For the second time, E52 organises the annual Expat Top-10. There are a lot of internationals in Eindhoven who have done a great job for the city, and by this, we put a spotlight on them. This year’s theme of the Top-10 is ‘Sport & Leisure’. Every day we present you an interview with one of the winners. In this interview, you can read about how they ended up in Eindhoven, how they put an effort in the city and how they look at the Eindhoven with their international perspective. Today: Lenise Collimore.
Born in 1975
From Sydney, Australia
In Eindhoven since 2014
#1 on bucket list: “skydiving definitely”
Lenise Collimore saw about 25 to 30 countries and lived in six of them. During her travels and migrations, sport was always an important element in her life. While living in Eindhoven this continues. On her blog Eindhoven in Motion Collimore writes about sporting in Eindhoven and everything what’s connected to that.
“I don’t think we’ll stay in Eindhoven forever, but in no place forever”
On her 22nd Collimore moved for the first time out of Australia. “I worked at a publishing company but I hated it. So I moved to Japan to become an English teacher. I stayed there for three years, travelled a bit afterwards and then moved to Turkey to do the same.” After Turkey she returned to Australia but for one year only. In 2006 she set foot in the Netherlands for the first time. She stayed in Eindhoven for two years and in this time she met and married her husband. When she returned to Australia for the second time it was together with her husband. ‘’We stayed there for five and a half years. Our plan was actually to go to Berlin. It was a long flight and by then we had two little children. So we made a break in Singapore. When we were there I asked my husband: why are we actually going to Germany? Why wouldn’t we return to Eindhoven?” And so their decision was made and Collimore and her whole family started living in Eindhoven in 2014. But if she will always stay in Eindhoven? “Haha, I would say no.”
“I started to see that the blog wasn’t only for me anymore but for a community”
The Philips de Jongpark is one of Collimores favorite running spots. “Every Sunday I join a functional running group. As ‘homework’ I run a couple of times by myself during the week.” “I read on a facebookpage: Today’s good mood is brought to you by running. That’s how I see it. Sport is also good for you mentality. I can deal with a lot more stuff if I sport.”
“If you live far away from where you grew up you can feel isolated.” But Collimore found her way to solve this problem. “I was searching what kind of work I could do in the Netherlands. Then I read an article which said: what did you like when you were a kid? Well I liked sporting and writing. So I imagined I could start a blog.” She started with the idea of practicing different sports in Eindhoven and write about her experiences. And that’s how the blog Eindhoven in Motion was born. She also contacted Eindhoven Sport, because they didn’t have any English information on their website. That was the beginning of Collimore writing for them. “It started out with me mailing clubs if I could join a practice, now people even start mailing me, if I could come sporting with them and write about it.” But Collimore says she tries to keep growing. “I have so many ideas but I’m not sure which path I would like to take. But in the future I want people to write for my blog. So I will have more collaboration and different perspectives on it.”
“No matter which country I was, sport was always a way to connect with people.’’Lenise Collimore, – Winner Expat Top-10
“It’s nice that I saw the change Eindhoven made since I left”
“I like Eindhoven, it’s an easy city. Especially when you have lived in Sydney and Melbourne. I can come everywhere by bike and so do my kids. Besides that Eindhoven has such good energy with a lot of new initiatives.” Five years passed between Collimore left and returned to the Netherlands. “Eindhoven is growing, Strijp-S, where we live, is literally growing. First nothing was here.” According to Collimore there is not much for Eindhoven to improve. Perhaps the interaction between internationals and locals. “Although Eindhoven has a lot of internationals, many of them don’t speak Dutch. I think Eindhoven does a lot to improve that, but can still make more interaction between internationals and locals. But I think every city struggles with this.”
Collimore needs to think hard about the differences between Dutch and Australian culture. “The culture is similar I think, pretty friendly and laid back. But the main difference is spontaneity. In Australia I can just call a friend and ask: would you like to get a coffee now? Here people are a bit more reserved. For example, for me it’s not impolite if visitors ask to see what my house looks like upstairs.”