Seven reasons why it is great to live in the Netherlands

Okay. We all go through bad patches and we all want to go home at some point because the health service/weather/food/beaches/television/football is better there. But here are seven reasons to stay.

1. Holidays
While most civilized countries (looking at you, America) offer 20 days of holiday a year, the Dutch are serious about taking it. They have mysterious extra holidays called ATV days. They get compensation for working public holidays. See seven holidays in three months. They save for their holiday before retirement. If you don’t take a few weeks off every year, you’re not doing it right.

2. Travel
With all those vacation days, the Dutch travel. They pop over to Tunisia for a few days. Or head off to Thailand for a few weeks. They might own a vacation house in Italy or Estonia.

A little place for the weekend

A little place for the weekend

They have lots of weekends on the Wadden Islands. No-one works on Friday afternoon because they have all gone on a weekend break to Istanbul.

3. Honesty
Some call it rudeness, but the Dutch don’t pull any punches. If you want an honest answer, consult your Dutch friends. Just don’t expect it to be sugar coated. They will tell you straight that they don’t like your new coat or your boyfriend. They are also terribly proud of this Dutch trait, and not afraid to tell you that either.

4. No Overtime (unless you work for an international law firm)
Your boss is going to leave at 5pm and you’re expected to do so as well. Go home and enjoy that “work life balance” the Dutch are so serious about.

Time to go home

Time to go home

5. No long commuting
Speaking of work life balance, the Dutch think a commute longer than they can bike is unacceptable. Don’t live to far from the office and you’ll be home promptly at 5.30pm like the rest of your colleagues.

6. Dairy products
Hopefully you aren’t lactose intolerant or on some kind of diet. The Dutch know their way around dairy.

Delicious with a cheese sandwich

Delicious with a cheese sandwich

Skip the cheese at the grocery store and find a real cheese shop. Try vla (it’s like delicious pudding) and all the varieties of yogurt. And try karnemelk if you’re brave, very brave.

7. Tolerance
Did you know marijuana is not actually legal in the Netherlands? The Dutch simply decided that rules against it were dumb. So they stopped enforcing them. Simple as that.


3 thoughts on “Seven reasons why it is great to live in the Netherlands

  1. La Torontoise

    @Bastian, I can not agree more.
    The real estate market is flat, so you can not sell your house at a good price if you change your job. And this in turn means committing for quite a few people. I live very close to Germany and the partners of all my colleagues work in Randstaad, simply because high-tect jobs do not exist in our region. This means commutting 180 km in a day, in fact two times a day, because many commutters do not have any sleep-over place on work days.


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