Many would assume that a job where you get to travel around the world would be heaven. The reality is that it;s much less fun than it sounds. I moved six times internationally in as many years. After the first couple of times, the shine wears off. The hassle of shifting your belongings then finding somewhere to live in a country you've only been in for a few hours. Stress I can do without.
And, anyway, I wanted to live in Holland. Or, rather more specifically, in Amsterdam.There was no way I could guarantee that with the job I had. Time to move on. I found myself a job on The Hague. Close enough to Amsterdam. Especially as the office was just a few minutes' walk from a major railway station, Hollands Spoor.
We slowly filled our flat with furniture and I found a couple of pubs to frequent. Rick's Cafe to drink De Koninck and play pool during happy hour. Cafe Belgique to drink La Trappe Dubbel and, occasionally, Westvleteren 12. All Belgian beers, you'll note.
Dolores and I were the proud owners of a mortgage and jobs. You can't get much more settled than that.
I've been thinking recently about how long someone has to live in another country to become a lifer? After how many years is it near impossible that you'll return to your homeland? Five or six? Ten?
In the first post of this series I remarked that people fell into two categories: those intending to remain permanently and those intending to leave after a year or two. Often it transpires those intentions don't rhyme with reality. Some who intended staying leave, and some short-termers end up fixed for all eternity.