“My wife and I have been expats for a few years and have lived all over the world, we even lived in Amsterdam once before. After being back in New Zealand for six months my wife was given another job offer in Amsterdam. We really wanted to go back as we’d had a fantastic time here before. We bought a house in Amsterdam-Zuid with the intention of staying longer this time.
My wife travels a lot in her job and I am the house-father. I look after our daughter, who’s nine years old. It’s brilliant. I never thought things would turn out this way as I used to be relatively ambitious, but I love it.
I had heard about Amsterdam in New Zealand. You learn about the great masters and in my teenage years I learned more about coffee shops and the Wallen. It was only as an adult that my knowledge expanded to the open-mindedness and diversity of the city. And it was only when I actually lived here that I realised how well everyone here spoke English and how easy that makes things for us. Which is why a lot of expats come here to live. I tried to expand on my group of friends, including more than the expat community. You only really learn about a place by hanging out with the locals. Through my daughter and within my neighbourhood I come into contact with a lot of them. Zuid is just like a village, and I have my local café: ‘Brasserie de Joffers’. But the minute you head towards the Leidseplein the city wakes up; there are more tourists and a lot more energy.
I love cycling and am always smiling when on my bike; it always feels like I’m on holiday. I cycle with my daughter to school every day. I’ve had multiple near heart-attacks as she’s wobbled in front of my on her little bike. And I raise my eyebrows when I see kids standing up on their father’s bike, or mothers carting around more than three kids on her one bicycle. And I’m still surprised that no-one wears waterproofs here and cycle around in the rain, soaking wet, but not seeming to care. One evening after having a few drinks in town I fell off my bike. A friend told me, “Now you’re an Amsterdammer”.”
457 people in Amsterdam have the New Zealand nationality