Travelling has always been something magical for me. To see new places, to meet new people, to try new things and most of all to experience more of the world.
I started travelling when I was a kid during holidays with my family. But when I was 17, I decided to travel alone for the first time. Since then I was hooked. I loved it. I stayed in a hostel and there opened a completely new world for me. People who stayed together in a hostel, coming from all different places in the world.
To travel more with my camera.
Capture more moments.
To become a better photographer.
I grew up in Rotterdam, where I also did my high school. Well, actually 3 but that’s another story. After that, I followed the study Food, Design & Innovation in Den Bosch, The Netherlands. Where I learnt everything from food. The basics of cooking, design packaging, photoshop, marketing, concept development and photography. In the meanwhile, I was working as an administrative help for an awesome solar energy company and freelanced as a food photographer for different companies.
After my study, I had the feeling that I missed out. I was totally focused on doing things by head, not by heart.
A friend of mine was travelling by then in Australia and New Zealand, he told me so many amazing things that inspired me so much, that I realised what I wanted. By then I was 23 and after a lot of doubts and fears, I decided to quit everything to travel, starting in Asia.
My first long travel trip
I’ve travelled to different countries in Asia. Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal and even India, I travelled alone but didn’t felt lonely at all. I loved walking in nature, the tropical islands, the different cultures of the different countries. I felt free and curious to see new places.
I challenged myself in every country to do something out of my comfort zone:
* I did a 200 hours yoga teacher training, Nepal.
* Hiked in the Himalayas, Nepal.
* Saw sharks by snorkelling in Borneo, Malaysia
* Did a jungle hike and saw a lot of animals in Borneo, Malaysia.
* Travelling in India, alone. Something that really scared me in the beginning.
Of course, not always can go well. I’ve seen 3 different kinds of hospitals…
I had a big burnt wound, I struggled with altitude sickness, had problems with rain floods, mosquito allergies, bruised my ankle with as result that I couldn’t do long walks and ended up in a political problem in India, where there was a problem with cash (November 2016).
But, above all I lived, every single moment again.
And I loved it. I improved my skills as a photographer. I met so many amazing people, tried amazing food and I’ve seen amazing places.
Unfortunately after 8 months, I had to go back to Europe, because of the illness of a family member. I decided to stay for a while in Rotterdam, where I planned to work again to stay close to family. I wanted to do something completely different, to challenge myself and dropped my cv at The student hotel in Rotterdam. It worked out really well. I started as a barista/bartender and after a couple months, I became the assistant manager of the restaurant of the student hotel in Rotterdam. I loved the international environment but noticed that staying in one place didn’t make me as happy as I was while travelling. I still travelled, my job was quite flexible, but I missed being on the road for a longer time, seeing a new culture and not having the same environment every single day. I had to take action.
So here I am, scary en excited, quitting my job again and ready for this new adventure.
I started freelancing again with the focus on travel photography, blogging and social media strategies. And not just because I wanted to work for myself, but also because I wanted to inspire. Inspire others to experience more.
The first couple months I freelanced in the Netherlands.
Busy with my branding, concept development, decide my focus points, what my goal and WHY.
I didn’t want to rush things, so I decided to take it step by step.
Fears, questions, the unknown life, partly I love it, partly it scares me. Because what if it doesn’t work out? What if I don’t earn enough money? All those questions are repeatedly going through my head. All those thoughts were stopping me. Actually, my mindset was stopping me.
So, before I could figure out more reasons why I shouldn’t do it, I booked my ticket and collected one of my most important reasons.
Why I combine work and travelling
1. Meeting new people from everywhere
Most of the time, the people you meet are like-minded who always have one thing in common, they like to travel. I love the fact that you can learn about the cultures. And who knows, maybe a friend for life as well. Also if you visit co-working spaces who knows, maybe an awesome work opportunity will follow. Meeting likewise people stay mostly in my life, wherever they live, I will probably visit them again and have an amazing time.
2. Develop new skills
It’s always good to invest in yourself, learn more photography, hiking, surfing, video editing, do a barista course or yoga teacher training. So many things are possible and most of the time also a bit more affordable. At the moment I am experimenting with drone shots, something that I really like to develop to become better and better every day.
3. Living with less
Minimalism is a big upcoming trend and I noticed that travelling is helping me realise that I don’t need much.
When you travel only with your backpack for a while, you will be more creative with the things you have. I travel at the moment around the world with 9 kilos and it works!
4. To go out of my comfort zone
This one is really scary, but once you do it, you will feel amazing! And you grow personal but also mentally. Travel is something that’s ‘new’ and in the beginning it can be a bit scary, but when you overcome fears, you already win.
5. Becoming more creative
So many unexpected things happen and you will be more creative with fixing them.
Not always because you want to, but because you have to.
6. Appreciating more
You will meet people from different kinds of cultures. I find that fascinating. I notice, the more I travel, the more I appreciate what I have. And how lucky I am that I can travel and see so many amazing places.
7. Exploring the unknown
Last but not least. Explore! See new places. jungles, islands or mountains. Get inspiration from the people, cultures, nature and food. Try new things, learn how to dive, surf or do a surprising hike in the nature.