Thinking of moving to Europe? Consider These 7 Things First

native DC Ariel Solomon recently left California for the Netherlands. A senior executive at a technology company, she moved to the northwest European country after her company asked her to lead its growth strategy for EMEA markets. In April 2021, she packed her bags, said goodbye to the United States and moved to the capital, Amsterdam.

“I had a professional goal of working overseas at some point,” Ariel said. “I saw the chance to work in Europe with people from many different countries in a master class on business IQ and emotional intelligence. So I jumped at the chance. When I moved here, the pandemic was still in full swing, so I spent my first few months in lockdown.

Life in Europe

Settled in Europe for over a year now, Ariel has had many opportunities to familiarize herself with her new environment. One advantage of living in the Netherlands as opposed to the United States is the level of security she feels. Low stress levels and affordability are other positives.

Photo courtesy of Ariel Salomon

“I respect that Europeans seem to lead a more balanced life than what I was used to back home. Amsterdam is a very bike-friendly city, which I had to get used to at first, but I appreciate now. All my needs in terms of goods, services and infrastructure are just as accessible as they were at home. They are often cheaper too.

Given the proximity of nations in Europe, Ariel is also able to easily and quickly reach neighboring countries. This is a particularly important advantage for a travel lover like her.

“As part of my job, I travel often, so I’ve taken note of countries that feel particularly welcoming. I saw myself exploring a second home in Denmark, SwissWhere Portugal. I find the health system in the Netherlands be rather bureaucratic (e.g. cross-references are often required), but things are otherwise well constructed and digitally compatible. »

Photo courtesy of Ariel Salomon

The good and the… not so good

But one thing Ariel lacks in Amsterdam is food; she says it doesn’t hold a candle to what she is used to in her home. While the ingredients used are fresh and often organic, the restaurant preparation/service and seasonings available for cooking at home leave a lot to be desired.

As for other black expats, Ariel says there are plenty, though she’s only been lucky enough to meet a few. Being part of expatriate groups helped her acclimatize more easily. All in all, Ariel loves her new city and country so much that she recently bought a house there.

“It’s my second home, my first in Europe, and the process was quite simple. Buying in the Netherlands is a no-brainer as the banks don’t require a deposit (although I put money to reduce my overall mortgage) and homeowners can write off any interest paid on their mortgage at the end of the year.

Photo courtesy of Ariel Salomon

Thinking of moving to Europe?

If you are considering moving abroad and are considering Europe as your potential future home, you will need to think about some things that can help you determine if this is the right place for you. Here are seven things Ariel recommends you consider before making your decision:

Mary I. Bruner