We, the humans in the household, met years ago through the power of the internet. It took us a couple of years to work out who would be moving where, because we were fed up with the long distance relationship thing. You see, I’m Dutch and he … well, he is British. He chose to move to The Netherlands for me. And though we have no problem, Brexit is pushing us to do something we never needed to think about.
Nationality is what exactly
Nationality for me is where my passport is from. I work in an international environment, my familly and in-laws are all over the globe and my friends are diverse enough. Therefor nationality doesn’t mean that much to me. I am an Amsterdammer, which makes me happy, but I also love Florence, Italy; and London, UK; and Zurich is cool too.
My guy is happy in The Netherlands. We built our life together, here. But to be safe in an uncertain future, we made some decisions that we would otherwise not needed to think about. My guy is going to get a Dutch passport.
Where you live, there you live
My guy speaks Dutch pretty well. That does not stop people from answering him in English when he tries to improve his Dutch. The Dutch (me included) love to show off that we are international and speak other languages. ‘We’ certainly speak your language better than you speak ours, mate! Luckily my guy perserveres and managed to learn enough to get through his Dutch courses and exams rather easily.
He now has almost all the papers needed to get his passport, his citizenship, his new nationality. Because: this is the country he lives in, where he pays taxes, where he plans to retire, with me. Part of completing the naturalisation track means that he can vote here as well. Which is awesome, because he has not been able to vote in the UK since he lived here. Let’s just say that the UK government does not make it straightforward and easy for citizens who live abroad. It’s much more that just getting a vote in by mail.
Better organised in The Netherlands
Think about this: we have received 2 letters already from the Dutch organisations involved with handling Brexit for UK citizens in The Netherlands. We did not have to call, write, use an app or do anything more taxing than open a letter adressed to my guy. And it was written in clear English. They know what they are doing here, despite the uncertainty. I’m impressed.
It’s amazing that my guy moved here to be with me. It’s even more amazing he is willing to do all this stuff to stay here with me. There are issues in The Netherlands of course, but it is a great place to live with my guy and our little family.
(Ed has asked me when I am going to write about him, seeing I have already written about Chi and Em. Soon, I will introduce you to the great big ginger cat that is Ed.)