My Story


I grew up on a dairy farm in northern country Victoria, Australia. I loved growing up on a farm and was very close with my parents and three younger sisters. In 1999, as a very naive nineteen year old, I boarded a plane for the first time and flew to Europe to work on cruise ships. A small girl in a big world, and I was excited to discover it.

During my first day onboard the Holland American Line cruise ship, the MS Statendam, I met a Dutch man. He was completing his apprenticeship onboard as an officer/engineer. We worked hard and played hard. Our first date was in Acapulco, Mexico and our second date was in Maui, Hawaii. Quite soon, we realised that our relationship was serious and that we were very much in love with each other.

We spent several years living and working on cruise ships, then several years living and working in Sydney, Australia. We married in Australia and our two beautiful children were born there. Then in 2011, we relocated to the Netherlands to start our next adventure!

Relocating from Australia to the Netherlands and adapting to the extreme differences has posed a variety of challenges and has inevitably helped me to grow as a person. I look forward to sharing these stories and my experiences with you on this blog!


10 thoughts on “My Story

  1. I’m so excited to read more of your blog! I’m an American who met her Aussie husband in Malaysia. We live in Melbourne with our little halfie daughter. If I could live anywhere else in the world it would be The Netherlands- hands down. I lived there for 3.5 months (ten years ago now- yikes!) I have a huge softspot for Dutchers!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Kristen, just came across your blog and have enjoyed reading your posts. We have also just moved to The Netherlands, so I’m glad to have found another kindred expat spirit in ‘clogland’!


    1. Hi Lucille,
      Thank you so much and I also just enjoyed reading your post on Delft! I live ten minutes from Delft and it is still one of my favourite cities in the Netherlands, with such a rich history. I look forward to reading more of your blogs!


  3. As an Aussie of Dutch descent I am envious of you living in Nederland, my dream would be to have a summer house in Groningen (more a pipe-dream!), looking forward to reading your blog 🙂


  4. Hello there Kirsten. I loved reading your story and could so emphasize with you. I am a dutch/kiwi having spent half my life Down Under and half in Nederland, to where I have returned. My children and grandchildren live in Australia and New Zealand. Talk about having one foot on each side of the equator. I too blog- about the torn between two worlds – being oma far away and just other ‘stuff’. Will look forward to reading more of your stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can relate to your live boat romance. Met my husband while working as cruise ship nurse and he was the navigator on HAL.20 years ago..married after 3 months! No Internet back then so decisions were made fast! Actually we lived in Houston Texas for 7 years where are 2 daughters were born and now live happily in Rotterdam. No more cruise ship…working on land jobs as I teach nursing here and he is director of a shipping company. Most important tip is learning the language. ..that’s how you really understand the culture. Enjoy your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

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