We both have a track record of staying abroad for a couple of months, off to a new adventure, and we are blessed (or cursed?) with travel hunger that’s never sedated.
Inspired by each other’s travel stories and photographs, our own travel wish list continues to grow.
Working together at the office of a big multinational brings us lots of fun everyday as well as the typical corporate life frustrations – and what is a better cure for that than talking about an escape to the wonderful world of travelling?
So here’s our blog – sharing our personal travel stories with you. Be inspired & go!
* This blog expresses our personal experiences and opinions, and any endorsements or recommendations mentioned in our blog posts are wholly our own and not sponsored unless an affiliation or sponsorship is clearly mentioned in the blog post.
“You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” Although I’m well aware that John Lennon’s famous song text is not at all referring to travelling, the quote resonates with my travel addiction and eagerness to share my travel experiences with you to inspire you to make that dream trip of yours become a reality.
For me, travelling is the most amazing thing to do in the world. I love the excitement I feel in my body when the plane takes off to explore a completely new environment. The sense of freedom when you’ve arrived – waking up in the morning thinking ‘what are we going to do today?’ and the answer being ‘something amazing’.
Although I dream big, it’s also those small moments of travel happiness that I cherish and make my heart jump. It’s unzipping my tent or opening the window of a camper van and finding myself in the middle of spectacular nature. The first streak of sunlight on my face after a rainy prelude. The first glimpse of a stretched landscape after a steep climb or being caught by surprise by a field of flowers.
Talking about the bigger, mind-blowing stuff, the first memories that come to my mind are:
- joining a long table of Italians for dinner made by nonna Emma: right there and then Italian cuisine became my favourite
- a jaw dropping helicopter flight over Mount Cook in New Zealand
- seeing lava for the first time in the crater of Villaricca in Chile
- getting up close with my favourite animal since I was little – a giraffe – in Kruger Park
- being completely amazed by the beauty of the million lights over New York City seen from Rockefeller Center
- and last but certainly not least a magical moment that would be most difficult to experience for yourself: my husband proposing to me on top of the Torre delle ore in Lucca, Italy.
On the 19th of August 2016, my partner Tomas and I said yes to new adventures, got married in Amsterdam and hopped on a plane two days after for three months in Australia and New Zealand. It was pure magic.
Whenever I’ve landed back on earth, I love to wine & dine with my friends and family, either followed by an evening filled with playing games or trying out some dance moves. I enjoy exploring my continuously evolving hometown Rotterdam, but also still can’t quite get enough of my former hometown Amsterdam where I work together with my friend Evelien at an office in the city center. And of course those commuting hours between Netherlands’ two biggest (and cooles) cities are well spent dreaming.
About my wish list? I must say it’s a never-ending story. On my list are a flight over the Okavango Delta, taking the transMongolia express from St. Petersburg to Beijing, hiking in the Rocky Mountains in Canada, and oh.. I’m terrible at this. The more I think about making a decent top 5, the more destinations end up competing with it.
1. Tufi, Papua New Guinea – This landscape of tropical fjords is something beyond your imagination. We trekked along several traditional villages on the coast, and while there was no electricity or running water, the scenery and snorkeling was more than incredible. Looking back at my photographs, I cannot believe that I was actually there and that it was so immensely gorgeous.
2. Perugia, Italy – Medieval hilltop town which comes to life with students and locals in the late afternoon and evening hours, when everyone goes out for ‘una passegiata’; a stroll up and down its cobble stone streets which is topped off by an ice cream or a beer on the steps of the Duomo.
3. Uganda – What a brilliant sample of Africa! We floated on the Nile to see elephants and crocodiles, we camped among grazing hippos, we tracked wild chimpanzees in the jungle, we immersed ourselves in the chaos of Kampala and in the Virunga mountains we came eye to eye with the majestic mountain gorilla…
4. Seoul, South Korea – This city never bores me. Shopping is amazing, food is amazing, and the interesting hybrid between hyper-modern technologies and centuries old tradition makes this city unique.
5. Perhentian Islands, Malaysia – Snorkeling right off the beach and finding yourself immediately amidst sea turtles and reef sharks. Lying on the beach at night watching the stars. Island paradise.
6. The Balkans – Just throwing a couple of favourite places together here under one denominator because I couldn’t fit all of them in this top ten. Hiking the Dinaric Alpes in Montenegro, island hopping in Croatia, sampling baklava in Bosnia Herzegovina, and exploring traditional villages in Albania – I love it all and I want to see more!
7. New York City – What’s not to love.
8. Cote d’Azur & Provence, France – Some of the best childhood memories of lavender fields, windy Mt Ventoux, and climbing hills full of van Gogh’s olive trees to obtain a vista of the blue Méditerrannée.
9. Havana, Cuba – Hot nights, salsa music, people everywhere, and all of that against the crazy backdrop of the crumbling colonial city.
10. Angkor Wat, Cambodia – Spent three days wandering around the immense site, and it was easy to see why it is such a magical place to so many people.