Since winning the fellowship over a year ago, I have gotten a few questions over and over again.
“Why the Netherlands?”
Honestly, there was an amazing lab that does the research that I am interested in. As I started doing more research on the lab and then the country, I found out a lot of great reasons for why the Netherlands would be great for me. Even after only a few weeks, the people I have met have exceeded my expectations. Everyone is nice and understanding. I may have started out as just a career move for research but it has blossomed into a personal and professional journey.
“Why did you get married now, just to leave?”
In short, would it be better to leave Kevin (husband) to plan the whole wedding alone? Kevin and I talked and made the decision that before was better than afterwards. Any marriage takes work and dedication. Yes, it is sad that we can’t spend our first year together but we will have many years to spend together. This opportunity will help in my career and make it easier for us to stay in the Philadelphia area.
“Why without the husband?”
The modern couple now consists of two people who work. He needed to stay in Philadelphia to continue his job. When I brought this idea up, it was well over 2.5 years ago now. We had time to decide what was best for both of our careers and our personal lives. It made the most sense for me to do this now before we have kids.
A few weeks before I moved to the Netherlands, I started thinking about everything I would be giving up. At some point, it made me happier to think about all the things I was gaining by moving to the Netherlands.
1) Honeymoon in Paris
2) New research tools
3) Learning a different culture, language and lifestyle
4) Family traveling abroad to see me (Trips to Dublin and London)
5) Applied and won fellowship to training in Turkey (I would have never applied if I hadn’t won the Whitaker)
6) Time to travel Europe with Kevin (planning a trip for September)
7) More free time for me (workout, explore, think)
8) Test my social boundaries
9) Become more independent (No more relying on Kevin!)
10) Learn a different research perspective
There are so many more added bonuses to moving abroad.
If you can think of more positive reasons, please post them in the comment section.