People from many different countries live, study and work in Eindhoven. Every week, E52 has a talk with an international about what brought them here and what life is like in Eindhoven.
Name: Lenise Collimore
Country of origin: Australia
Work: freelance writer and founder of Eindhoven in Motion
The Australian Lenise is a true globetrotter. Before she and her husband decided to come to the Netherlands, she lived in Japan, Turkey, Finland and England and visited over 30 countries. “Most of my travelling I did on my own before I had my own family. If we want to go somewhere nowadays I have to consider school and jobs, so it takes more planning in advance,” she tells on the terrace of Het Koffiehuisje. “My Grandfather worked at a shipping company and he sent postcards from all over the world. When I was a child I already knew I wanted to see the world too. My grandmother and parents also encouraged me to travel.”
Lenise is married to a Dutchman. Years ago they lived in London, but they could only stay there for two years. So what was next? “My husband studied in Eindhoven, and he suggested we should live there for a while. We stayed for two years and then left to live in Australia. After five years we wanted to go back to Europe and chose Berlin as our new home base. We arranged a lot already, but on the way to Berlin, at a stop in Singapore, I changed my mind. I wondered why I would want to start over again, making friends, setting up a new life. I shared my doubts with my husband and we decided we’d rather go back to Eindhoven. We did stay in Berlin for a few months and in 2014 we returned to Eindhoven.”
“I love the fact I can cycle with my kids to school through the city”Lenise Collimore, Freelance writer
In the meantime, Lenise’s family expanded with two children. “When we arrived in the Netherlands again, the oldest started school. We decided that the Dutch department of the international school would be the best option. Most of the time the lessons are in Dutch, but the children can also communicate in English. Now both children attend a local school. I really appreciate the cycleways here and the fact I can cycle with my kids to school through the city. Although I had some difficulties with giving way to the right. In Australia we have a different priority system, it’s not like we give way to the left. I also took some driving lessons to get to know the traffic regulations.”
Lenise has quite a big network in Eindhoven and it shows when we are talking on the terrace of Het Koffiehuisje. Lots of people pass by and greet her. “When it comes to getting settled in a new country, I advise people to do anything you like in your home country to do that here as well. Join a sports club, go to the library, go volunteer. It takes a little more time and courage in a new environment, but go! You will always meet new people and most the times you will have a good time. For me it was sports. I started my blog Eindhoven in Motion and it forced me to go to sports clubs and activities. It surprised me a lot how many different sports clubs Eindhoven has. There is even roller derby here! And I found a roller skate shop in the Woensel West area.”
If you talk to Lenise, you can’t help but wonder, what her next destination will be. Does she want to stay in the Netherlands? “You never know if you stay forever or go somewhere else. The fact that the kids are in school is not an obstacle, in other places they can go to school too. I would love to go to South America and Brazil in particular. Will we go there? Only the future can tell.”
Read all the internationals stories here.
Photography: Diewke van den Heuvel