Article about our B&B and moving to Peru on nu.nl
Every year, some 40,000 Dutch people emigrate abroad. How do they like working in their new (temporary) homeland? And do they really want to return to the Netherlands? This time we speak to Lauwrens IJsveld in Peru.
Who: Lauwrens IJsveld
Function: Owner of bed and breakfast The Office
Where: Arequipa, Peru
In the Netherlands since: 2021
How did you end up in Peru?
"My wife is from here and after living together in the Netherlands for a while, we decided to leave for Peru. The idea came from me. Due to a burn-out I had been at home for a year. I thought: I'm fifty now, am I still going to look for a new job or am I going to put my house up for sale and use the surplus value to build a new life in Peru?"
Why did you start a bed and breakfast?
"I was a project manager in the Netherlands, but there were no similar jobs for me here. Then we started a bed and breakfast like many other Dutch people abroad. I was approached by the TV program Ik Vertrek, but things were going too well for us, then you are not interesting enough for the viewers. We 'only' rebuilt for three months. We have been waiting for our moving boxes since May, but everything is ready for the guests."
"Sometimes I am a bit direct in the way I ask something, then you can see them looking: what a crazy Dutchman."
What is it like to be the owner of a bed and breakfast?
"I really enjoy cooking for the guests. I also built a special outdoor kitchen, it always gets very cozy there. My wife has a job as a teacher, so it's pretty busy. Soon we will get another room, then it will be even busier."
What do you think of life in Peru?
"Of course I already knew it, but if you're only here for a few weeks you're more of a tourist. I really have a life of my own here now. At the moment we are enjoying the summer, it's about 27 degrees every day. The Peruvians are very hospitable and polite. Sometimes I am a bit direct in the way I ask something, then you see them look: what a crazy Dutchman. But then they do it for you."
What did you have to get used to the most?
"When we got married in Peru, we were sent from one row to another in the town hall. You can arrange almost nothing online. Then it's handy if you have patience. The same goes for making appointments. If the gardener says he's coming tomorrow, it could be that he hasn't been there after two weeks. You have to come to terms with that; things just work differently in Peru than they do in the Netherlands."
What do you like about the country?
"In the Netherlands I was at home with a burnout for a reason. I was always stressed, the workload was high and I made extremely long days. You work a lot more relaxed here. And we don't have to work very hard to live a nice life either. Life is relatively cheap."
"A tip: never move your pet to Peru with you."
So you feel at home there?
"Yes. I have a good time here with my wife, her two children and our two dogs and the cat. One tip: never move your pet with you to Peru. What a paperwork and hassle that was. I do miss my daughter, she stayed in Holland with her mother. I try to visit her and my mother as often as possible."
What do you like to do in your free time?
"Meeting up with friends, hiking, or going out by car. For example, towards the Colca Gorge, one of the deepest gorges in the world. The condor flies around there. And the road there is one of the most beautiful car routes in Peru to drive by yourself."
Will you ever go back to the Netherlands?
"Why would I leave here anymore? I thought the homesickness for Holland would be greater, but it's not so bad."