As I’m sitting in the airport lounge, ready to leave freezing Europe behind for a new adventure, it’s time to publish this post that I’ve been working on for a few weeks. I’m feeling a bit emotional and an ounce of nostalgia is hitting me as I remember my last “new life!”.

About 3 years ago, my Friend Anaïs, called me up and told me: “Tim from AIMM therapeutics contacted me about an opening in their Lab, should I forward your CV?” Well of course!!! It was during that period in my previous job when I needed a change… a first interview, and some waiting … a “sorry we like you but the opening was already filled internally” 🙁 and a couple of months later, “if you’re still looking for a job, we’d like to hire you!” Well yeees 🙂
So there I went, beginning of 2015, bye bye Brussels, hello Amsterdam. Leaving “l’équipe de choc” behind was somewhat strange, but in the meantime, I was ready for a new challenge! I still miss my philosophical talks with Mahé and Alice, baby talk with Julie, girls nights with Monica and my fun Spanish classes with Lola, Maria, Miren and the others!
3 months later, I landed in Amsterdam, crashing Anaïs and Rocco’s guest room until I found a place of my own. As you might have noticed, patient might not be the best choice of words to describe me 😉 Poor Anais, she had to hear me complain about not finding a place, every day, for about a week… until, after responding to what seemed like hundreds of ads, and visiting a dozen rooms, I finally found a great place to live 🙂 moved in a couple of days later into the flat I would call home for the next few months! Marianne, Tom, and Mejane made me immediately feel at home 🙂 Thanks guys!
Talking about super housemates, long discussions and fun moments I have to mention the good times with Lluis :p
Settling in at work, getting to know my new colleagues, learning all the strings of B-cells culture with Sabrina, sharing the flow with Martino, and later spending entire days in the lab with Julien and Christien. Not to mention tea breaks with Andrea, Lina, Gemma, and Stephanie and the chats to practice my Dutch with Dorien, Yvonne, and all the others! Another nice aspect of my Dutch life!
As it had taken me quite some time to find good friends in Brussels, I wasn’t going to let that happen in Amsterdam!!!

Dutch all the way!

Therefore, after settling in for a few weeks, getting adjusted to the new places, new job, new surroundings, I decided to set out and make new friends!

There I was, in this big city, trying to go to meetups and ending up in crowded places where I didn’t feel comfortable and would hardly talk to anyone (except you Georgia! Good job you talked to me 😉 ) … so I decided to take the reins and create my own small meetup. I posted, on the facebook group “expats in Amsterdam”, a little introduction, explaining my move: who am I, what am I looking for, and what am I offering. It went something like “Hi I’m Camille, I’m new in Amsterdam, and I want to make some friends. Wanna be my friend? Let’s meet over a picnic in the park”. It worked quite well 🙂 Eirini, Milos, Georgia and a couple more people showed up (we often think of our guest who insisted on playing awful music the whole time!). The Picknickers were born! From there a few more like-minded friends joined the group, Teresa, Gwen, Imma, Lina, Joaquim, Céline… and we began meeting on a weekly basis! What a great period! Finding fun and interesting activities was a good way to get to know each other while discovering our new home city! (picnics are not optimal in Amsterdam, they are only possible 2 to 3 times a year 😉 ). Movies, dinners, exhibitions, bike rides, cooking workshops…

Crazily Dutch 🙂

Time passed we are still friends and we still do many things! I wasn’t expecting so much when I posted my first invite!!!

I cannot mention all the amazing times I had with each and every one of you, but you know all these moments were special and highly appreciated 🙂
With time passing though I decided to continue my adventures elsewhere and to close the Amsterdam chapter. ( previous article: About finding my path) I hope the Picknickers stay alive and that you guys still meet once in a while 🙂 keep the tradition running!!
I’ve learned a lot during this time in Amsterdam. About myself, both personally and professionally, about friendships (how to build them and nurture them), about life, about the world and about following my dreams! I’ve had such a wonderful time here, thanks everyone!
So I couldn’t go without saying a proper goodbye to all of you and thanking you for creating amazing memories! you will be missed my dears!
As a little reminder of my good moments in Amsterdam, here is a small list of my favourite places:
– Quattro Gatti, authentic Italian restaurant: Quattro Gatti Ristorante e Pasticceria
– Blue Amsterdam, Café with a view: Blue Amsterdam
– ABC American Book Centre, to spend a rainy afternoon: American Book Centre
– A bike ride through Diemenpark to the Muiderslot and the small beach for a picnic. Bike ride to Muiden
Café de Ceuvel, for alternative, eco-responsible, environmentally friendly activities and workshops.
– Wonderful stories at Mezrab
– Travel Writing workshop with Talia:
– Great coaching sessions with Vincent: Uturn