How to adapt to a Dutch Lifestyle ?

Let's first start with a little introduction of the Netherlands. It's a very small country; it will take you only 3 hours to drive by car, from the south to the north and 2 hours to go from west to east. There are 17 million people living in The Netherlands, so traffic jams are very common during the rush hours. There are no mountains and a big part of the country is below sea-level.

So how are the Dutch people?

Well, you will NOT see them on the famous wooden shoes. These things you can only find at the souvenirs shop in Amsterdam or maybe a very old farmer in the far north corner of the Netherlands might still wear them.

And you don't have to learn their language. It is very difficult and most people do speak English. In Amsterdam (the capital), you can hear languages from all over the world.

You do have to buy a bike (or three, they will be stolen frequently in the big cities). Biking is the most practical way of traveling in town. You will be surprised by the amount of bikes on the roads and also people transporting all kinds of goods or children with it. The author on her bike

The Dutch people don't spend money easily. They have a reputation for being scrooges. They will count every dime before spending it and they don't buy on credit. Most people do have only one credit card from the bank and those's mostly useful for traveling or buy something online.

Dutch people do love to play and watch sports like soccer and speed skating. Yes, that very boring riding in 24 circles for 15 minutes….

On most Sundays, the shops are closed and the people go enjoy outdoor activities. The trails in the woods are crowded by people, children and dogs. Except for Easter Sunday, then everybody is hunting for furniture. A little bit like black Friday after Thanksgiving in the US.

And when the people go on vacation, they take everything with them, like potatoes, unions, apples and non-perishable food, so they don't have to support the economy of their favorite neighboring country.

And when they talk to you, the most spoken subject is the weather and of course it was never what they expected it to be.

But although this may sound a bit negative; the Dutch lifestyle is an easy and open one and there are lots of things to be surprised about if you go and visit the Netherlands.

It is a beauty to experience different cultures and their lifestyles!