where that place will be exactly…that’s the question.

  3. Judy says:

    Maybe Karel’s Indonesian will do the trick, hehe :-) We’re planning on having my lab over for dinner at some point in March (once he knows what his schedule is), so I’ll include you guys in the invite.

  4. Amanda says:

    Mmm… Can’t wait. :)

  5. Bummer…you’ll be leaving just as we’re arriving! I’m looking forward to moving to Maastricht next year, and your blog has been very, very helpful to me.

  6. Amanda says:

    Jammer, but I’m glad I can be of some help. :) The blog won’t be going anywhere if I can help it.

  7. Dave Hampton says:

    I understand the reasons, but would be sorry to see you both go.
    I think that the holidays tend to be a time to reassess, with both family time in familiar surroundings and the start of the new year. My kids are grown, so there is less sense of place to return to. But I still wondering if I am doing the right thing by working here and need to consciously recommit to pushing ahead in Maastricht.

  8. Amanda says:

    Thank you Dave. I won’t say it’s a easy decision to leave; there are lots of things I do like about Maastricht and the Netherlands. I’ve found that living here has opened me up to so many options for where and how to live, but that includes making the decision where not to live as well.

  9. Invader_Stu says:

    I think a book sounds like a good idea :)