It’s almost time! Only two weeks from now I’m going to pack up my stuff, disassemble my furniture and move to Amsterdam, where I’m going to rent a small apartment with Robbert. For the past four years I’ve been living in an even smaller, but very charming studio in Utrecht. I moved here when I was studying at Utrecht University, and it’s been absolutely wonderful. Before I moved here I only knew a bit of the city center, so I was really lucky to accidentally end up in one of the nicest neighbourhoods in Utrecht. I can’t even recall how many times I’ve walked around in these streets, grinning from ear to ear because I felt so lucky to be living in such a beautiful place. Needless to say, the prospect of leaving here makes me a bit sad. Robbert and I were considering moving to Utrecht at first, but we realised pretty soon that it made no sense moving to Utrecht when everything in our lives happens in my hometown near Amsterdam. We found ourselves a nice little place in the neighbourhood that was our first choice, and now the time has come to leave. Even though I already went through the big, initial mourning stage when we decided not to settle down in Utrecht almost a year ago, the move is still a bit bittersweet. I decided to write down a list of all the things I’m going to miss here in Utrecht, and another one of everything I’m looking forward to in Amsterdam. Consider it a bit of personal therapy, haha!
What I’m Going To Miss About Utrecht
Right now I live just a few streets away from a lovely park, where I’ve spent a lot of my time especially in spring and summer. I love sitting down there for hours with a book and some snacks, or just going on a quick walk to get some fresh air after a busy day of work. Even though I’ll still have parks near the new house, I have particularly warm and fuzzy feelings for this one, with its old trees, flower beds and fountain lake. It makes for the best photoshoot location, too.
Always Feeling Safe
In all the years I’ve lived here, I have felt only a little bit unsafe maybe three times. I haven’t experienced this level of safety in any other place I’ve lived. When I lived in Amsterdam before, I would never leave the house after dark, and when I left during the day, I’d get changed so as not to attract unwanted attention. Admittedly, that was a pretty bad neighbourhood, but just to illustrate how easily scared I am. And how wonderful my current neighbourhood is.
City Center & All Shops A 10-Minute Bike Ride Away
I’ve gotten so spoiled, having the center of Utrecht and all the shops I could wish for only a 10-minute bike ride away. I can go on a great shopping trip whenever I want, or just run out to get something very specific, and everything is always within reach. There’ll be a little shopping area in my new neighbourhood, but I’ll have to go into central Amsterdam to go clothes shopping. As you may know, I’m not a big fan of central Amsterdam. Luckily, the center of Utrecht will only be a 20-minute train ride away 🙂
Beautiful Old Architecture Everywhere
Utrecht stems from the Roman age, and even though nothing that old remains, the city has a wealth of breathtaking old architecture. Right now I’m able to walk out the door and walk among beauty from here to the Dom cathedral. Trust me, I’ve done so many times. There are wonderful shooting locations everywhere and for someone with such a big appreciation for aesthetics as me, this is a heaven sent. Our new neighbourhood was built fairly recently and is far from this beautiful. I’m going to miss the genius loci.
My Built-In Cubbies
The square shaped built-in cubbies in my studio are my favourite feature in the house, and even though it won’t be hard to achieve something similar in the new house, I’m going to miss them. If I do try to recreate them, it won’t look as good without the high ceilings.
Looking At The People On The Terrace
There’s a little café right outside my window, and whenever there’s a tiny bit of sun out, the terrace is filled with happy people chatting and drinking coffee. It’s a very peaceful and cheerful sight and I love just sitting next to the window, playing some music and watchin the people. Is that creepy? I hope not, haha!
When I was still studying, one of my friends discovered a shelf in the art history section of the university library filled to the brim with books about costume history, historical hairstyling, makeup history and everything else I could ever need for my YouTube channel. This was when I decided to start Hair History, and Beauty Beacons afterwards. When I graduated I lost my library card, but I still go there to take photos of pages whenever I need some very specific information for a video. I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do without access to these resources in the future, and I think I might actually still travel to Utrecht just for this purpose.
Need I say more? My current bathroom has a bath tub, the new one won’t. A luxury I’ll definitely miss.
Large Fridge & Freezer
The new apartment has a built-in fridge and freezer, so I’m leaving my current fridge behind. The new fridge is a lot smaller than my current one though, and the only freezer is a tiny little one on the top shelf of the fridge. Right now my freezer is nearly always stocked to the brim, so that’s going to require a bit of a lifestyle change!
What I Look Forward To In Amsterdam
Living With Robbert
First and foremost, I look forward to living with Robbert of course! We’re now six years into our relationship and it’s about time. I liked living alone, especially the first few years, but it does get lonely sometimes and I can’t wait to have him around every day.
Having The Ratties
Let’s not forget about my other big loves. The rats are coming to live with us as well! Even though I’m really nervous about having sole responsibility over them and having to make all the hard medical decisions etc., I look forward to daily cuddles. If everything goes according to plan I should be able to give them free reign (supervised only of course) in the living room and I’m sure they’ll love that 🙂
No Shared Spaces
For the first time since moving out of my parents’ house, I’m going to have my own front door and the entire house to myself. Well, Robbert will be there of course but that’s something entirely different than having house mates. I cannot wait to be able to shut the door and know I can’t run into anybody unexpectedly! Having people around the house doesn’t seem like a big deal but to somebody as introverted as me, the constantly present possibility of running into someone in the privacy of your home is pretty stressful. No more of that, finally!
This ties in to the previous point: we’ll have several different rooms available all for us, including the spaces inbetween. By several I mean three, but even that’s more than I’ve ever had, haha! My first house was shared with a friend so I only had a private bedroom, and now I have a studio with a separate kitchen but shared hallway and bathroom. When we first move into the new place I intend to walk from room to room all the time. Just because I can.
As much as I love Utrecht, I can’t shake the feeling that I don’t really belong here. The vast majority of my social life happens in my hometown and since I’ve graduated, there’s been nothing tying me to Utrecht besides my house and my love for the city. I’ve been traveling back to my hometown every weekend (Friday through Monday, actually) since I moved away, and that place is still ultimately home to me. The neigbourhood we’re moving to in Amsterdam is right next to my hometown and I’ve known the place for years, so even though I prefer Utrecht as a city, it does feel like I’m coming home. And that’s really nice.
Biggest Supermarket Ever
OH MY. We went to explore the neighbourhood for a bit the last time we went to look at the apartment, and really nearby is literally the biggest supermarket I’ve ever seen in the Netherlands. It has everything I could ever want or need and I cannot wait to go grocery shopping there and make recipes for you guys! There’s another (smaller) supermarket even closer by and the two of them are my favourite food store chains, so I’m overjoyed. I’m actually ridiculously excited about this, Robbert rightfully makes fun of me for it. I can’t help it, I just love food, ok 🙂
For the first time in a long time, I’ll have outside space! The balcony in the apartment is tiny, but it’s there and it’s ours. I’m so excited about decorating it in spring and working there on a sunny day. Hopefully I’ll be able to grow lots of plants and herbs.
I mentioned I was going to miss my park in Utrecht above, but luckily I’ll still have parks nearby. I put new in quotation marks because the larger park we’ll be close to is one I used to visit a lot with my parents as a child, and I’ve been there a few times in more recent years, so it’s not actually new to me. There’s still plenty to explore there in any case as it is quite large, and there are some other smaller parks around as well. I’m really excited to take some nice autumn walks there!
Decorating A New Space
I LOVE DECORATING! I’m super excited to have a whole blank apartment to decorate with lots of new furniture. I’ll be bringing most of the stuff I already own but it’s still going to look a lot different in a new space, and I really can’t wait for the unpacking and decorating part of the move. Bring it on!
Tying into the previous point, we’re going to buy some new furniture which I don’t currently have and am super excited about. We’re getting a huge corner sofa, the biggest closet I’ve ever had, an actual dinner table, and a super tall chest of drawers for my makeup collection and hair products. There’s more of course but these are some of the things I’m most excited about having and using. I feel like I’m finally going to have a regular grown-up house, haha!
For the first time ever, I’m going to have an open kitchen that’s connected to the living room. This is something I’ve wanted forever, as I hate having to leave the room when I have guests over to prepare dinner or snacks. I end up missing the whole conversation and I’m usually stuck there for a long time, it’s just not gezellig, as we say in the Netherlands 🙂 I also look forward to leaving the kitchen when I have something on the stove, and still being able to keep an eye (and nose) on it. I can’t begin to tell you how often I’ve burned food by thinking it was “slowly simmering away” when it was actually boiling furiously and I had no idea because I was in another room. Sigh. Oh, also, the new kitchen has SO MUCH STORAGE SPACE! I’ll actually be able to buy kitchen appliances and store everything so that it doesn’t take 10 minutes to get a tea cup out of the back of a stuffed cabinet. Prepare to see a lot of the kitchen in future videos.
Living In One House Only
As I mentioned above, I currently spend friday through monday at my parents’ house and Robbert’s parents’ house every week. My posessions are scattered across at least two houses and I forget or misplace things all the time. It’s really annoying to look for a piece of clothing for a video, only to realise it’s in another town. Or to forget a charger or some other important item you really need. I’ve had to travel back and forth to my hometown or Utrecht just to pick up something I needed so many times, which takes up a lot of time, not to mention the cost of train tickets. I’ll be very happy to not spend so much of my time on public transport any more.
Now, Amsterdam isn’t my favourite place in the world to put it lightly, but since it’s the capital of the Netherlands, it does have a bustling scene of young hipsters. And that means vegan restaurants and food options everywhere. Good vegan food when eating out isn’t very easy to find in Utrecht (although it’s here when you look harder) so I’m actually really excited to have all these places I can go in Amsterdam. I’m even willing to travel to the city center for them, haha 🙂
My Own Washing Machine
I currently share my washing machine with a bunch of men, who tend to leave their laundry in the washing machine for hours after it’s done, not leave the door open for the machine to dry, or just use it exactly when I was planning to put my laundry in. I’ll be very happy to have my own soon. We’re planning to buy a washer/dryer combo which will be my first experience with a dryer ever, so I’m really excited to see how I’ll like that!
A Quiet Environment
Right now, there is a busy street and road right outside my window. There is always some noise, day and night, ranging from groups of screaming schoolchildren to garbage trucks, revving motorcycles, wheels on wet concrete and drunk students. I can’t even count the times I’ve had to pause mid-sentence in a video to wait for the street cleaning machine to pass by. Being able to film without getting interrupted or having to edit out loads of noises (honking cars, gah!) will be amazing. I’m hoping there will be less background noise in general, including the buzzing you always hear in my videos. Not just for my videos of course, it’ll be great to get some peace and quiet just for me as well. I also hope we won’t be able to hear the neighbours as much as we do now. There’s still a rather large road very nearby, but I’m pretty sure it’s less busy and at least it’s not directly under our windows. Yay!
This does actually make me feel better, haha! To me, Utrecht signifies my student years and I’m ready to leave those behind now and move on to the next phase of my life. Utrecht is my happy place and luckily it’ll only be a short train ride away, so I can still come here whenever I want. I can even creepily walk around my old neighbourhood and read at the park, should I miss it that much. I look forward to the next couple of months!