It all started on a beach in Bodrum.
I could have never dreamt what was about to happen in the next eight years!
I started my company Expat in Amsterdam® eight years ago on 12.12.2012.
A few months earlier, I found myself in a beautiful villa on a holiday with my daughter in Bodrum, Turkey. Thirty-six degrees Celsius, food & beverage service at your beck and call, and private beds in front of our own villa. You know how I love service!
This holiday became even more unique after we met new friends and by chance, met old friends, whom we hadn't seen in twenty years.
It was together with this unique bunch of friends, on a beautiful beach in Bodrum, that I told my story of wanting to start Expat in Amsterdam® but that I was scared to death to start my own business.
Fast forward to today 12.12.2020
If you've ever thought about starting your own business and jumping in the deep end, I say, do it!
These past eight years have been the most wonderful, educational, gratifying and scary eight years of my life.
Running a bespoke Relocation company and working with 60+ uniquely chosen providers is no joke. I've learned to love my phone and my laptop, make international Zoom calls at 7 am (half in pyjama's) and make friends with so many drivers, that it's become a habit that we pick up lunch for each other on the way.
My work as an Expat/Executive/VIP Lifestyle Manager is divided into three parts.
One, I am hired as a Project Manager & Quality controller, and am the first point of contact for our Expat, Executive & VIP clients during the projects run by any of our 60+ providers.
Two, I am hired by corporations as an Advisor to their HR departments and their expat and international employees.
Three, I am hired by private persons or management companies, to manage the lives of VIPs, anywhere from a half-day to several years.
I could have never dreamt that managing the lives of my clients could be so gratifying, but many times I almost feel as if I have jumped into a movie role and asked myself, is this really happening?
If I tell you that I have had to personally saw off the roof of a golf cart (there were none left without a roof) at the airport, because my "very tall" client was not allowed to walk to the gate, because his insurer did not wish him to get mobbed by fans - you would think I was kidding.
Or the time that I received a call at 11.30 pm requesting to meet at 7 am to pitch for a new client to set up his corporate and private offices and found myself sitting at a hotel breakfast with eight staff and two family members present. I still represent this wonderful client after three years.
One of the most humbling and confrontational requests was a call from an Embassy in the United States, requesting assistance during a medical trajectory here in The Netherlands. I was asked to assist a family, who had survived the 911 attack in 2001 and were now, after many years of being afraid to fly, emigrating to Amsterdam to receive medical treatment for their children. The request was to assist for one month. One month became one and a half years. I still receive a Christmas card every year.
All in all, these past eight years have been the best years of my life!
My motto is, work from the heart, it's the only way to indeed be yourself and to be unique.
The number one question I get lately is, where are all the expats?
I tell everyone, walk into a store in Amsterdam and count how many times you hear, I'm sorry could you speak English, please.
Expats and internationals come in all forms: students, young urban professionals, corporates and professionals. Think twice next time you hear a different language. Ask what the story behind the person is. You'll be surprised what you may hear and how many lives you may touch!
I am extremely grateful and wish to thank all our clients, for allowing us to come into your private lives and trusting us to take care of you these past eight years. It has been our privilege, and we look forward to raising the bar higher every time!