We love a serendipitous story, especially one that spans the globe and ends up right here in our sun-soaked backyard. Globetrotting models Julie Beekman and Rebecca Van Hove both hail from the same small town in the Netherlands and grew up a two minute bike ride from each other, yet they just met each other for the first time two months ago in Los Angeles. Some other things this dynamic duo has in common? Flawlessly tousled brunette locks, sun-kissed skin, and an effortlessly down to earth energy. Radiating chic coolness and natural sex appeal, the stunning LA transplants were captured by Chris Swainston roaming the streets on the kind of golden sunny day that convinced us all to come to the city of Angels in the first place, decked out in styles as vibrant and carefree as their attitudes.
The editorial serves as a sun-warmed reminder that there are many different definitions of home: it can be where you grew up or where you end up; it can be where you build a life for yourself or where you feel like the fullest version of yourself. Home can be your childhood bed, a whiff of perfume, a home cooked meal, a cracked street corner you pass everyday. Home can be a feeling, a song, a memory. Home can be whenever you’re with a certain someone – their laugh, their smile, the way you relax into the moment when they are nearby.
We asked Julie and Rebecca to share a little bit about where they’re from, how they found each other, and what they like about LA. Read on to learn more, and prepare to fall head over heels for these self-proclaimed “Dutchies.”
Live FAST: Where are you from and what is it like there?
We met each other for the first time about two months ago in LA. After talking for a while, we found out that we are from the same small town in the Netherlands. Its called Heerhugowaard and has a population of 75,000 people. Actually, even funnier, we are both born in a different town called Alkmaar and we found out our birth homes were within two minutes biking distance!
Heerhugowaard is a small town about 30 minutes north of Amsterdam. It’s mostly residential, so not quite a city you’d visit as a tourist, although it is close to Alkmaar, which has a lot of monuments and canals and is known as the ‘cheese city.’
LF: What are some unique attributes to the Netherlands?
– Dutchies give three kisses on the cheek (instead of two) to greet each other.
– Everyone bikes everywhere. To the supermarket, to school, to other cities. A 45 minute bike ride is nothing!
– Dutchies never stop talking about the weather. Whenever we have one or two days of sun, everyone is taking the day off, putting on their flip-flops and going to the beach.
– Dutchies often say, “Doe maar gewoon dan ben je al gek genoeg.” It means, “Just be normal, then you are already crazy enough.” We are typically very down to earth.
LF: How does the way of life differ between LA and the Netherlands?
Julie Beekman: In the Netherlands people make the most of the sunny days because they are so much more rare then in LA. When the sun is out everybody is at the beach or a terrace to have drinks. In LA it is just another sunny day. The Dutch live on bicycles and the Netherlands is a socialist country where healthcare and education are pretty much taken care of.
Rebecca Van Hove: I think the biggest difference is that LA is very spread out, compared to the Netherlands which is very small and compact. Also, in LA I’m way more outdoorsy than in the Netherlands. That has probably something to do with the weather. Back home, I’d want to stay inside more often and keep myself warm. We love living in LA and are definitely going to stay here for a while. Halloween is coming up, which we are excited to celebrate together because we don’t have it in the Netherlands.