Meet Reni and Béci from Hungary! This month in Haarlem Talks we are introducing to you a couple who moved to Haarlem in October, they have their own company, are photography and video professionals, like to play the guitar, and to explore the country with their Beagle.
1. Where are you from?
From the picturesque country of the Carpathian Basin and the origin of the famous ‘Goulash’ – Hungary.
2. Why did you leave your home country?
Our dream was to live in a country where we can find our place and success as creative people and start working on our own terms as freelancers.
3. How did you end up in the Netherlands?
First, we planned to move to Canada, but it was so far away so we looked for a closer country, where we can imagine our lives. We spent 2 weeks here in 2016, we absolutely fell in love with the country: the friendliness and helpfulness of the people, the strange rainy, windy weather, the liberal thinking, the dunes on the beaches, the wide highways and the unique scent of Amsterdam. One year later in October 2017 we finally arrived here. We are very grateful that we can live here.
4. Why did you choose to live in Haarlem?
We wanted to live in a place which has all the infrastructure and convenience that Amsterdam has but not as busy. We will never regret our decision, we love living in this joyful ‘little’ city.
5. How do you cope with being away from home?
We felt home here from the very first day. Of course, we miss our families and friends, but we try to talk with them as much as we can. Some of them have already visited us. We were afraid of flying, but we conquered the fear and tried it this year, and we discovered the miracle of it. Hungary is not so far away anymore. We did this 1700km distance between Haarlem and Debrecen by the car a couple of times last year and it wasn’t the most enjoyable.
6. What do you do for a living?
We are full-time visual storytellers, so we are photography and video professionals with several years of freelance photography, broadcast video production, and video editing experience. Our passion is our profession. We love capturing love-shoots, family portraits, weddings, corporate portraits and all kinds of professional visual content for businesses.
7. Do you have a hobby or any other activity you enjoy doing?
Besides photography and filmmaking we both like to play the guitar, hiking with our Beagle (helping him managing his Instagram profile; touch screen is really hard for him!), exploring the country (finally not just through Google Maps and Streetview)
8. In your opinion what is the hardest thing being an expat?
Being a first-time expat definitely comes with a whole lot of challenges. From different bureaucratic processes to different payment methods and learning Dutch. So the ability to adapt and overcome challenges is a very useful one here.
9. In your opinion what is the best thing about being an expat?
Instantly becoming a part of a community based on a shared living situation.
10. What are the things you love most about living in the Netherlands, Dutch people and the culture in general?
Seeing the laid-back lifestyle of people, less judgment, feeling much safer here. We love the public transportation and the driving experience here, however, the number of the highway lanes can be overwhelming at first.
We love that the Dutch people seem to be open and helpful in our direction. Especially when we are not afraid of using our small, but constantly developing Dutch skills.
11. Do you have a favorite Dutch dish you would recommend?
Our journey in the Dutch cuisine proved to be more adventurous than joyful to this moment, but we are still hopeful.
12. What is your favorite Haarlem moment?
Our first day that we spent in Haarlem, it was in October, the Sun was out, the temperature was 25 degrees, everyone was on the canal with their boats all around the city. We rented bikes and started to look for an apartment. And the best thing was that we managed to find the perfect one on that day.
13. What are the favorite places you like to go out to eat and/or drink in Haarlem?
We are always on the lookout for new places where we can eat gluten-free. We really like Bagels&Beans, Crèpe Affair, and Jopen.
14. What do you think are the must-see locations in Haarlem?
Schotersingel, Grote Markt, and the whole city center.
15. If you could give only one piece of advice to fellow expats who are new to Haarlem what would it be?
Get a bike and start discovering your new ‘home’. It will not disappoint you!
Please enjoy our video!