I Definitely Don’t Take These Things for Granted Living in the Netherlands

Soreh eating kibbling in Den Bosch, The Netherlands

I Definitely Don’t Take These Things for Granted Living in the Netherlands

When you grow up and live somewhere your entire life, it’s easy to feel like everything is just normal. Meaning you tend to take the good things for granted because they are just a part of life. But, as an immigrant in the Netherlands, I see things from a different perspective. This is because I didn’t grow up with these things, so it’s harder for me to take them for granted. And I think it’s great to reflect on life and appreciate the amazing things we have. So here are a few things about living in the Netherlands that I definitely don’t take for granted.

Affordable Necessities

I know this one is going to piss a lot of Dutch people off. But food is so cheap here in the Netherlands compared to food in the USA. Your mind would be absolutely blown if you saw the prices for basic food products in the USA.

I’m lactose intolerant, so I don’t drink regular milk. A liter of soy milk cost 89 euro cents at Jumbo. The average price for a liter of soy milk is $2-$4 in the USA. That doesn’t even include tax. That’s a big price difference. And this is with everything.

I used to pay $75 a month for my phone plan. No, I wasn’t paying off my phone. It was just to be able to call, text, and have internet. Now I pay just over 29 euros a month. How insane is that price difference? Basic things that people need here are just so much more affordable.

Competitive Prices

Speaking of affordable necessities, stores and businesses here are very attentive to how people shop. In the USA, if the price of milk at your typical grocery store rises, people will still shop there. But in the Netherlands, Dutch people are so careful with spending that they would just go to another store for their milk.

So, stores and businesses can’t be as greedy as they are in the USA. And I think that’s amazing. The prices for basic things are completely out of hand in the USA because customers are not motivated to shop somewhere else or go to another business for their services. So prices just remain high instead of staying competitive.

Organized Government

I know that it didn’t always used to be this way, but the government is so organized here in the Netherlands. I recently renewed my visa to live in the Netherlands. It was such a smooth process. All I had to do was fill out a short form online and pay a fee. Then, I had to get my biometrics taken. A few weeks later, I was able to pick up my new visa. The whole process was so easy and took barely any time at all. Everything is so efficient and easy to navigate.

Clean and Organized

Overwhelmingly, the Netherlands is incredibly clean and organized. The roads are perfect. The parks are clean. The buildings are well taken care of. Public transport is efficient and reliable. All of these things make life so much easier. It makes such a difference if things are clean and well-organized.


The number of absolutely disgusting, gross men in the USA is baffling. It’s insane how I would leave my home and be catcalled daily, especially living in NYC. But this happened in other places as well. I went to a naked sauna here in the Netherlands recently, and no one was weird or creepy. A naked sauna would never work in the USA because people over-sexualize women. It’s absolutely disgusting.

I feel so much safer here as a woman. I’m not saying there aren’t creepy men here; there are. I’ve had some weird experiences at the gym recently. But there seem to be a lot fewer creepy and gross men than in the USA. Education has a lot to do with it.

Working Obsessively

Being obsessed with work and showing off how many hours you work is not a flex here in the Netherlands. People fiercely protect their personal time, and I think it’s amazing. And if you say you have to work long hours, people wonder why you’re not being efficient. People are also way more content with life and what they have. It’s not a competition to have the biggest house, car, or newest clothing. I think that’s fantastic.

There Is More

There are definitely a lot more things I really appreciate about the Netherlands. The working culture is just so much better. The life is so much slower. I am even obsessed with staring at the green fields. I know I’m weird. But there is something so calming about them. If you want to learn more about life in the Netherlands, be sure to listen to the Scribble a Dream podcast.

Thank you for reading this blog post! I also wanted to let you all know that I’m teaching an online class all about how to find a job in the Netherlands on April 20th at 2:00 PM. If you’re interested in taking the class, just send me a message here. I’ll send you more information about it.

What don’t you take for granted about the Netherlands?

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2 thoughts on “I Definitely Don’t Take These Things for Granted Living in the Netherlands

  1. Hi Soreh, I’m an Indian expat who moved to the U.S. West Coast and then now, to NL and I just want to say, great job with the blog, keep writing and keep winning!

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