Monday June 6, 2016. 2:35 PM. Departure time for Rio de Janeiro with on board 2 travel enthusiasts finally embarking on their lifelong dream! Time for the final Friends Abroad contribution and who else then our dearest friends from Hastalaproxima, Bart and Nathalie who live in Montevideo Uruguay. We will visit them this July and we can’t wait to finally drink a beer again together. Sit back, read and enjoy.
Why did you emigrate?
Through my work we had the opportunity to work abroad. After thinking it over for a while, one whole day to be exactly, we decided to go. Let’s do it! Some choices do not need much thinking.
What does living in Uruguay bring you both?
Beaches, mate, dulce de leche, meat, football, passion… the real South American culture. But this is a broad concept. It is a big challenge to live in a less obvious country. Can you name me 10 Dutch people who currently live in Uruguay?
What are South America’s must do’s?
There are so many beautiful places in South America. This is a tough question. Rio de Janeiro is a great starting point for you both. And from all we have seen till now we can recommend the salt plains in Bolivia, Machu Picchu in Peru, the Iguazu waterfall in Brazil, the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina, Easter Island (which technical lies in South America) and Bogotá in Columbia.
What are Uruguay’s must do’s?
The old city center of Montevideo is absolutely worth visiting and the football stadium where Uruguay won the world cup. A nice walk over the Rambla can’t be missed. And outside the capital Montevideo you will find beautiful small towns. On one hand you have modern Punta del Este. On the other hand you have hippie towns like Punta del Diablo, La Pedrera and Cabo Polonia. It is also fun to enter the outback by visiting an ‘Estancia’, a farm, to experience the real Gaucho lifestyle.
What or who do you miss the most from Holland?
Sprinkles, duh, caramel waffles, Dutch cheese, watching an old fashioned football game with friends, drinking a beer with friends, our nephew and niece, Sinterklaas, ice skating, peanut butter, wooden shoes… just a few things.
What is the hardest part of travelling and living abroad?
It is not hard to travel nowadays. A trend we do notice is that people are avoiding certain risk areas. For example travelling to Turkey and Greece are now less popular due to the unstable situation.
The hardest part of living abroad is the fact that you need to have great adaptability skills. Do not live in a country that won’t suit you. And don’t complain afterwards that you cannot understand a word people are saying, that you have to wait in line longer than you are used to or that people will lie to you more often. Homesickness and missing your family and friends will always remain a hard part of living abroad. This is something you can’t prepare yourself for.
Where do you see yourself living in 5 years?
Difficult question, perhaps back in Amsterdam. This still is a real nice city to live in. But might we chose another country, it will probably be somewhere in Europe. Less travel time to come back to Holland.
What did you learn by living abroad?
To have patience. Things tend to go different compared to what you were used to in the Netherlands. But isn’t that the reason why you left the Netherlands. The fact that things are different. And it’s not just patience alone, you will have more time to contemplate about things. Enjoy what you have and don’t make a fuzz about things.
What do we need to keep in mind while travelling?
Keep an eye on your stuff. Your backpack is your home so don’t lose it. And each other. You are travelling to see places and experience different cultures. You will probably have a travel plan but be flexible about it… Most, so not all, travel plan will change during your trip. By the way, Uruguay is an expensive country but you will get your taxes refunded if you pay with your credit card. This means a discount of 20%.
Why do you look forward to our arrival?
Family and friends are what we miss the most from the Netherlands. That is why we love the fact that you are coming to visit us. It also means we can show you our life and that you will be a part of it (a little bit;-). We can explain with words, what it means to live in a country, city or culture. But experiencing it in real live together with you will be much better.
See you in a couple of week guys!
“Friends abroad” is inspired on “Bloggers on the road” of Hasta la Proxima.