As you may have guessed, my name is Sharon. I created this website to share with everyone my love for two countries. To give you some background into who I am and why I have two countries, I have decided to use this page to introduce myself.
I am a 34 year old Australian. Born and bred in Brisbane, Queensland. I was born on May 6, 1967. I moved to Hervey Bay (also in Queensland) at the age of 19 and lived there for the next fourteen years, moving back to Brisbane several months before my jouney to Holland. My interests include history, astronomy, science fiction, reading, writing, photography, travelling, ballroom dancing, tennis, sailing, golf, knitting, movies, music, and going to the theatre, museums and art galleries. As you can see, I have a lot of interests. I also collect postcards. Everywhere I go on my travels, I collect postcards and I have a huge collection from around the globe. Another collection I have is a recipe collection. If you are also interested in recipes then I run an internet recipe group called Internationalquisine and you would be most welcome to join us. Another interest of mine is Star Trek (yes, I am a trekkie) and I also run a group called Trekkies in Holland.
I have no children of my own but I do have 4 stepchildren from my previous marriage who will always hold a piece of my heart and always remain a part of my life. I am also very close to my sister and my two adorable nephews, and being apart from them is very hard at times. I love animals and always have pets. At the moment I only have 2 cats here in Holland, Laurel and Hardy. Not a day goes by that I don't think of my pets left behind in Australia.
On June 1st, 2000 I left Brisbane on my biggest adventure to date. I was flying half way around the world to meet my internet friend. Hans and I met online and became close friends while I was living in Brisbane. We had become very close so had decided it was time to meet. That was the start of what has become a wonderful life. Many friends asked if I was nervous in the days leading up to my departure but I felt no nerves at all. Everything just felt like this was what I was supposed to do. And at 7.45am on June 2nd, I touched down in Holland, land of tulips, windmills, wooden shoes, cheese, and much more. What was to be a 3 month visit turned into a lifetime and I have never looked back. Hans and I now share a great love and I couldn't wish for anything more.
Moving to a foreign country is full of its ups and downs but a very fulfilling experience. Sure, I miss Australia and all the wonderful things it has to offer which you cant find here in Holland. Such as the wide, open spaces, the wildlife, the privacy, as well as the many food items and other aspects. But, at the same time, Holland also has so much to offer and discovering all those wonderful aspects is quite an adventure. I have found the people in Holland so friendly and only too willing to help when they realise you are not Dutch. They will immediately start talking to you in English and helping any way then can. I am living in a small country town where it is very safe with no crime. Pollution and recycling are big concerns to the Dutch and everyone does their bit here in Holland. There are beautiful little pockets everywhere of forest for people to take walks in and these are always enjoyable. Public transport is excellent and you can find your way to any corner of the country easily. Culture and history is prevalent wherever you look. Work conditions are very good and jobs are very stable. Here there is very low unemployment, around 2.5%, and no foreign deficit. I have fallen in love with Holland.
It can be very hard being so far from family and friends and everything you have ever known. Living here permanently is definitely not the same as taking a holiday. Being on the other side of the world while family members are experiencing sickness, having babies, getting married, and enjoying great moments in their life, does take some getting used to and I am not sure you ever do. But my life is also full of adventures and new discoveries and I have made some truly wonderful friends on this side of the planet. I also try to help other Australians who move to Holland or Europe with their settling in through my yahoo group DutchAussies. If you are an Australian living over here, don't be shy and join a group of other Australians making their life on this side of the globe. Finding other English speakers in Holland that are in the same situation as myself has made settling in so much easier and I am so thankful for their support and the terrific friends I have made. Other yahoo groups designed to help English speaking expats who have or intend to relocate to the Netherlands (that I co-own or moderate on) include BeneluxExpats, EuroXpats, and Limbrats. Limbrats is specifically for those living in the Noord Brabant and Limburg provinces of Holland.
One of the many problems for expats living far from home, is missing all the simple things. It may include photos and calendars, food, and much more. It was for this reason that I started a group called International Swap which has members in many countries that wish to swap for either items they miss from home or just wish to add to their collections. If you are interested, please look us up!
Stay tuned to this page as I will be updating at a later date and including things like a personal photo album.