We all know the lady behind the numbers and the money at International Almere, but how well do we really know her? Find out more about Sarah!
Where were you born?
I was born in Maidstone, Kent, England in 1973, yes that makes me 40 very soon.
Where have you lived?
I spent a few years living with a friend in Belton Lincolnshire, this was to save me travelling every weekend to party and drink my weekends away, this was the rebel years of my life, I never went to uni so this was my time to be wild.
Where can we find you online?
Contact with me is easy, I can be found on Facebook, yes I have a mobile phone but most of the time its switched off, that’s not normal I here you say, but I like it that way.
Almere is an interesting and unique city to live in, describe your favourite part of living here.
We came to Almere as my partner Kay brought a apartment here, he brought it just from plans on paper, we came over to see the progress of the build about every 12 weeks, he lived in Ermelo at the time with his parents and I was still in the UK, his sister lives here so we knew what we was coming to, Kay gave me the key to the apartment after I had finished doing a 5km race of life event for cancer around my local park, in them days I was fitter and thinner.
Almere is a good place to live for us as Kay works in Amersfoort so the train takes his strain on the daily commute, there are lots of nice places within 1 hour drive and you can be in Germany or Belgium in 90 minutes. Camping is a big part in our lives so it perfect to be so close to major motorway links. Kemphaan is great and there are many open parks so there is no need to stay in the concrete jungle.
Where is your favourite place to go out or eat out in the city?
Eating so is not something we do very often, but the places we enjoy are an the Van de Valk hotel live cooking and brunch, Yamas and Athene in Tussen de vaarten.
Would you define yourself as an expat, an international, or something entirely different?
Expat or international, well for me not any of these I just think of myself as a Brit living abroad.
How long do you plan on living here for?
I think that we are pretty much staying here for a long as I can see, Kay’s works in the private health care insurance system and we don’t really have that in the UK so he would need to find a job there doing something else that pays good money, travel cost and flexi working hours. We have our apartment for sale at the moment, we will stay in Almere.
Tell us how you found International Almere?
The way I found International Almere was via a friend of a friend, I never really used computers before I came to Holland, so had no idea of Google, search engine etc, My friend came to visit her friend who lives in Amsterdam so I went to meet them both for lunch, she told me them about a group that she was in and to join up, so I came home found the web site and asked to become a member, I was asked to write a small piece about myself, so that’s what I did, I had many welcomes and hello from people but the only person that lived in Almere was Connie, She told me come meet the local group on Friday night at Jordaan, This took me 2 months to pluck up the courage to go, that night I took my partner for support, I arrived at the place went to the bar to order a drink and then stood there with my dumbo ears trying to listen for the English people, I was nervous and really wanted to leave but then in came Connie all bubbly so I made my move to introduce myself, I was introduced to the small group of woman, lucky for me I was not the only new person that night so it was a bit easier, our partners went to another table and chatted together as at that time it was no men allowed. I enjoyed by evening and everyone was nice and friendly, one person stood out the most Gina smith, as she comes from the same town as me in England but we have never met before, so I have never looked back and have enjoyed many a night out.
Have you been to any International Almere events? Which was your favourite?
I have been to most of the events that International Almere host, I don’t really have a favourite as they are all good in there own way and you always meet new people.
What advice would you offer to others who are thinking of taking the plunge and moving to Almere?
My advice to anyone reading this is to come along and meet us all, it’s a big step at first but really we are all in the same position and making friends helps ease the journey. Trust me there is someone here that you can connect with, if the first night you don’t find them, just keep coming they will be there in the end. I would not have stayed here if I didn’t make good friends at the group.
What has been your biggest challenge since arriving in Almere?
The biggest challenge for me when I moved here was not working, I worked a lot in the UK and enjoyed my work very much, so sitting at home was not my thing, and the hardest of all was on a Sunday when back in the days when I arrived nothing was open, supermarkets , shops all closed, and I was used to just going out shopping on my days off. I now work at Letterland international school doing the lunch duty, and I have been treasurer for this group now for just under 2 years.
If you had to leave tomorrow and could take only one thing – anything – from Almere, what would it be?
I would take sate sauce as Kay can’t live without it!
What is your favourite Dutch tradition, and how do you celebrate? Do you still celebrate holidays and traditions from your home country?
Dutch celebrations are not really done in my home as we don’t have children, and Kay’s family do not do anything apart from birthdays when I have to go and sit in the circle, and eat cake. Christmas for me is the best I have a big tree and love to decorate my home, I have spent only 2 Christmas days here and not really enjoyed either, so sorry I go home to my family and open my presents, and then enjoy shopping in the sales after.
Family is the biggest thing I miss from home, but I am lucky as I can get home very quickly if needed, and I have a special tariff on the phone so I can call for only 10 cents for as long as I like .I got my 74 year old father to use Facebook so he can also keep tracks on me and look at my photos. Marks and spencers is now here so I can get some home comfort food when I feel the need.
Want to see yourself here? Fill out the form![contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]