Moving countries with children


"Are you moving again?"

"How are the girls doing?"

"I don't know how you all are doing this... what about your children?"

"You are very adventurous..."

Questions. We get a lot of them, especially questions about how we do what we do - living this nomadic lifestyle. Moving our family from one country to the next, from one house to another, time after time. This is simply the way we live our lives for the past fifteen years, and most questions are stemmed from honest curiosity. These are the ones I answer with a smile, ask away. Then there are some questions which are more concerned and some even laced with an undertone of judgement. Which is also completely fine by me. People always want to understand what is different to whatever they're used to and it's human nature to want to label everything. 

Mother, father, children, travellers, homebodies, slow living, nomadic living.... all of these are labels we can relate to, but they don't define us. Ask people who are living similar lifestyles like ours how their children are doing or how they move from country to country and guess what? Everyone will have a different answer or a different story to tell. Not only because we all have different families, we all are in different seasons in our lives as well. I always say, don't compare your chapter five to my chapter fifteen - or don't compare at all actually. It's setting yourself up for failure and disappointment, because comparison is the thief of joy and having high hopes in a lifestyle like this, will only make you tumble down low, very fast. Just remember that everyone starts, adapts and grows different, so I can only speak from our experience and from what I have seen and learned. Whether you move to the other side of your city or to a new country, one advice I can give is to take your time to adjust to your new situation for at least six months to a year and then see how you and your family are doing. 

Last year I was asked a similar question by Erin Boyle when she interviewed us, about our lifestyle and moving to Brooklyn without our belongings (she had some good questions - in case you missed it, you can read it here). I shared with her readers our story and how our nomadic lifestyle was never planned, but finally after ten years I embraced the fact that, this is us.

Honestly, it's really not for everyone and I will be the first to say how hard this lifestyle can be - on a marriage or on children. Not to mention how high the stress related to work or so much uncertainty (not knowing where you will live next year or next month) can be. And being away from our old friends and both our families in Amsterdam, can be emotionally draining, so it's important to not romanticize it all and simply enjoy the rollercoaster. Or email me and we roll together!

That's why having a steadiness in your family life is very important and this is different for everyone. For us, it means that I'm the one who is more at home while he travels all over the globe for business. Being here in New York we changed this again and created more balance. Over the years we also made our own family traditions for holidays like Christmas, Easter or New Year. And with every move and the girls growing older, it meant we had to adapt as well. But that's life in general, no matter where or how you live your life. 

So yes, they are doing great our girls. They are healthy, happy and living their lives fully as new New Yorkers at the moment. And to say I'm happy that they adapted again, to a new life in yet another country is an understatement - I'm a grateful and very proud mama, yep!