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5 Years in The Netherlands – The Story of Next Level AMS

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Have you ever migrated spontaneously? I have…

This month I’m celebrating 5 years since my spontaneous migration to the Netherlands. It’s proven to be an enlightening, challenging, and growing experience, and at this point in my life I really couldn’t be happier with this choice.

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It all, actually, started in India

About 6 years ago I made a substantial life change. I left a successful career in IT, an apartment in Tel Aviv, and my family and friends in favor of traveling the world. I never imagined that almost a year later, my life would change forever (once again).
I was in India, in Rajasthan, and had just come back from an amazing Camel Safari experience, where I rode a camel through an endless desert by day and slept under the stars by night. It was late in the morning, and I was sitting in a café at one of the rooftops overseeing the city, and having breakfast with a Dutch friend I was traveling with. Back then, traveling was my number one goal in life, but I couldn’t help feeling that I should be doing more in life, something substantial. Being in my mid 30’s and not having a steady job anymore helped push me into this state of mind even more. So I thought to myself, why not buying a property? It’s an easy passive income, and wouldn’t cost me too much time, only an initial investment, which means I could keep on traveling the world. YES!
My Dutch friend recommended that I should check out the housing market in Amsterdam, as it was still relatively affordable at the time. I asked my friend to help me and keep an eye out for special opportunities, and sure enough, within a few weeks I had bought a plane ticket to check out an apartment.

Tal Assa - The Netherlands - Next Level AMS gym amstelveen

From buying an apartment to owning my own fitness studio

Well, after reviewing the property and the area I can easily say it wasn’t a love affair, but Amsterdam definitely was! Even though it was almost winter, I fell in love with the beauty of the people and of
the streets. I spent a few weeks looking for more properties, but nothing materialized. I knew I
needed more time, so I began working temporarily as a shop clerk. It wasn’t a great fit, but the shop owner was impressed by my physical ability and asked me to train him (I received my personal trainers diploma years back). I figured this would better showcase my skills and could keep me busy while I house-hunt.

Soon, winter had forced us to find an indoor location where I could train him, and after some trial and error at the local fitness centers, it soon became apparent that there was no other option for an up-and-coming Personal Trainer but to open my own place! Although I never intended to spend more than a couple of months in the Netherlands – much less start my own business here – I was
open-minded (struck by the local attitude, I suppose) and feeling up for the challenge.

Tal Assa -Tal Assa Fitness boutique studio

Forging my first company – “Tal Assa Fitness”

New clients had begun to show up at my first gym in Amstelveen. It was a small and modest room inside an office building, and the insulation sucked. Neighboring offices were not pleased with the weight-lifting maniac next door. However, after several months this opened a new opportunity for me: Moving to a larger, better equipped space on the premise. Now I could conduct group workouts and invest in great, heavy equipment, under the name “Tal Assa Fitness”.

I was so lucky to meet great, positive and welcoming individuals. They put their faith in me to train them and offer lifestyle advice, which made me feel like I had a special significance and worth. It was
the best way for me to feel a sense of belonging in a new place, on a new adventure.

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The materialization of Next Level AMS

Two years later the clientele grew and there was the need for a larger space. With this, arose
another opportunity: Building my own dream Boutique Gym just across the street from the old one.
This boutique gym opened March 2019 in Amstelveen: Next Level AMS. This place is my pride and joy, where I can fulfill my true vision for lifestyle change and community health to everyone. Since its launch we’ve
had so many terrific people sign up, support us and take an interest.

Although I never had a set plan, I’m glad things worked out the way they did. A curiosity led me to Amsterdam, and another curiosity brought me to start my own business in Amstelveen, and these intriguing leaps of faith have resulted in a network of friends, clients, and memorable experiences.

5 years later, this is my home. I have every hope of contributing to this great country and its warm people, and perhaps… one day… I’ll even buy a house 😉

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