My New Life // Love and Liefs

Dear Shannon,

I had so much fun Skyping with you last week, and am getting really excited about starting up Love and Liefs again. Since our last posts in this series, you and I have traded places: you went from your study abroad experience in Amsterdam back to Wellesley, and I graduated from Wellesley and moved to the Netherlands to start that whole “adult life” thing. I miss Wellesley sometimes, especially the people — so I’m excited to get to experience it again through your eyes. Please send me pictures of Tower Court in the snow!

Living in Leiden

Life here in Leiden is surreal. I’ve never been so happy; sometimes I look around at this city and am so full of joy that it almost hurts. As you know, I’m here to stay, and I’m still having a hard time adjusting to the idea that it is really for good. Ken and I bought our apartment with the intent to live here for several years. The last time that I spent several years in one “home” without leaving, I was still in high school. Since then, I’ve traveled quite a bit, lived in four different countries, and moved in and out of the Wellesley dorms more times than I can count (that bridge semester really threw things off). So adjusting to the idea that this is my home now is challenging.

Setting Up Foxwood Flat

That said, I absolutely love it here. I’m so in love with our new apartment, which I hadn’t seen before I arrived here a few weeks ago. We’ve affectionately named the apartment Foxwood Flat because itBecause Ken was the one to sign the paperwork, it feels a little like a gift to me. That means that I have no problem bragging about it to our dinner guests (after all, you can’t brag about something you bought, but if it was given to you…).

We spent the first week after I arrived buying and assembling all our furniture so that we had the basics: a couch, a dinner table, beds and a desk. Now that the essentials are taken care of, though, we haven’t done any furniture shopping. We haven’t even hung up our wall art, which means that our apartment is still half-empty and all our walls are bare! I have some beautiful posters and paintings for a gallery wall in my office, but right now they’re lying stacked against my desk until further notice.

Getting Involved

The rest of my life is also starting up right now. I went to “the office” last Sunday — as you may know, I do some part-time social media work for a non-profit in Amsterdam. But, thanks to jet lag I still haven’t made the trek to the church I want to try out. We’ve had guests over for dinner — all been either family or long-time friends. But, I’m really eager to start meeting new people in the city, and am trying to find ways to get involved. And while work is going really well (I’ve been blogging 5 days a week, and have a new study coming out with Seasons Illustrated this month), I’m still figuring out what I want my work schedule to be. I know that I’ll get there; everything in its own time.

I’m excited to hear from you about adjusting back to Wellesley life.

Love and Liefs (lots of it),



More from this Series:

Shannon’s Posts:

Introducing Love & Liefs

Getting Lost and Exploring the City

Stating Dutch School, Learning to Cycle, Turning 21 

Getting Yelled and in Dutch

Traveling and Fall

Traveling, Finals, and Getting My Life Together

Oh What a Weekend


From a Train in Hungary

Sara’s Posts:

The Start of Something New

Not-So-New Beginnings

Routines and Celebrations

Travel Week

A Very Busy October

We’re With You

Revisiting My Semester Goals

Sara Laughed

Hey hey! I'm Sara, an American writer living in the Netherlands and working as a product manager.

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