On Tuesday of this week, I walked into the library and did my usual scan of the battered books being sold for €1. I didn’t have to get close before I saw it: the distinctive, fat spine with the white raven. Yes: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell in Dutch was being sold at my library for one Euro. And right after I bought it, I went upstairs to the coffee bar and the barista began making my cafeïne-vrij koffie verkeerd without my asking, and then she told me this one was on her.
Tuesday was awesome. Tuesday morning, I found out that I was a co-winner in the New York Times contest wherein I submitted a plan for a week in Italy for the Frugal Traveler. And on Wednesday, Seth Kugel (the Frugal Traveler himself) tweeted the winners’ names and my blog. Having never been tweeted before (nor tweeted personally), I spent a long time considering the past tense of Twitter. But mostly, I was really excited, and then the stats on my blog exploded.
So to all of you who are new here, hello! Introductions, perhaps, are in order.
My name is Meghan Blosser.
I spent 2003-2010 in and around Cambridge, MA. During those years, I earned an MA at Emerson College and began a novel, copyedited middle-grade and young adult novels for Candlewick Press (love!), wrote drama scripts for a church called Grace Chapel (which I still do; and which, contrary to popular opinion, does not mean I write plays involving children dressed as shepherds), and I met and married my husband Tim.
Tim is a scientist.
He’s a biophysicist, to be exact. And in 2010 he was offered a postdoctoral position at the Technical University of Delft, in Delft, the Netherlands. We love to travel Europe, and we love our international friends, and we wanted a new experience. So just shy of a year ago, we sold the furniture on Craigslist, got on a plane, and moved here. The year we’re about to complete is the first of probably three.
I’d been a full-time freelancer (both writing and editing) for about a year when we made the jump, but since we moved here I do that just part-time, and mainly I work on that novel. I also investigate and plan opportunities for us to travel, since that’s one of the main reasons we chose to live abroad. Recently I wrote a post on our travel methods (before I knew about the NYT contest).
These days I think about what it means to be an expat, and I travel, and I think partial phrases in Dutch, and I write. And I like to encourage people to take big leaps and do the things that sound irrational unless you do them step by step and then they work.
Because on Tuesday—and this was so subtle I almost missed it—I realized that the only establishment in the world where someone knows my name, knows what I’m doing there, and prepares my beverage of choice without my even having to ask is a Coffee Star cafe in Delft, the Netherlands. And if that doesn’t mean I live here, then I don’t know what does.
If you clicked on this blog for the first time this week, I invite you to stick around. I’ll be blogging about our summer travels (soon to Barcelona and later to southern Italy and Croatia); about our continuing Netherlands experience; and about cooking, books, grammar, and whatever else comes along. I’m happy to talk about places we’ve traveled or how we made our overseas move. And of course, I’ll be hoping that the itinerary I wrote for the Frugal Traveler pans out well….
See you then!