I went to Eindhoven to study in 2006. Of course, whenever I had any free time I went to Amsterdam. The first time I came here I felt as if I’d just met someone who I immediately clicked with: it felt like a shock going through my body. I came out of the station and into the buzzing atmosphere of the Stationsplein. It felt like home. Eindhoven is so much quieter.
In 2008 I came to visit a friend here and by pure coincidence there was a house on offer. I told myself, “Yes!” I had to leave my house in Eindhoven anyway the following week and so this really was being in the right place at the right time. From the beginning, Amsterdam was fantastic. I took the time to get to know my new place of residence and to enjoy the culture and energy this city has to offer.
I now live with my girlfriend and we have a fourteen month old daughter. I’ve come to the point where I’m searching for the perfect balance in city living. I appreciate the wonderful things the city has given me, and accept the less positive things. I love the personal space and independence one has here, but you can sometimes feel isolated; surrounded by people, but alone.
Of course, I miss my family. But I also enjoy the fact that I am alone here. Just us three, and able to make our own decisions. I don’t mean that in a negative way, because I really do miss the closeness and support of my family, but by travelling this journey I’ve had time to look back on my youth and upbringing, and my parents. I have the space here to figure out what is best for me.
I’m very stirred by the water here in Amsterdam. It might be the smell of it. I grew up by the sea and perhaps, subconsciously, you crave what you can’t have. In Eindhoven I often felt nauseous. I think that’s because of the lack of water there.
The Dominican Republic and Amsterdam both have important places in my heart, but are completely different. I appreciate what I have here, and what I have over there. I’m in the lucky position where I have two home countries, each of which gives me the best they have. Instead of wishing I was in one of them, I now understand that they are different, and I can respect that.”
921 people in Amsterdam have the Dominican nationality