Netherlands Relocation: A Life on Two Wheels
To be a successful Cartus Consultant, you have to put yourself in the shoes of the international assignees you’re helping. Luckily, that’s not too difficult for me as I relocated from Rome to Amsterdam in early March to join the Cartus Netherlands Destination Services team.
Housing Challenges for Relocating Employees
I understand the stresses of relocation, and for me, finding a property was one of the biggest challenges that I encountered. This is mainly due to the market being so fast moving, as outlined in our latest Cartus Netherlands Market Watch. This is not surprising, as the Netherlands is a popular destination for assignees and was the ninth largest country by move volume for Cartus in 2015.
The Market Watch gives an update on rental market trends to those involved in relocation to Amsterdam and other cities, including The Hague, Rotterdam, and Eindhoven. When I was looking for a home, it took a lot of time and effort to find a property that not only met my needs, but also ensured I wasn’t spending my entire monthly pay on rent. The rental market is competitive and vacancy rates have declined, resulting in upward pressure on rental rates.
Feel Like a True Local…Get a Bike!
Beginning a new life in the Netherlands obviously has its challenges (like finding a house), but there are a lot of positives too. Amsterdam, for example, has so much to offer. The city is packed with museums, theatres, and restaurants, and the architecture is amazing. One of the most different and interesting aspects has been the country’s cycle network. Having relocated from a city like Rome, I’m not used to seeing so many cyclists use bikes as a way of getting from A to B (as opposed to using them for leisure or fitness).
So if you want to feel like a true local, get a bike! It’s by far the most popular way to travel, and towns and cities have dedicated cycle lanes to help avoid traffic. If cycling isn’t for you, the Netherlands’ public transport system is excellent, with regular buses and trains. Cities like Amsterdam, The Hague, and Rotterdam also have tram networks.
Since arriving in the Amsterdam office, I have been made to feel very welcome by my Cartus colleagues and the sight of the office espresso coffee machine in the mornings is a welcome reminder of home. I am embracing this new experience as it gives me the opportunity to grow and develop as an individual within a different cultural setting. I’ve already noticed that I tend to speak in much higher volumes than my Dutch colleagues!