Only one and a half year has passed since I posted “Ready to leave France”, although it feels like so much longer! Can you believe we’re already living in the third country since then? I don’t. But it’s true!
When we were leaving France, the plan was to live and travel in Mexico. But because of all kind of details, we ended up in Belgium. Hoping for a fresh start. Oh, I can still imagine how happy we were, when we got our first apartment together! It was beautiful. Two bedrooms, big balcony, peaceful. Just perfect. We didn’t demand much of our little place called ‘home’, so we started with little furniture. For us, the most important was to have a bed and a nice room for Sophia. As time passed, we gathered more items until we could fill up our entire apartment.
In the meantime due date was getting closer. I had arranged a midwife, got the possibility to give birth in the Netherlands and receive a nurse at home in Belgium. It worked out pretty well. Our maternity period went smoothly, apart from a few misconceptions because of the not so regular construction. The apartment got really hot in summer, but we could always cool down on our balcony. Our place was perfect for the three of us. We lived close to Antwerp, and still close to Nicole’s parents. There were two ’emergency’ shops at a 2 minute walk, opened day and night. Even though Essen is a village, there were plenty of restaurants nearby. Across the street we had a bar, where we went a few times to have a ‘parents night out’ and where Sophia even fell asleep. Luis got his visa without any problems. We even made friends from different parts of the world.
Then why leave?
It all sounds perfect, but there was one substantial problem. No matter how hard Luis searched for a job, the Belgians weren’t interested in a foreigner. Time after time, he was told his Dutch had to be better. After verifying the requested level, we started to put level 1.2 on his resume. Didn’t work. In almost a year, he literally got one job interview. For cleaning. He didn’t get the job.
We got sick and tired of it and reconsidered our options. The idea of moving to the Netherlands started to grow in our heads. Afraid of receiving the same treatment on a job search, we decided to start applying for jobs. The first day we received a phone call of a very enthusiastic woman. She spoke Dutch, but switched to English as soon as she understood Luis’ Dutch was still a bit difficult. Later on, she even switched to Spanish. Language was no problem at all. Getting a job neither. But what about his visa?
We found out with his Belgian visa, he doesn’t have the right to work in the Netherlands. There should be a possibility, but migration doesn’t allow it.
A little ball started rolling in our heads. We didn’t want to leave Belgium so soon, but not getting the respect we do deserve, didn’t make our life there as beautiful and comfortable as life’s supposed to be.
We questioned ourselves if we were really ready to leave so soon.
At some point we took a decision and got our paperwork ready. I called migration, got an appointment as soon as possible. We packed our bags and moved back to the Netherlands. We worked on our documents, and made sure we came prepared to the appointment. On the same day Luis got a stamp in his passport with the right to work in the Netherlands. Only one week later, he signed a contract for a job in the Netherlands.
On the moment of writing this blog, we are busy moving and cleaning our apartment in Belgium. The rental contract ends on the end of April. Even though we’ve been living in the Netherlands since January, there were still some things left. Now we’re ready to leave our apartment and hand in de keys.
We’re closing another chapter in our lives. Turning once another page.
Some people might think we should have had more patience, give it more time. Better times will come. But why wait if you have the power to make your life better right away?
Are you ready to leave your problems behind?