Welcome back to my blog. This is the third and last part of my background story.
Let’s get right into it.
In 2015 I started college. I studied International Business and Languages. I had the hardest time choosing a study, but I am so glad I chose IBL. Back then I couldn’t really explain why I wanted to do this study. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to do it until I went to the interview and the advisor convinced me that this was the study for me.
I have to say that the “going abroad” part was really interesting to me. I had to go abroad for 2 semesters. I think that I was trying to make up for all those years that my family and I couldn’t go on vacation. Now I had the chance to actually live in another country.
When school started in 2015, I knew that I made the right choice. I really liked the study.
In sophomore year I had to pick in which country I wanted to do my internship during the first semester of junior year. I also had to start applying for internships. I decided to do my internship in Paris. This whole process was really exciting, but there was one thing that was stressing me out.
In part 2 I ended by telling you guys, that my family and I didn’t have Dutch nationality. In Europe, you can travel without a passport to countries that are part of the European Union. But you have to have a European nationality, which wasn’t my case. So I had to travel with my resident permit and my passport. I am not going to mention what my ethnicity is, because I don’t know if what I am about to say can get me in trouble. But that country did not have their sh*t together when it comes to passports. The embassy also did their work really poorly.
I had to go to Paris in the summer of 2017. I applied for my passport in 2015. They said that it could take up to 3 months for it to arrive and that they would call us. 3 months passed and we received no calls. If we would call for our passports they would say that if we did not receive a call from them, our passports didn’t arrive. Most of the time they did not even pick up the phone. In 2016 my aunt found out that our country was making changes to the passports and that some people had to re-apply. So my mom called the embassy again and it turned out that we had to re-apply and pay an additional €80. So after that, we had to wait again. Months went by and we didn’t hear a thing. We were checking the news and watching videos on youtube. The diaspora’s were mad and started protesting. People even went to different embassies and destroyed them. A celebrity even made a video telling the world that he had been waiting for his passport for so long. I was stressfully waiting and it was almost time for me to go. My stuff was already packed. Me and my mom were so stressed. When we would call, nobody would pick up the phone.
At one point I only had 12 days before I had to leave. My mom and I kept calling and calling, and they did not pick up. So I went to my room and I was really upset. Then I was like “let me try one more time”. And a lady picked up. I gave the phone to my mom, and she was telling the lady that we were waiting for so long and that I had to travel, and that she had sleepless nights. So the lady was like “let me check if the passport arrived”. Then she came back with the news that our passports arrived 3 months ago. Then she acted shocked that nobody called us. My mom was like “why are they acting like they called us?” I didn’t care I was so happy that my passport arrived and that I could finally pick it up.
So after that, I packed up my last few things, said my goodbyes, and went to Paris. I left in July. Paris turned 2017 into the best year of my life and it still is. I would love to talk about my experience in Paris, but I will save that for another post.
While I was in Paris I had to choose my second country for the first semester of senior year. I chose Curaçao, which is a Dutch Caribbean Island. In January 2018 I came back from Paris. Later in the year, the school confirmed that I could go to Curaçao. Everyone had to make a top 3 list and not everyone could make it to their number one country. So we all had to wait and find out to which country we were going.
Going to Curaçao was also a struggle for me. Usually, Dutch citizens can stay for up to 6 months on the island without a visa. But because I did not have Dutch nationality I had to have a visa. This was also a struggle, but it ended up working out. In August 2018 I went to Curaçao and I came back at the end of November 2018.
You are probably wondering why I didn’t apply for Dutch citizenship. Well, it would cost me €900 and I didn’t have that money at that time. So at the beginning of 2019, I had saved the money, and I went online to make an appointment. Then I saw that there was something new. Before 2019 everyone had to pay €900 for Dutch citizenship, even though you were born in The Netherlands, like my brothers and me. But in 2019 they made a distinction between people who were born in The Netherlands and people who weren’t. This meant that I only had to pay less than €200. I think we paid €187. I was so happy that I didn’t apply earlier, I saved €700. It’s so crazy how life workout sometimes.
The funny thing is that today, April 18th is my 2 years anniversary of being Dutch. When I became a Dutch citizen I was in the last semester of my study. I graduated in October 2019. I finished all my courses in July. All I had to do in October was to defend my thesis. In the meantime I was working at the company I am currently working for but in another department. When my project ended, the company offered me the position that I was searching for. It all worked out perfectly.
2020 – Now
In March 2020 I started working in the finance department. In this month I also started paying off my debt and in March 2021 I became debt free.
So where are we now? Me and my brothers are still living at home. My mother and I are working full time. My brothers are studying and working part-time. My older brother recently started this own business. Financially this is the best we have ever done. We have never had so much money coming in. I am so proud of my family.
I also feel so free. I can do what I want. I can go where ever I want without any struggle. In the summer of 2019, I went to Bulgaria. I traveled with my ID card only and it went so smoothly and easily. Nothing is holding me back anymore. I am being treated just like anyone else.
Now that I am debt-free, I feel more comfortable moving out. I am currently looking for my own place so that I can start a new chapter again. Finding my own place is not easy. I am already facing some difficulties. Of course, I will share my “moving out journey” with you.
This is the end of my background story. I hope you enjoyed it. Of course, I couldn’t cover everything. Maybe I will speak about certain subjects in the future. For now, this is it. So now we can talk about the present and the future. There are so many things that I want to do in the future. I am so excited to share everything with you.
Thank you for your precious time and until next time,
Color and Coins