Whenever I see anyone post on social media about why they love the Netherlands, it’s always about the same things. They love the public transport, cycling culture, vakantie geld, affordable flowers, good education, safety, and such. But there are so many other reasons why the Netherlands is a great place to live that people don’t often talk about.
Of course, this blog post is skewed by my perception and upbringing as an American born to ultra-orthodox Jewish immigrant Russian-Belarussian parents. So you may not relate to everything, but hopefully, you do to some. I also wanted to mention that I live in a tiny Dutch city that’s basically a village. Be sure to read to the end to find out which Dutch food is the best, in my opinion.
1. It Is So Clean, Especially the Toilets
I honestly still cannot get over how clean this country is. Every time I leave the Netherlands and go to a toilet, I’m shocked at how gross they can be. This is even sometimes in really nice restaurants and bars. I think the Dutch just really value cleanliness, but I can be wrong. It’s nice to walk outside and see super clean streets and buildings.
2. People Don’t Judge You for Not Spending
Every single time I go back to the USA, without fail, someone or multiple people mention my lack of wanting to throw money at everything. However, in the Netherlands, I never have to explain why I don’t want to spend money on things that I don’t find important. People are frugal here and understand that you can only spend your money once. I really really appreciate that.
3. Vacation and Personal Time Are Respected
People always talk about how much vacation time you get here. But people don’t talk about how your time off is your time off. Your boss won’t call you to ask you to do something quickly because it’s an “emergency.” Of course, there are exceptions, but generally, this is how it is. I’m a business owner and love working with Dutch clients. They are so respectful of boundaries. It’s amazing!
4. There Are Always Reasons to Celebrate
Celebrating people’s moments is something the Dutch do a lot. My partner’s family celebrates birthdays, anniversaries, births, buying a home, and so many other occasions. I’ve never had so many parties to attend in my life. I think celebrating life is great!
5. Eating Out Is Something Special
When I lived in the USA, I would eat out multiple times a week. I know that this isn’t only in the USA. Here in the Netherlands, eating out is something special and is left for celebrations and such. Eating at home is usually healthier and is less expensive. So you stay healthier and save money. So when I end up going out to eat, I dress up and fully enjoy my meal and drinks.
6. The Dutch Are Very Punctual and Organized
This is a good thing and a bad thing. I loveeeee how on time everyone is, and people are respectful of your time. Anything related to government and paper is a very smooth and easy process. The only downside is that many Dutch people can’t think outside the box. They essentially have a book of their job description and what they need to know. If your situation isn’t in their book, they don’t know what to do.
7. People Don’t Get Offended by Every Little Thing
It is so nice to be able to speak without filtering every little thing. I feel so free here. People are open to discussing their opinion and views even if they are different from their own. In American and Eastern European cultures, people can’t handle it when people think differently. They get so offended and might even stop being your friend. Here people are very open to dialogue. Of course, not every American and Easter European are close-minded, and not all Dutch are open-minded, but it’s been my overall experience.
Can I even end this blog post without talking about this delicious snack? I seriously love these breaded stew balls dipped in mustard. This is my favorite Dutch food. It’s soooo goooddd. Yes, Dutch people don’t have the greatest food, but you have to admit that this is an amazing invention.
What is a less talked about reason why you love living in the Netherlands?