Emigration… it’s a bit like riding a bike

The other day I was riding somewhere, and I realised that my journey with a bike here hasn’t been dissimilar to our emigration process. There was preparation, falls, highs, downhills, uphills (well, as high as they get in Amsterdam), tears and learning.

Much as I had to learn a new city and way of living, so too did I have to learn to ride properly. I think I had last properly ridden a bike when I was 12, and then re-learnt a few years ago while on honeymoon in Paris – cycling a bit through the Tuileries Gardens.

Here, I had to learn how to do it among traffic and other cyclists, with Google Maps often directing me and sometimes with groceries in the front or a toddler at the back. I had to learn some of the written and non-written rules of the road, just as I had to pick up some of the Dutch culture and their ways of doing things.

There have been some falls – off the bike, and in my life. I’ve gotten back up, but there were days where I still hurt.

Then there were the times where I’ve cruised – “I can do this!” I’ve thought to myself, navigating cars, cyclists and challenges. I’ve arrived at my destinations in tact and happy and gotten to places, meeting wonderful people along the way.

Then there were scary times in the driver’s seat. “I can’t do this” I’ve uttered to myself. It had just seemed too daunting and hard, and I felt I was going to fall, though most times I was able to redirect or find my balance again, or just re-set.

There have been bumps, times I’ve gotten lost, times I’ve found new things, plus downhills and obstacles.

After a year here, I more or less know where to look, and I feel a little more confident on these streets, plus a sense of belonging too.

What a ride it’s been.

                                                                          This picture was taken a few days after we arrived

As always, here are some pics of out and about…

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