Happy November! Now that the last month of autumn has arrived we should enjoy the last moments of it with hot chocolate, nice autumn walks, and the Haarlem Talks, of course! This month we would like to introduce you to a new expat. To find out how it felt for him to move here and how he is coping with life in Haarlem, his likes, dislikes, and hobbies, read on!
Meet Tero Angeria from Finland. He just moved to Haarlem, he enjoys playing golf, going to the gym, long walks and watching sports in his free-time, in his opinion being an expat pushes your boundaries and it challenges you in a good way, and the kind people he met in the past two months have made him feel at home in Haarlem!
Where are you from?
Why did you leave your home country?
For a Job opportunity in Dublin, Ireland in 2010.
How did you end up in the Netherlands?
Job opportunity in August 2017.
Why did you choose to live in Haarlem?
I found an apartment that suited my needs, knew some people living here who warmly recommended Haarlem, great public transportation to Amsterdam.
How do you cope with being away from home?
I try to stay in touch with my family as much as I can. I try to meet new people and keep busy- work hard, and enjoy Haarlem and Amsterdam as a start. It’s very easy to travel to other countries as well, and I plan to take full advantage of that.
If you found it hard to settle down in another place what were the things that helped you get through the hard times?
Getting out to meet new people by participating events, for example, those run by InterNations. I also opened a profile in Happn App that helps people to connect with each other. This app worked well for me, as I found rather quickly some interesting people, I already now consider as my friends.
What do you do for a living?
Sales Manager at Oracle.
Do you have a hobby or any other activity you enjoy doing?
Gym, golf, long walks, watching sports.
In your opinion what is the hardest thing being an expat?
It changes over time. In the beginning, it’s about getting everything sorted: housing, insurance, bank, hobbies, getting around…Later you notice many of your friends are expats and people come and go, so it is sometimes hard to feel you really settle in…
In your opinion what is the best thing about being an expat?
It challenges you in many ways. It pushes your boundaries and opens your way of thinking. Fresh start… Meeting new people every day. Finding ‘new normal’ makes you re-define who you actually are.
Do you have a good/funny/nice/heartwarming story about Haarlem and the locals? What is it?
I walked into Café El & Ben on my first weekend in Haarlem, and it was like walking to someone’s home. I have now lived in Haarlem for two months, and I have limited experience with it, but it comes across very friendly and smaller than the numbers tell.
What are the things you love most about living in the Netherlands, Dutch people and the culture in general?
Netherlands is easy to get around by public transport. Everyone speaks English (when they want), and it’s a real mixture of cultures here in a real historical setting. Dutch people are very straightforward with quite a good positive approach to life.
Do you have a favorite Dutch dish you would recommend?
Not so far.
What are the things you like most about Haarlem?
Small, quite peaceful but with enough activities and events. A good number of bars and restaurants. Close to the beach. Easy access to Amsterdam.
What is your favorite Haarlem moment? (If you have a very nice and personal experience that you would like to share.)
So far the moment I got my apartment. There was a bit of hassle but it turned out very well, as my landlords come across as genuinely nice people…
What are the favorite places you like to go out to eat and/or drink in Haarlem?
Louisiana, El Pincho, Zuidam/Uiltje Bar, Stiels.
What do you think are the must-see locations in Haarlem?
Teyler’s Museum and Grote Markt, and simply walking around the old town.
If you could give only one piece of advice to fellow expats who are new to Haarlem what would it be?
This is a really friendly small town, with very nice people living here, some of them running the restaurants, cafes, barber shops etc. Let people know you live here… I have found it easy to make connections, and it has made me start feeling right at home here, and I am sure you will experience the same.