Find us Lost from LA to Amsterdam. Recently we had a great post with 10 travel couples that shared some great advice. They gave tips how you can keep your relationship fun while traveling. Now, for our Tips for Travel Couples category, we asked the couple behind Find Us Lost for their personal story. Selena and Jacob found each other and decided to move across the world. In the meantime, they just can’t stop traveling!
Moving from LA to Amsterdam is quite a huge step to take. Although lots of people have the same dream of moving to another country, they might not pursue it. Luckily, Selena and Jacob happily agreed to share their story. Also, they give some basic tips for those that want to do something similar.
Who is the couple behind Find us Lost?
Selena + Jacob: We’re Selena and Jacob, both 26. We met seven years ago while attending college in Southern California. We were friends first and started dating towards the end of our Senior year. Just one month before graduating, we planned to meet each other in Europe. We still laugh about it, since we hadn’t even made our relationship official! A seven-country road trip really set the stage for our relationship.
Last year in March, we left our lives in Los Angeles to travel, beginning with a road trip through the Balkans. Our goal was to move to Europe afterwards, so we recently set up shop in Amsterdam. We’re both working remotely now on our travel blog and instagram, Find Us Lost. In addition, we also work part time; Selena works as a marketing consultant and Jacob is a freelance photographer/videographer.
Selena: We lived in Los Angeles for a few years and always talked about what it would be like to move to Europe and spend more time traveling. When we started looking at an apartment to move in together, we realized that we didn’t want to commit long-term to living in Los Angeles. So, we pulled the trigger and decided to spend a few months road tripping through Europe, and end in Amsterdam.
This decision came easy as I’m half Dutch, and we both love Amsterdam. Jacob surprised me by proposing the day after we left, which was incredible. Now we can’t stop traveling! It’s been a big life change, but such a positive one.
Getting a Visa
Jacob: Fortunately, Selena is a dual U.S./E.U. citizen, so the only complication was figuring out how to get a visa for me. At first it seemed intimidating, but we did a lot of research online and although the process could be confusing at times, it ended up going very smoothly. Once we arrived in Amsterdam it took a few weeks to get all the paperwork and application together.
The biggest headache was dealing with the US consulate in Amsterdam where we had to get a few official US documents for the visa application. The individuals at the immigration office in the Netherlands were actually very friendly and helpful, and always able to take walk-ins whenever we had additional questions.
All in all, everything went surprisingly smooth for us. It definitely would have been useful to have reached out to some other expats earlier on to navigate some of the more confusing parts of the process, but we found that the information from the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) to be pretty straight forward and everyone working there was fluent in English.
Some useful tips for moving country
Selena: Do as much research as you can before leaving, the whole process would have been a lot more overwhelming if we hadn’t been prepared for it. Make sure to get all the documents you might need from the US before leaving.
For instance: Jacob had to get an apostille for his birth certificate, which was something we hadn’t planned on. Finding expat groups in the country you’re moving to can be really helpful, knowing a few people who have gone through the same process is invaluable and it makes the whole experience feel much more manageable.
How often do you travel to other places?
Selena: We tend to travel outside of the Netherlands about twice a month. Thanks to Amsterdam’s central location we can fly to most European cities in 2 hours or less with a cheap flight. We’ve also really enjoyed exploring the Netherlands and Germany by car — there are some beautiful destinations in western Germany like Eltz Castle and Cologne.
Is it all like you expected it to be?
Jacob: I don’t think either of us expected to love living in Amsterdam as much as we do. Thanks to it’s small size and great public transportation we already know our way around most of the city. In many ways it already feels more like home than LA ever did. Traveling is definitely addicting and neither of us wants to stop anytime soon. Every city has its own identity and culture and we love getting lost and stumbling upon hidden gems everywhere we go.
Big thanks to Selena and Jacob for sharing their story. Are you thinking of moving to another country? If you want to share your travel or expat story with our audience, feel free to drop us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.