Challenges of Expats

Challenges of Expats – Interview of the month February

In my goal to support expats, I present you this month’s interview. Let me introduce you to Joyce Poorter. She takes us all the way back to her Australian roots. 

Being an Expat, was it easy or challenging? Why did she leave her native country?How did Joyce adjust and integrate into the ‘small’ Holland?

Just sit down, relax and enjoy this month’s true story.

Interview with Joyce Poorter

From Australia to The Netherlands…


Who is Joyce, would you tell us a more about you?

Joyce: ‘’I am 59 and a retired psychologist. I have a daughter of my first marriage and Isabelle Rebel Rametta is 22 years old and lives in Australia. I remarried and am still with the love of my life ‘’Dennis’’.  Also, we have our lovely ‘’Suzie’’ together, our 2 year old dog.’’

When did you move to The Netherlands?

Joyce: ‘’Only in October 2014, so very recently. Al though I came here before, but always on visits and never to actually live.’’

What was the reason for moving to Nederland?


‘’I follow my husband wherever he goes! Well actually we lived in Thailand before we came here. We lived there for 2 years and after this period, we had to move again due to my husband’s job that couldn’t continue in Thailand.’’

What is your first impression of  The Netherlands?


‘’The word ‘’pretty’’ is the first that comes to my mind. I like to be around here, the environment is nice. So, my impression is positive! Having said that, I do find people generally busy, kind of stressed out as they all seem to keep racing around.

As I arrived in October, I must add that I hate cold and miss the warmth and the sun so much! I would leave again tomorrow, only to feel the sun again J’’

How about your impression of  The Dutchies?

Joyce:’’People are hospitable. Very nice actually! What do you expect I answer? My husband is Dutch!!! So, YES, I love the Dutchies‘’

How did you meet each other?

Joyce:’’I was living in Brisbane, Australia at the time and he was backpacking in Melbourne (Australia). I wasn’t supposed to meet him though. He was getting together with my nephew for the Melbourne Grand Prix.

Just during that time, I called my mother, where they both were, and he ‘’coincidently’’ picked up the phone! I had no idea of his existence! We started talking and I told him that he could stay in my house if he travelled ‘a little’ (1700km) further. And as in a movie, he DID come and we did meet….and…you can guess the rest…J J

How are you integrating and adjusting?

Joyce:: ‘’ Honestly, I have to say it’s not as smooth as it could be. You see, we are now living at the house of my parents in law. On one hand, it’s nice to receive the opportunity to live here, because we know we won’t stay here for years. So, we enjoy having one big bedroom for ourselves in the house, which is kind of my living room, office and bedroom at the same time. But we are all under the same roof, so it’s an adaptation that goes both ways. We do get along fine, but it’s certainly different than having your own privacy or e.g. have dinner when I’m feeling like it and not when the clock ticks ‘’6pm-dinner-time’’.

I’m never bored, because I read and write a lot! I’m an author of erotic books. I practice Transcendental meditation and also love cooking.

Are you used to moving abroad?

Joyce: ‘’Yes, I did move around Australia a lot, so I’m certainly used to it and have not lived near my close family in Melbourne since a long time. So, I don’t miss it. I keep in contact with my family, but have no urge to live there. Except for my 22y old daughter, the only one I truly miss seeing.

But I do miss Thailand! Even more than Australia. The sun, the warmth, the blue sky……oooh, I loved it there!

What was your biggest Challenge moving to the Netherlands?

Joyce: ‘’ First en TOP challenge: MEETING people! Finding contacts, making friends, connecting to people here.

Second: Not having a car! Being mobile makes it all much easier.

Third: Living with my in-laws.

Please tell us your Number ONE TIP when coming to The Netherlands.


’’TOP tip ONE: Get familiar!!! I mean, BEFORE you move,  look up places to see and things to do. Get informed about where you will be living!

TOP tip TWO: learn the language!!! This helps you so much to at least speak some words and understand some conversations!

 Thank you very much!

(Picture taken at Kata Rocks in Phuket Thailand)


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