Assuming most Dutch folks speak English, but almost no English people speak Dutch, the choice of language has been decided for this page!
I was born in Amsterdam in 1988. Two years later we moved to Diemen, where we ended up living with my little brother and sister. I was diagnosed with Cystis Fibrosis (CF) when I was two months old, but other than being skinny, not liking food much, having to dress a bit warmer than other kids and taking meds every day, it didn’t bother me much. My first real hospitalizations were when I was 16 years old. Because of that I could only complete half of my high school exams.
I turned 17 and set of to Sweden to work as an au pair. Ive worked ten months for that family and stayed eight more months in the Stockholm area, to go to school and learn the language better. Then I went back home to Amsterdam but realized soon that it wasn’t meant for me to stay there just yet so I left for Crete, Greece, to be au pair once again. A completely different experience; one I will always remember and love. It was on that island that I met Shane, with whom Im still together!
While living on Crete I realized I had no idea what I wanted in my life and decided I’d finish high school which meant going back for a year, to get the rest of my diploma. I rented half of the top floor in a house of a very sweet family on a beautiful location in Amsterdam for very cheap, in exchange I’d help them twice a week with cooking, (teenage) kids and all sorts of practical stuff. I completed my HAVO that year and a few months after, me and Shane left for the other side of the world -where he is from- Australia. We bought a van and traveled in it a long the east coast for many months, with little breaks when we were working somewhere or staying with his friends or family. When we were about to be broke and looking for a job in Queensland, we were both offered a job on the private super yacht Shane had been working on when I met him, and accepted it.
In three days we drove back to Mathoura, where Shane’s family lives, and flew to Europe, which is where the yacht was waiting for us to get on board. My job meant working my ass off, long hours and frustration, but also a lot of excitement, new things and people, a high income, seeing beautiful places and getting to know my boyfriend much better which we both loved. After a few months though I was exhausted and started to hate the job. I quit and decided to go to a city I thought everyone must have visited; Paris. Not wanting to spend all my money, I decided to go Couch-surfing there. It was a great way of doing it coz it meant I didn’t have to be alone either. I stayed for a month and was so tired by then and so sick of the grey skies (november), that I decided to find an easy way to go a hot country.
I sent some emails to model agencies in Cape Town, South Africa, and one of them wanted to represent me. I could come as soon as I wanted, which was almost straight away. It was a whole new world for me. I had done modeling before but never went to a country so far and for me unknown for that purpose, and thought it was amazing. Met a lot of people that still mean a lot to me and learned a thing or two about how funny, difficult and special the modeling world can be. After being there for 1,5 month I decided to fly back to Amsterdam, where I stayed for a while, but not for long coz Shane had quit his job in the mean time as well and we were gonna run a water sport business on one of the beaches of the greek island Ios. An island where people go to to have a lot of fun, get very tanned and get drunk many nights. We lived on a bit more deserted beach so staff-night was our weekly biggest party action. During the day we worked on the beach, teaching people how to use equipment, walk around sun beds to collect money and renting out stuff.
Four months later we drove back to Amsterdam, with our car that nearly fell apart by then when driving any faster than 80 or 90 kilometers an hour (annoying, mainly in germany) but we made it. We found ourselves a shared apartment, I got a job in a very popular restaurant that just opened and Shane.. was asked to work on the yacht in Istanbul for two months. We decided it was the best thing to do right then so of he went. With christmas he visited me and after that I visited him there, so it was pretty good in the end. In the mean time we were not too happy with our very expensive room in the apartment and sure enough I got an email from someone I hadn’t spoken to or seen in at least 5 years, that she knew a studio apartment that would be for rent soon, if we wanted we could stay in it for 10 months. We moved in after Shane got back to Amsterdam and finally felt like settling might be a really nice thing to do. I started a study on the HvA, Fashion and Branding, and Shane tried getting a visa. However, neither were as easy as it might sound like and even though by then we lived in a (yet another) great apartment we decided it wasn’t worth it and wanted to be Free again!
We got temporary jobs on yachts again. Very hard work mixed with lazy days. In November 2012 Shane went to Down Under to see his family, and I would go to Canada, after being in Amsterdam for a week. That’s where another big OShitIveGotCF realization popped up again when getting two collapsed lungs and surgery. During all those years of moving around I had about one lung infection a year which required hospitalisation, but it never stopped me from doing whatever I liked. This however felt like a bit of a warning, especially since we had been thinking of settling for such a long time by now. It made us decide to look for a home to live in, and we found an apartment in Haarlem. I moved in here in March 2013, while Shane still worked on super yachts and spent his time here whenever he could. We worked on getting a visa for him in the mean time and since June 2014 he lives here as well! We had a very relaxing summer, turning our house into a home with a lovely garden. When he started looking for a job he could start working straight away, doing what he likes. Oh and guess what? In October 2013 we got engaged!