Hello everyone! A million and ten things have happened lately. Lets talk about it.
I love Russia. I left Russia a few weeks ago ago, but man do I love Russia. I miss it already. When I first decided I was going there for a year, my parents both told me that they were 100% planning on coming to visit. My dad visited for Christmas which was AMAZING. I knew that my mom and sisters were coming at the very end of my time in Russia, and my original plan was to come back to the US on the same flight as them. But SURPRISE! OTHER THINGS HAPPENED!
First, lets talk about my mom and sisters coming. It was fabulous. I really liked being able to show them Saint Petersburg, where I had hopped around for the past year. They came on a tour group that I joined. At first, I was a bit skeptical of their decision to come on a tour, I figured it would be so structured that I would not be able to show them anything other than the popular sites. I WAS WRONG! It was an amazing choice. The tour taught me so many new things about Saint Petersburg, and offered excursions to places I hadn’t been before, like Peterhof and Yusopov Palace (where Rasputin met his end!) I just really appreciated seeing my city in a different way, through the windows of a bus as opposed to underground in the metro. We took a nice SPEED train from Saint Petersburg to Moscow which was a nice change from the overnight stress filled sleeper trains I’ve taken before. It was also really great to have this tour group in MOSCOW, because before I wasn’t really THAT into Moscow, but now I am a much bigger fan. Moscow is kind of intimidating, especially when you are on foot, so being driven around in a bus allowed us to cover more ground. We also saw the big МГУ (Moscow State University) building that was amazing. It is kind of hard to get to by foot, so I had never seen it before. It is really the most impressive of the Stalin Skyscrapers. My mom was extremely impressed by
it, and told me that I should come back there and get my masters. I made a note of it.
Our tour guides where also fantastic and a lot of fun. They would joke around with us and call us ‘the group of ladies.’ We would call our main guide ‘mother hen’ because he was always herding us places. So funny. My family and I are really independent and energetic, and I think the group thought we were hilariously interesting people. We would always run off and do weird things, and it was also easier because I could speak Russian, allowing us to get around easier. It was such a great time being with my family in both Saint Petersburg and Moscow!
Alright so that is that. Where am I now? Amsterdam. Crazy right? Alright so here is how this happened.
So my plan for after Russia was originally to move to New York. I love New York, and my idea was to find a job, and move in with my sister and run around for the end of time. It was a fabulous idea. So the time came for me to start applying to jobs, and I began to halfheartedly apply for jobs in the New York area. The reason I wasn’t putting 100% of my effort into it was because I was worried that I would get one of these jobs, and then off I would go to New York. I didn’t want to commit to anything because the idea of staying abroad had really started to appeal to me. I started applying for jobs all over Europe, including some in Russia. I still had no idea what I wanted to do, so again my amount of effort wasn’t desirable.
In March, a friend invited me to come visit in Amsterdam. I had been to Amsterdam once before and hadn’t really liked it that much, but I decided to go anyway. I LOVED IT. I totally saw a different side of the city because I wasn’t hanging out in the 100% tourist areas, I was hanging out outside of that area, running around with someone from the Netherlands. My friend had to work, so I spent the days exploring by myself, and I loved it. I went back to Russia and focused my job search on Amsterdam, but it was really difficult! Getting a work permit was going to be a challenge, and many jobs required one before even looking at your resume. Also not speaking Dutch was a HUGE disadvantage. I wasn’t super excited to just up and move without a job in place, and after realizing how hard it was to even find jobs I was qualified for, I was worried that I wouldn’t ever find one, and would just burn out my money and have to crawl back to the US.
In the back of my head I had the idea of working as an Au Pair. I wasn’t exactly sure what those kind of jobs entailed so I looked into it. It turned out to be the BEST IDEA EVER. In being an Au Pair, I have a job, housing and a network of Au Pair friends. It seemed like the best and easiest way to move somewhere. I have a lot of experience working with children and I really like it, so it fits for me. For a while I was talking to a million and ten families, and they all seemed amazing. It wasn’t until the night before I moved to Amsterdam that I chose one! It was super stressful, esp. since this was taking place while my family was here. But I am so happy with my decision and the family I will be living is amazing.
So that’s where I am now! It is crazy because I did not see this coming when I moved to Russia, but I am not ready to go back to the US yet. Well actually, when I named this blog, I chose to name it ALEXANDRAFEET instead of something specifically related to Russia because I had a feeling that my feet would lead me all over the WORLD. I know that if I want to do something like this, up and move somewhere random, now is the time to do it, so here I am. So this is kind of my ‘gap year.’ Who knows what I will do after this year is over, I’ve been thinking of everything, like continuing my initial plan and finding a job in NY, getting a masters, going to law school, being an Au Pair somewhere else and even moving to London (I am really into British pop culture this week). All I know is that I am lovin boppin around the world. Last weekend I had nothing to do, so I just bopped over to Belgium and explored Brussels and Antwerp. I also love the central location of Amsterdam. I can go anywhere! My dad told me that he will meet me somewhere random in Europe on his next visit! How exciting is that?!
So who knows. I am going to try and take Russian language classes here in order to keep my Russian up, and I also might be taking Dutch classes. Things are crazy, ill keep you posted.