Laurel Skillman

Secretary of the IWC Amsterdam​

Have you ever wandered around a new city only to suddenly stop and ask yourself, “Why do I feel so comfortable here?” That’s what happened to me last summer when I followed my husband and his new job to Amsterdam. While I have traveled broadly and spent the last 15 years living outside of my native California, Amsterdam already feels like a forever home. I have two kids who spent their tweens and teens in London and Berlin before going to university and settling in the United States. (Yes, I am trying to lure them back to Europe.) Professionally, I worked in magazine and online publishing for about 20 years before starting my own business, and then I went back for a degree in Environmental Horticulture. I spent the pandemic years as an “essential worker” in Seattle designing gardens and as the tree and shrub buyer for a garden centre. In Amsterdam, I’m hoping to do more horticulturally focused activities. I’m also obsessed with pickleball (ask me if you are interested!), enjoy walking my dog in Vondelpark and love live music. It has been a great pleasure getting to know Amsterdam through the eyes of IWC members. At every activity, I meet another interesting person and look forward to the next Wednesday Walk, Thirsty Thursday, Diva outing, museum tour and all the other fantastic events.