Living in Amsterdam

Terri Tu, Head of Digital UX/UI is originally from Toronto, Canada and worked in London and Utrecht before joining Miele X in December 2020. She’s lived in Amsterdam for eight years and told us about life in the city with her family. 

I’ve always lived and worked in big cities, but to me Amsterdam has a very different feeling. The lifestyle is a lot more relaxed than in either Toronto or London. There’s less of a rat race and you don’t need to keep up with appearances. In fact, I’d say that in Amsterdam they welcome anything that’s eccentric – you can dress how you want when you come to work, as long as you’re professional and nice to the people around you.

People are less judgmental here and they’re very humble – there’s less of a focus on consumerism.

Getting around

I love getting around the city by bike – I only live a 15-minute ride from the Miele X office, so when we can go into the offices I’m really looking forward to that commute, after travelling to Utrecht for my previous job.

I’ve never owned a car since I lived in Amsterdam. If we do need a car to get out of the city or for a big errand, there are lots of car sharing schemes we can use. But for getting around the city, we tend to go everywhere by bike. It was a bit intimidating at first, because I wasn’t really used to it. My thighs hurt for about the first six weeks! But it’s just the best way to get around Amsterdam.

It’s such a compact city that nowhere is more than around 25 minutes away by bike. And living here has made my perception of space and travelling a lot smaller. For example, in Toronto, most workers commute for around 40-60 minutes each way, so you’re often late for work. But in Amsterdam there are no excuses – 25 minutes is a long commute here!

Leisure time

If you don’t live in Amsterdam, I guess your perception of it is based on stories about the red-light district or the drug cafés. It’s so not like that. There’s so much more to Amsterdam.

I have a four-year old daughter, so outside work we like to do a lot of outdoor stuff. Amsterdam’s a great city for that – there are lots of parks with playgrounds and cafés where you can sit and have a glass of wine. We also go to markets where you can buy organic food and produce.

Before we became parents, me and my husband used to go to a lot of live music. There are lots of small music venues across the city and they often host big name artists. I also studied photography and there’s a great contemporary arts scene, with a lot of small galleries.

My favourite aspect of Amsterdam is all the different neighbourhoods. Each one has its own character, with different shops, restaurants and parks. So everywhere you go, you’re always likely to stumble across a hidden gem – even after living here for eight years, I’m still finding them.

For example, down the street from where I live there’s a junction and on one corner there’s a pizza restaurant, another has a bar and on another there’s a gelato place. So we go there with our daughter and just move from one to the other – I don’t know any other city where you could do that. I love that laid-back atmosphere in the city – just meeting up with friends on a patio and relaxing.

Terri has made her home in Amsterdam. Why not come and do the same - join us at Miele X as we create a new digital heritage for one of the world’s best-loved brands.

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