As with any move there are new things to figure out. Just moving across country can be a change: new climate, different regional shops, and even new subcultures. Moving to a new country you have to make all those adjustments too. When you are on vacation you may need to figure out where to buy toothpaste or something else you forgot. Fortunately, on vacation often your hotel has everything you need – no searching needed. If you are living someplace you need to know where to buy food, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, clothing, tools and other things you may not realize you need. Often this is like a crazy scavenger hunt.

For me one of the biggest adjustments so far has been figuring out where to buy x or what isle to find y. For example, you can buy mops, buckets, decorations, and cookware at Blokker. But good luck finding drain cleaner (I ended up visiting the hardware store for that). This means I often visit several stores before finding what I need. The other day at the grocery store, I was looking for flour and baking powder. I could have bought a mix for anything from pancakes to rolls but I could not find baking powder. If I needed fondant in orange, there it was along with a rainbow of colored fondant and sprinkles but no baking powder*.

baking isle in Albert Heijn

One adjustment that I did not expect was figuring out how much I can reasonably carry for a couple blocks. Let’s just say sometimes I overestimated and ended up sore for the next few days. Luckily, it didn’t take me too long to figure this out.

Fortunately, not all changes are hard or challenging. Fruit juice is fairly cheap here and available almost anywhere drinks are sold. This means lots of raspberry and mango juice for me. Yay! Weekly farmers’ market within walking distance. Another easy change – also its close proximity means I head down there more often.

*Update: I was eventually able to locate baking powder. It is sold in small packets and thus is hard to find.