When we packed up our things, sold what we couldn’t move and said goodbye to New Orleans, we came to the Netherlands with the understanding that we only had a limited time to make our tourist visa’s become residence. There were many moving parts, all of which had to work with precision to allow us to stay legitimately. There are sponsorships and permits, registrations and permissions. There are insurances and leases and bottom lines. There are all sort of things, including opportunity, which made us decide to try living here in the first place and five times as many things that had to happen in order for it to be possible.
One of the most important pieces of that puzzle is that R. would have to find auditions so that she could land a part with a dance company or teaching. We arrived in the Netherlands after the arts budget received a huge cut, which means that while this time last year there were plenty of viable auditions, this year there’s been only one and it’s scheduled for the day before our visa’s expire.
Another very important part was that I needed to resume shooting and editing as soon as we hit the ground so that I could support the two of us while the audition process rolled out for R. With one lost hard drive (it vanished on the trip over) and it’s backup being damaged in shipping, I haven’t had any of my material to edit. When my camera was stolen on our trip to Paris, I lost the ability to shoot until I had procured a replacement; it was an unexpected expense that I had no choice but to deal with. In short, I had a perfect storm of technological bad luck.
So here we are; at the end of our visas, having made the decision to leave Amsterdam. We’d rather take a step back and come at it again with better footing than overstay the amount of time we are allowed here and thus be denied residency when we return. There are other factors involved as well, but that’s the gist of it. It’s not the ideal decision; it’s one we always knew we might have to make, but we wanted to try and so we did and we are happier for our time spent here in Amsterdam.
We have a few weeks left here and we intend to make the most of it. We’ll walk the streets, take photographs, visit museums and parks and markets that we’ll miss when we are gone. We’ll eat pannenkoeken and erwtensoep every chance that we have. We’ll keep trying to get the dutch phrases that we know just right. At the end of the month, we’ll head back to the states, but we’ll take a little of Holland with us wherever we go and we’ll almost undoubtedly leave a little piece of us behind.