From Dumfries To Amsterdam: Grant Lives Life To The Full Assisting People All Over The World

Grant took the decision to relocate to Amsterdam when the company he was working for offered him the chance of a lifetime and is not looking back.

1. Where are you from originally?

Originally I’m from Dumfries, a small town in the south west of Scotland.

2. Where do you live now?

Currently living in Amsterdam.

3. What first attracted you to your new home? Did you try anywhere else on the way? Did you move for work or for lifestyle?

I moved here just for the job, I was offered an amazing opportunity and I just couldn’t say no.

This is my first time living outside of the UK, when I was 16 I left home and moved to Glasgow and I’ve never looked back since. I’ve also lived in a few other places around the UK such as Wiltshire and Edinburgh.

Amsterdam © by Moyan_Brenn

4. What kind of property do you live in now? Will you stay here? What’s your ideal place to live in within your new country?

Currently I live in an apartment that I share with 2 girls. It’s a beautiful place with a balcony off my room and a great view over a nice lake.

My ideal place would be one of the old style houses along the Amsterdam canals.

5. Are you speaking a new language? If so, how did you learn?

Currently I only speak English, it’s hard for me to learn Dutch here as my work is with an English speaking company and everyone speaks English here.

6. What do you do for a living? Where do you physically work from? Do you work with clients/customers back in your home country or your new one?

I’m a UX Designer for Booking.com, which is based in right in the centre of Amsterdam.

We have customers all over the world who we help find accommodation for, I also get to work with some of the most talented people form all over the world.

7. Do you work online? If so, what is the internet connectivity like? What software do you commonly use on day to day basis? What would be your top tip for online working from your new country?

Working online in the Netherlands hasn’t been a problem but I do live in a relatively new apartment so we gave great internet here and at work we have a really good connection as well.

On a day to day basis I work with Photoshop, Axure and Coda 2.

8. Are you paid in your new home currency or in pounds/dollars/euros? Do you exchange money often? If so, what service do you use?

I’m paid in Euros but I travel back to the UK once a month for the weekend to see my son, so I transfer money back there to spend while I’m there.

My bank allows me to transfer money for free to any other account in Europe so I just manage everything on-line.

9. Is your life better than it was before? If so, how?

My life is much better, the attitude and lifestyle is really different here, where Scotland is pretty friendly (for the most part) the Dutch are a lot more laid back and very outgoing, it also made meeting people very easy.

10. What are the best things about living in your new country? Has the move been good for the whole family?

The lifestyle out here is one of my favourite things, I have an amazing job and it’s so easy to travel from here – I’m a few hours from Germany or Belgium.

I just moved over here myself, my son still lives in Scotland. It’s not as hard as I thought it would be, I miss him like crazy but Skype and the iPhone help as I can speak to him every day.

11. What are the most challenging things about moving to and living in your new country?

The most challenging thing was finding an apartment, it took me two weeks and I was starting to stress. There is such a demand for rental properties in Amsterdam and there isn’t a lot available – the opposite from Scotland.

But after 2 weeks I found a place and was offered 3 or 4 places, I was worrying over nothing really.

12. Are you here for good? If so, why? If no , why not?

I originally planned on being here for a year but I love it so much I can see myself staying here longer.

I do plan to move on eventually, the goal is to end up on the east coast of the US.

13. Any partings word to people thinking of moving to your country?

Not just to the Netherlands but I would urge anyone who wants to, to just try it. You may be really surprised in how much you will really enjoy it – you will meet amazing people and experience things you never even thought about before.

For me it was really easy to do, made even easier by my company relocating me (the can help you too as they are currently hiring).

About the author

I’m Grant McAllister a 20 year old UX Designer from Scotland currently working in Amsterdam for Booking.com. I love being a father, designer and traveller. You can follow me on twitter @AboveFunction or check out my new blog that I’m starting soon – Work. Travel. Live.

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