A Day in the Life

It’s always fascinating to hear how other people live, so I thought I’d share a bit of detail of what I did yesterday here in the Netherlands!

A Day in the Life of an Expat

8:00: RB’s alarm goes off. He snoozes and I get up, make coffee and get myself some breakfast. I’m surprised every morning how dark it is at 8 am! I’m already ready to have the days start to get longer again.

8:16: Breakfast usually consists of homemade granola, plain yogurt and blueberries. Lately, I’ve also thrown some warm oatmeal into the mix. On cooler mornings, a warm breakfast is a bit like a hug!

A Day in the Life

8:20: After breakfast, my first order of business is to check if there are any interesting jobs that have been posted on the myriad of websites where jobs get posted. To keep this process efficient I subscribe to the RSS feeds with Feedly, where possible, and I have saved searches on these websites where an RSS feed isn’t possible.

8:55: Next on my daily to-do list is to check out whether there any interesting non-job-related articles in my Feedly. I’ve subscribed to a number of feeds about low-impact living, waste reduction, green tech, personal wellness, and expat life. I’ll read any who’s title peaks my interest, and, if they were interesting enough, I share them on twitter and facebook.

9:34: Thankfully my job search was fruitful today! I found a few jobs that I was interested in doing that I felt like I was qualified to do. Through the process of tailoring my resume and cover letters for each job, I discovered that two of them were perhaps not as good a match as I thought. I kiboshed those applications, which isn’t an uncommon thing for me to do. I’d rather apply to jobs where I know I can do a good job rather than wasting my time and the recruiters time! I finished the application for the job I thought was a great fit and submitted it to the company for review. Fingers crossed this is the one that gets me the interview!

A Day in the Life of an Expat

10:06: In my efforts to learn Dutch, I spend 15-20 minutes every day doing exercises with Duolingo. I’m going to start proper Dutch lessons at the University of Leiden in January, but until that starts, Duolingo has been a good tool to keep my vocabulary growing. My goal is to get my NT2 Staatsexam certification by the end of next year for both my integration and so that I can expand my job search to include Dutch jobs.

10:30: Now that I’ve passed the Theory Driving Exam, I’m taking weekly driving lessons with RB’s dad. We usually drive to Leiden where he takes me on some possible routes for my exam. I’m comfortable driving (I’ve been doing it for more than half my life!), but the compactness of the roads here and the slight difference in right-of-way rules make me glad for a bit of extra practice with an expert. I’m getting much better since starting my lessons, especially with roundabouts!

A Day in the Life of an Expat

11:44: Pretty much immediately after I got home from my driving lesson, I threw the previous night’s leftover soup in the microwave for lunch.

A Day in the Life of an Expat

13:02: In my weekly plan, I have a chore schedule for each day. Today was a sheet washing day, so I stripped the bed and threw the duvet cover and pillow shams in the washing machine. Since our drying space is limited, I’ll do the other sheets once the duvet cover is dry. Other chores I do every week include watering the plants, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the washrooms, and cleaning the kitchen.

A Day in the Life of an Expat

13:08: On days where I don’t run, I try to go for a walk. I love listening to podcasts and am much better at paying attention when I am wandering around. My current favourites are Radiolab, Undisclosed, the TED radio hour, Podquiz, and Grownups Read Things they Wrote as Kids. And I can’t wait for the next season of Serial!

A Day in the Life of an Expat

A Day in the Life of an Expat

14:03: After going for my walk, I stop in at the grocery store for food for the evening and to top up any foods we’re running low on.

14:14: Yesterday I finally stopped in at one of the local dentist’s office to make an appointment to get my teeth checked. I find talking on the phone in Dutch extremely difficult, which is why I stopped in rather than phoning. I have an appointment set up for next week!

14:34: My brief period of working in the startup community peaked my interest in computer programming. Since it’s something I’m interested in learning about it in my spare time, I found some courses on Coursera about programming in Java. Right now I’m following the Java Programming: Solving Problems with Software course from Duke University and will likely follow-through with the next course in the 4-course series.

A Day in the Life of an Expat

15:45: With my recent switch to self-hosted, I am working on making the blogging process more efficient for when I eventually start working again and can’t spend as much time on it. Yesterday, I worked on an unsubscribe page, and a potential new look.

17:01: I try to start dinner around the time that RB messages me to let me know he’s coming home since it usually takes about the same amount of time. When I was working I planned our dinners on Sunday nights, and it was so nice that I have continued to do that.

I usually try to cook one vegetarian dinner per week, and yesterday was the day. We had a veggie frittata with broccoli, zucchini, spinach, peppers and mushrooms. And cheese, of course. I can’t forget the cheese.

A Day in the Life of an Expat

6:25: Dinner time! RB and I agreed that this frittata had a bit too much going on and that I should eliminate the broccoli next time.

A Day in the Life of an Expat

18:58: RB and I usually spend the evening watching a movie and chatting about our days. Sometimes we’ll go for a walk, but since we’re coming into a crappy time, weather wise, I think those will be few and far between until spring.

22:33: I’m an early riser, so by the time 10:30 rolls around, I’m ready for bed. My bedtime routine includes brushing my teeth, using the bathroom, and some reading. Right now I’m at the beginning of Bill Bryson’s book, A Short History of Nearly Everything. I thoroughly enjoyed his book A Walk in the Woods, and I have a feeling I’m going to like this one just as much.

23:02: Goodnight!

2 thoughts on “A Day in the Life

  1. Lyndsey! I am loving your blog. I am usually a bit behind on posts, but love catching up when I get a chance. Good job making your own wax paper — amazing! And I love reading about your day; it all sounds wonderful! xoxo a.

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