Nícolas comes from Brazil, or to be more precise since it’s such a big country - the south part of Brazil, more than 1000 km south of São Paulo and Rio. He has lived in Brazil all his life and relocated to the Netherlands five months ago. This is his first relocation experience and he is really excited about it.
When asked for a fun fact about Brazil, Nícolas said: “Brazil is such a big, big country, so there are huge differences between its regions. The region where I live since it was in the south, had a climate different than the picture people usually have of Brazil. We had a well defined season, with really hot summers, but also cold winters, being normal around-zero temperatures. It also had really high humidity throughout the whole year, making it somewhat similar to the Netherlands."
Another fun fact about the region where I lived is that we had a culture of having barbecues. “Barbecues are a really big thing in Brazil, especially in the south part of the country”, Nícolas says with a smile. It is usual to have one for every celebration, but also with no reason at all, being usual for Sunday lunch with the family!
“The interesting thing is that most of the houses have a special place inside, similar to the fireplace, but higher, made especially for barbecuing. We put some meat on the sticks, above the fire and rotate it until done.”
Besides this cool tradition of barbecues and his family and friends, Nícolas also misses one specific tea made from Maté herb, called chimarrão. Brazilians from his state love to drink it daily as part of their routine. “It’s really strong flavoured and a bit bitter. Not everyone likes it, especially people from northern states, but we really do”, says Nícolas.
First time relocating
Sadly Nicolas had to say goodbye to his girlfriend at the airport
The question about the move process Nícolas found challenging. This is his first European experience and the first relocation experience also. Since his home country is so big, he rarely left it before. “I wanted to experience something new, to get to know new countries and cultures. The Netherlands seemed like a perfect place to start doing that since there are so many English speakers here and the culture is open to foreigners.”
How did you relocate to the Netherlands and what was the whole experience like?
“I got a job at Recharge, which included Settly support. Although moving during the global pandemic had its challenges, almost everything went really smooth.
The biggest, and probably only, issue I had was the actual travelling part. I was driving for 3 hours in order to take a plane to São Paulo and then another plane to Amsterdam. When I arrived at the airport to take the plane to São Paulo, they did not want to let me board the plane because of Covid restrictions, even though I already had a visa. There was a big misunderstanding regarding my residency situation. I reached out to Settly immediately and Marieke called the airport and helped talk through the situation and convince them to let me board. After some hours of conversations, Settly gave them the number of the flight company in the Netherlands, so they could guarantee that I will be able to onboard on the next plane to the Netherlands. Once they got in contact it was fine and I was able to board. Everything else went really well after that, even though I was afraid to have problems again to get into the next plane after this experience, everything was fine, haha.”
Finally, he made it on the plane!
What was the first thing you did when you arrived in Amsterdam?
“I went to my hotel and the first thing I did was to start looking to get a sim card!”
Nícolas relocated in the middle of the Covid pandemic, so he had to stay in quarantine for 10 days. “Hotel stuff saved me with some food and groceries delivery because I was not allowed to leave my room and had to prepare my meals by myself.”
It’s not an ideal situation to get stuck in quarantine right after your arrival in the new country, but Nícolas had two reasons to celebrate leaving his room after ten days: “My first day of freedom was also my birthday so one of my Brazilian work-colleague stopped by and we were able to go out for a small dinner celebration”.
Meet Nicolas’ Amsterdam
What would be your 2 top tips for new arrivals to the Netherlands?
- Bring all documentation you have with you, it’s never too much! Bring everything you need and what you don’t need, you never know what might come in handy and what can help you! It certainly helped me with the whole flight’s confusion, because I had so much documentation saying I could travel to the Netherlands that it made it really hard for them to say 'no'!
- Don’t start the house search too early - I was told the Amsterdam housing market is so busy so I started to look for a house too early, a month before my arrival. By the time I arrived everything was already taken so I had to do the search again. So my advice would be not to start too early, the apartments go away really fast since it is a busy market indeed. But that also means you will most probably find the right house really quickly. :)
Nícolas’ favourite places visit in Amsterdam
I didn’t have that much experience because I moved in the middle of the Corona pandemic and after that, we had all the lockdowns. But a place that is definitely among my favourites and I recommend is the Amsterdam forest; ’Amsterdamse Bos’. It is a great place for a walk and also possible to visit during the lockdown.
What do you do when you’re not working?
I love football, both playing and watching. I also enjoy cooking and reading.
My girlfriend is still in Brazil, waiting to finish her University, so now we just have to wait. It’s not ideal, but we hope she will be able to join me next year.