An Introduction

Hello my fine winter wanderers,

My name is Tory, and I am excited to introduce you into my life. However boring it may seem, I like to make each small experience into a story, ideally with a funny punchline at the end.

A brief note about me: I am in my mid-30s, living in The Netherlands for almost six years now, primarily in the Utrecht region, but originally from Boston with a blind and raging pride for my home state of Massachusetts (that I still struggle to spell). I have white hairs I am preoccupied with; they match the color of my cat. I live with my stereotypically looking Dutch husband, who I like. (We are still married and going strong in this pandemic life!) I have worked in universities, NYC tech start-ups and most recently in EMEA wide recruiting for global tech companies in The Netherlands. But this is not a Linkedin profile since I quit my last job at the end of January 2020 to go back to school full-time at the University of Amsterdam, finishing up (hopefully!) in June 2021. My degree, sitting at home in my PJs all day, has most closely matched with the start and potential end of this pandemic. I am concluding by doing my thesis on persuasive vaccine communication.

I have created this blog mainly because I like to write, but only when there is an audience. I live to entertain. More than 16 weeks ago, I started weekly emails to 30 or so close family members and friends to critical acclaim. (Talk about a biased audience.) So, now, feeling self satisfied and self righteous, I will start this new endeavor. I am expanding for more of the world to hear my important stories!

In these days of feeling lonely and socially isolated from each other, I have emerged as perhaps one of the most worried, the most strict, and the most cautious. As also someone who is the most loud and the most aggressive in my socialness, this paradox is challenging for me everyday. Mixed with the fact that I am following American news mostly, but living in a country under different restrictions, different mindsets and different realities, this all adds to my confusion. I found reading other people’s thoughts on the pandemic helpful when I was at my lowest; it made me feel less alone. So if nothing else, I hope I can do that for you. Also, I hope, maybe if just once, I can make you laugh.

This blog will be about my day-to-day life and my struggles as a 30 something American living in the Netherlands. I will talk about my husband, my cat, my brand new fancy Dutch digs in the suburbs, my experiences going back to school later in life, and likely whatever else may come to mind. As most other bloggers perhaps, I have always had dreams of writing an epic memoir, focusing on my dad who provided endless content until he didn’t. I never got around to writing that book, but he stays with me despite not being physically present anymore.

Through reading this blog, I’d love to say something relatable and perhaps even helpful to you. I imagine this blog for like-minded expats, fellow Americans, women in their 30s with kids or without, or men. Men are also fine, and welcome to read this! Perhaps some of my stories help other non-Dutch people navigate relationships with their Dutch partners. Perhaps you want to look at this blog for the cat pictures, or the countryside landscapes. I hope you visit often, and I hope to feel connected to you in this time of overconnected disconnectedness.

With all my love,