Chris & Eliza enjoying the wilds of the Scottish countryside
Chris was born and bred in the city of Dundee, Scotland which isn’t what one may call a tourist hotspot. When asked about Dundee, Chris said jokingly: “I don’t want to say its a dismal place, but it’s not a happening city, certainly when it comes to job opportunities.”. Eliza, on the other hand, is from a small village in Romania with a population of 100! She left the village at the age of 14 to study in the cities for high school. Eventually, the time came to look for universities and she wanted to study abroad so she looked to the UK. She received a number of offers, but decided on Dundee as her friend also got in and they wanted to stay together.
Amsterdam is nothing new for Chris & Eliza as they used to live here in 2013. Eliza was doing an internship for her architecture degree and decided to move to Amsterdam for a year. Chris wasn’t satisfied with his job at the time so quit and moved to Amsterdam for the year as well. It was a struggle to find work and so Chris eventually made the decision to return back home and reskill by taking a 2-year software development course while Eliza finished her degree. They always wanted to return, but life got busy and plans were put on pause for a while, until an old friend from Amsterdam called about an exciting opportunity.
When asked for an interesting fact about their home countries they had this to say:
Chris - “Not many people know this, but the inventor of the adhesive postage stamp is from Dundee. Dundee is also classified as the sunniest city in the UK, but I beg to differ. We also have a culture of deep-fried food which makes me feel at home amongst the Dutch”
Eliza - “We eat a lot in Romania and we love our food! Every time people come to visit they will get smothered in food. It’s a cultural tick that everyone needs I think.”
What do they miss most about home?
Eliza - “I miss Romania, I miss the food (mums cooking!), the weather, everything! I have lived in Scotland for quite a while and I love the untamed landscape and the multitude of castles and ruins, but I can’t fully consider it my home. I did try to get used to the weather, but I am a sunshine girl and there isn’t a lot of that in Scotland!”
Chris - “Not mums cooking! She is not great at new foods, but does traditional British very well! I miss being outside and in the landscape of Scotland! We love getting lost in forests, seeing waterfalls, getting out on the moors. It’s ridiculously flat in the Netherlands!”
A return to the canals of Amsterdam
Tango the cat, enjoying the new apartment!
Chris & Eliza moved because an old friend in Amsterdam called Chris about a job opportunity. They had always wanted to return so Chris applied for the job on a whim and he got the role! Within 2 weeks they decided to make the move.
Chris initially moved to Amsterdam first arriving in January 2020 while Eliza remained in the UK for a little longer. Unfortunately, as the months went on and COVID began to make an impact everywhere, Chris decided to return to Scotland to be with Eliza and work remotely for his company. However, it all worked out for the best as they were both able to make the trip in July 2020 and walk straight into a new apartment.
Chris: “It was an easy process as we were not relocating to Australia or somewhere very far away. It was a 1-hour flight and a couple of suitcases and personal items. One of the hurdles to overcome was that we were bringing our cat over with us. We were flying with Easyjet and when we spoke with our vet they told us that no British airline will allow you to fly with a pet. The only airlines that we could use were Airfrance and KLM, so Eliza had to switch from Easyjet to KLM and take the cat in the morning. While I went by Easyjet in the evening with the luggage.”
The first thing the couple did together got a falafel wrap at a place called Maoz. As they say the food in Scotland isn’t especially healthy and a favourite pastime of theirs was get their falafel wrap while sitting on the canals and catching up. What a lovely way to reconnect with the city!
The couple enjoying a falafel wrap at Maoz!
Meet Chris & Eliza’s Amsterdam
Top tips for newcomers
- Get your accommodation sorted before you arrive - one of the bigger stresses is getting accommodation sorted in Amsterdam. Back in 2013, we stayed in hotels and Airbnb for a few months until we found a place to live”
- Get a bike - “It’s the best way to get around”
- Get out and explore!
Places to go
- Maoz - The falafel wraps are great!
- De Hallen (food court) - “If you can’t decide what to eat you will find something for everyone to agree on!”
- Pllek - Artificial beaches
- IJ Hallen - A second-hand market which occurs once a month
What do you do when you’re not working?
- Photography - “Photography is a huge part of our lives.”. The couple set up a business a year and a half ago. “We have 3 weddings booked for this year in Scotland, but due to corona these have been pushed back to later this year”. Photography is a huge part of our lives.
- Netflix & Chill - Who doesn’t?
- Finding the best pizza - There are loads of restaurants to try!