Dutch in Translation: Posting Once a Month

Writing this post doesn't come easy. Dutch in Translation has been a transformation agent when I've needed it most. Now, and in order to pursue this year's main goals, writing the blog every week doesn't come first. Let me explain.

Dutch in Translation was born as a catalyst for change. Writing about my experience moving to the Netherlands helped me organize my thoughts, feelings, and decisions. Thanks to the power of journaling, I was able to understand what I was going through and what was needed in order for my life to improve and move forward. Exploring my life's priorities was a key factor.
"Life is not stressful, we make it so."My mother told me this last night.Wise phrase. I tend to overwhelm myself with projects and activities that it makes me wish days were longer: I want to work on EVERYTHING I like. Now, acknowledging my limitations, I realize I must choose in order to have a balance.
So, which is my new mindset? Finding time and balance for mysel…

5 Steps to Register as a Freelancer

After being through the process of becoming a freelancer in the Netherlands, I thought of sharing the info on how to register at the Kamer van Koophandel (Chamber of Commerce). If you know someone that might find it useful, please share it. Furthermore, if there is any way I can help you with, please don't hesitate to contact me. I would be delighted to assist in any way I can.

Step 1. Check if you must register at the Chamber of Commerce.
There are 3 criteria used to determine if you are an entrepreneur. Check if they apply to you. You can verify here.

Step 2. Think of a company name!
To begin with, get all the help you can. Ask people for ideas and explore a business name generator online. Make sure it is short and that it expresses who you are and what you do. In my case, I asked my students, friends, and family to lend me a hand. We all did research and voted on the name. This went on for weeks. Until one day, it just felt right.

Step 3. Prepare a business plan.
It is important to w…

On Being a Freelancer: Couldn't Have Done It Alone

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."
 Marcel Proust
My First 3 Months in the Netherlands I wish I had started writing a journal back in those days. I have a terrible memory, you see. From what I remember, I was excelling at being a housewife, studying Dutch every day, and enjoying my new social life. On the other hand, my sweetheart and I were figuring out how to be with one another, and I too was unrestful figuring out what who would I become. 
Month #4 I got my first job as a postbezorger, and that was quite a ride as you know... (If you don't, read "Finding a Job in the Netherlands: PostNL and I.")
Month #5 At the taalcafe, I was asked if I had been a teacher. When I said yes, this beautiful Russian lady expressed she would love having a teacher like me.  This took me completely by surprise! Some days later, I contacted a language school in Eindhoven and was told that they didn't need anyo…

To Begin 2018, Two Cities and Three Museums

It is the end of the year, and one starts thinking of what has been accomplished and what one desires for next year. Oh, dear! I hadn't reflected on it until a cheerful friend of mine asked me about my 2018 goals. Then, and to follow up on my top priorities, I settled on a plan of action. In it, I pursue and select activities which bring me excitement, joy, and that in a certain way, provide nourishment to my brain and soul, as for me, like knitting or visiting museums. 
What is at the top of my list?
     The Museumkaart! It is a personal card that gives you access to more than 400 museums in The Netherlands and it is valid for one year.  If I had asked Sinterklaas for a present, it would have been this! As you can tell, I didn't ask for it so...I will give it to myself as a New Year's present. Yeah!

What will I do in order to foster personal growth?      To begin with, two cities and three museums. Would you like to join me? :-)
City: Eindhoven Museum 1: Van AbbemuseumS…

Beautiful and Limited: Reflections on Turning 43 in The Netherlands

"Today you are You,  that is truer than true.  There is no one alive who  is Youer than You." Dr. Seus

Birthdays are what one wants to make of them. For some, it as an ordinary event. For others, it can be a beginning or an end. Some more might view it as an opportunity to reflect on what has been experienced. And then there are the loud and cheerful who take it as an extraordinary occasion worth sharing. For me, birthdays are unique and unreplicable.

     I must confess I am shedding some tears as I write this. On one hand, I am healthy and have been blessed with family and friends that love me and celebrated with me in the same way I approach life, with laughter, joy, and extra pampering. On the other, I wish I had mastered the art of letting go, of being in control. I wish I could embrace certain feelings in order to later let them go. I wish I could settle and conform. 
     There is a podcast I listen to for my Dutch immersion. It's called 100% INSPIRATIE PODCASTby Thijs L…

Hobbies: Why and How I Started a Book Group

Hobbies      The leisure activities we choose shape us. They should be important because they stimulate our spirit and are a revealing trait of our personality. 

The Importance of Hobbies      There is a very good article that includes, in my opinion, interesting and well-explained reasons about the significance of hobbies. It is called "Why Hobbies Are Important", published by David and Daniela Naidu on the website Skilled At Life. I invite you to go ahead and read it.  They list 11 reasons, and I agree with all of them. In fact, we can also see how helpful they are when moving abroad. Check Daniela and David's list (I have underlined the ones that most apply when making a fresh start):  "It makes you more interesting.""It helps to relieve stress by keeping you engaged in something you enjoy.""Hobbies help you become more patient.""Having a hobby can help your social life and create a bond with others.""It increases your confiden…

Me Cooking. My Butcher. With Wine.

What happened to me? Did it happen to you too?
     I must confess. My darling is not hallucinating or imagining things. Yes, I used to cook more often and sometimes even sophisticated meals. Then, reality sank in. You might wonder what I mean, or maybe you know EXACTLY what I am trying to say, as in "been there, done that." It started feeling like an obligation, a must, a chore that couldn't be skipped. I asked myself, what can I do to like cooking again?

     Not much. It has never been my strength. Even so, I have looked for ways to enjoy it more: Share a meal with a friend; enjoy when I am invited over and someone else does the cooking; have fun when preparing a meal. When alone, never say always but close, I listen to a nice podcast and have a glass of wine. Then my honey comes home and says home cooking is better than anything else. I don't agree, but I try to feel flattered. Do you see what I mean?

What have I been cooking lately?
     Every weekday I need to mak…