As I mentioned in my previous post. I have recently (Two weeks ago today) moved to Groningen, a city in the Netherlands. It feels really crazy to write that.
It's definitely been an emotional rollercoaster of a fortnight, ranging from "Wow, I'm such an Adventurer" to "What the hell am I doing here! When is the next flight home?" It's not easy moving somewhere that you don't speak the language, aren't studying, and don't have a job, and I'm sure that anyone who's done the same as me can confirm that.
I've always studied very intense and time consuming subjects so I've never had 'nothing' to do. This meant that my first week here was quite lonely if I'm completely honest. I'm lucky that I haven't moved here alone, but my boyfriend is studying and spends a lot of time at uni, which I completely understand as I was in that position only a few months ago!
It can be really hard to build up the confidence to get yourself out there in a place you don't speak the language, but I decided to take the "what's the worst that could happen" outlook. If i didn't go out and meet people, they definitely wouldn't come to me! I spent a few days just getting out and exploring the city. It's a really beautiful place, with lots of things to see and do.
To get myself out there and hopefully make some new friends, I've started volunteering at a local cat cafe! I've already done one day there! It's a really cool place right in the centre of town. (it's called Kattencafe op z'n kop for those of you who want to have a look!) Everyone I worked with was really lovely and definitely helped me feel more at ease in the city. They also all spoke perfect English which was a massive bonus! I had a really great day and I got to try lots of different cakes and coffees, once my shift ended I stayed for even more coffee and got to play with the cats. One little guy named Puk really took a liking to me (and I loved him too!) He is in the picture below. I have also started Dutch lessons. I've only had one lesson so far so I'm still finding the language very confusing, but hopefully I'll start to pick it up a bit quicker now, I will be doing lessons twice a week, and I'm hoping that it'll be another place for me to make friends! Alongside this, I've been scouring the internet for non student social groups. These are all things that I believe will really build my confidence and it's all very exciting!
Everyone that I've met so far has been so lovely and very welcoming, and I'm really loving the Dutch lifestyle! I've already got a bike and named her Betty!
Let me know if any of you have ever been to Groningen! Maybe you have suggestions of places to go or things that I need to see? I'd love some recommendations!
I'll keep you all updated on my adventure!