This is my second winter in the Netherlands. Last night I stayed in a hotel in Eindhoven and when I woke up this morning it was snowing. Winter in the Netherlands is pretty much the same as winter in the UK. It’s not like I’ve moved to the North Pole, but it can still feel pretty cold sometimes. Winter in Spain is a different matter entirely though and I got to experience that first hand two years ago when I flew out from Newcastle and headed for Valencia (with a short detour to the Canary Islands). Suddenly it was summer! For an Englishman anyway.
I always loved snow when I was a child and, as an adult, I spent some time working in a cold storage facility and consider myself to be pretty tough, but I have to admit all this cold weather is no longer for me.
My present aversion to colder climes could be because I’m getting older, but I think it’s more probably because I know my life does not have to be this way. If I wanted to I could get on a plane and say goodbye to the Dutch winter for a few months and then return when things begin to thaw. It’s a nice thought, but I need to remain living here (most of the time) for a few more years if I want to apply for Dutch citizenship. I always planned to do this anyway because I love the Netherlands, but the problems caused by Brexit make things seem more urgent than they used to.
At the moment I can still move freely around Europe—no visa required—but all that may change in a few years. The Netherlands is unlikely to opt-out of the EU so travelling around Europe with a Dutch passport would make things a lot easier.
During the warmer months I like going to music festivals and visiting different Dutch cities and if it rains it rains. I don’t let it stop me. However, if everything works out how I intend it to, I can foresee a time in the future when I head for warmer climes in December, avoid winter in the Netherlands, and return in February or March. If I do this I will miss the Netherlands during the time I am away, but I won’t miss the cold, snowy weather.
The fact that it’s getting colder now has made me start thinking about my time in Seville. I remember the warm winter I spent there a couple of years ago, so I’ve decided to return to Spain next month for a couple of weeks, get some winter sun, and maybe go to a few flamenco shows.