Off the beaten track » Isan, Northeast Thailand

Off the beaten track, Isan, Northeast Thailand

If you ask anyone about Thailand, they will probably tell you about the long stretched beaches in Ko Samui, Koh Phi Phi or talk about the elephants in Chiang Mai. All lovely, but did you know that Thailand has a lot of hidden gems located in the North Eastern part? I flew over there to find out, and ended up having one of the most amazing press trips of the year. Let me introduce Northeast Thailand, better known as Isan.

North East Thailand

How to get there
From Bangkok you can fly to Khon Kaen,one of the four major cities of Isan, Thailand. From there you can travel to all the places I’m going to highlight. Rent a van or hire a chauffeur to drive you around. The roads are good and not too busy, so a great option to the the best parts of North East Thailand. Direct flights are also available and not expensive. Thai Smile airways is your best option.

Khon Kaen
The town itself isn’t really what we came here for, but it’s surroundings is what makes this place special. From here on, you will find the real Thailand. And with real, I mean getting the true local experience. In this part of the country you will not see many tourists or backpackers. In fact, I only saw one! Here are some must sees & do’s in the area;

» Mekin Organic Farm
This wonderful farm is run by a Thai family that is growing everything from fruits, coffee, Thai whiskey and rice on their farm. They’re not using any chemicals to spray their harvest, so you can imagine the amazing flavours of the food! I was invited to plant fresh rice in the mud. If you visit this farm, you can help too and experience the life of a Thai organic farmer. Lunch on the farm is included and so tasty!

Mekin Organic Farm, Khon Kaen

Mekin Organic Farm, Thailand
The amazing Mekin Organic Farm

Mekin Organic Farm, Khon Kaen

» Wat Chai Sri
A tiny Isan village where you can find an ancient temple with beautiful hand painted stories. It was most likely build before 1917 and remains an important temple for the Thai history. If you decide to visit this rather unique temple, make sure you walk around the village to meet some of the locals. This is a chance to experience the real Thai culture. You will be welcomed with open arms, even if they don’t speak a word of English, it’s worth trying to communicate with them. I received a cotton bracelet which was symbolic for good health and luck, and i’m still wearing it!

Meeting the local children
Meeting the local Isan kids at Wat Chai Sri (throwing up good luck signs)

» Sila Homestay
What a colourful place! Here you can learn how to weave cotton wool around a bamboo structure which makes up a “spiders web” which is used for celebrating events. Sila Homestay is a good stop to drink some traditional Thai juice and stretch your legs, while overlooking the river.

Sila Homestay, Thailand

Where to stay
Your best option is the Pullman Khon Kaen Raja Orchid Hotel in the city center. It’s large and one of the best hotels in the area. The rooms are huge and very comfortable. If you stay longer, you can enjoy the pool, fitness and spa. Book your stay here.

Roi Et
Roi et literally means “hundred and one” and is home to one of the tallest Buddha’s in Thailand. With an impressive 60 meters, it’s definitely worth visiting. Order a Skylab to get you around, It’s transportation similar to a TucTuc, but here the seats are turned towards each other. Roi Et worth visiting when the Bun Pha Wet festival is on, which happens once a year. 

Roi Et, talest Buddha

» Bun Pha Wet Festival
Amazing Thailand
planned our visit at the right time, because once a year there is a festival named Bun Pha Wet. The yearly parade is one of the highlights and I was so lucky enough to join in the fun! Being the only western group of people, everyone wanted to take pictures of us, (so that’s what celebrities feel like ey?) Participants dress up in the most beautiful creations and dance as they make their way past the watching crowd. It was such an honour to be a part of this tradition! At night you can enjoy a light and sound show and free Thai rice noodle booths all over town.

Bun Pha Wet Festival

Bun Pha Wet festival, Isan, Thailand
Photo by The Sand Gypsy

» Phra Maha Chedi Chai Monkol
It’s a name full, and it’s just as impressive as it sounds. I’m talking about the largest Chedi in Thailand. The Chedi is located about 80km away from town. Covered in gold, it stands 101 meters tall, 101 meters wide and was built on a plot measuring 101 Rai, which is about 40 acres. Yes 101 is a lucky number in Roi Et! You can take the elevator all the way up and walk down so you can see the impressive architecture. From the top you can see that the Chedi is located in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by trees and it feels magical. Entrance is only 20 bath.

Drone image by

Phra Maha Chedi Chai Monkol
The stunning Phra Maha Chedi Chai Monkol

Where to stay:
There are not many hotels to choose from, because Roi Et is not used to tourists, yet. I stayed at the Rice Hotel which is basic but good enough to rest your head. Tip: order a Thai massage from town for 400 bath and enjoy the comfort of having the massage in your room. (No happy ending included guys!)

Ubon Ratchathani 
Close to the border of Laos, you will find Ubon Ratchathani. It means Royal Lotus City and is often called Ubon for short. It’s probably the best hidden gem that Thailand has to offer, because here you will find extraordinary national parks, and there is even a canyon.

» Pha Taem National Park
If you’re into history, you are going to love this national park. You will find the “mushroom shaped rocks” that was were produced by years of erosion. But the park is also known for numerous prehistoric cave paintings that date back 3000 – 4000 years ago. I was really impressed by the well kept hand prints and drawings these people made so many years ago. The drawings feature people, animals and their use of Buk fishing. The whole area is rather special and when you walk besides the cliff, it’s pretty amazing to imagine how this area must have looked so many years ago. Entrance is 400 bath for adults and 200 bath for kids. There is a small café where you can get amazing ice-coffees and juices, and you’re probably going to need it!

Mushroom rocks
Is it a mushroom? (yes, that’s me in the middle)

» San Phan Bok
The Grand Canyon of Thailand and a place you cannot miss while visiting this part of the country! The area consist of thousands of holes (San Phan Bok translate to 3000 holes), some filled with rainwater. I couldn’t believe this was also in Thailand! Get your camera ready, because it’s one of the most photogenic area’s you will see. Walk around to find a Mickey Mouse shaped hole. Tip: Bring an umbrella to protect you from the sun, otherwise you will burn alive! Luckily there are many food stands at the arrival point where you can buy fresh coconuts, ice-cream and water.

San Phan Bok, Thailand
Heatwave! Bring an umbrella (photo by Piet Fischer)

Alien-lie San Phan Bok, a true sight. Photo taken by Larissa from BLDV

» Sirindhorn Wararam Phu Prao Temple
Right across the border of Laos, this beautiful temple changes completely when the sun sets and it gets dark. Come here around 5.30pm and wait for the magical moment. If you are a professional photographer, you may want to bring your tripod. Say hello to the pigs that walk around at the temple and love to be cuddled.

Illuminate temple, Thailand
When the sun goes down, the tree and the floor light up

Where to stay
With no question, stay at the Thohsang Khongjiam Resort. This hotel really feels like you’re on holiday. After a day full of exploring, this place is the perfect stopover for a few days. There are villa’s available if you are with a family, but the other rooms are also good. The hotel is located so close Laos, that you can almost touch it. There is a wonderful swimming pool and the massages here are amazing. (yes, I need a massage everyday). Book your stay here.

Yes, Isan is a different kind of Thailand. It’s about the local experience. It’s adventurous and it’s unique. There remains only one question; are you ready to go off the beaten track?



Watch the video of my trip here:





Amsterdam Event Calendar for March 2018

We need to apologise to you. We haven’t released the Amsterdam Event Calendar for March until now. Yep, shame on us. With press trips in Thailand and France, we just didn’t have the time. BUT, the last 2 weeks of March are pretty full of events, so we hope we can make it up to you? Enjoy your weekend!

Open Toren Dag
When? 24th of  March, Frankendael park
What? Many historical and contemporary towers in Amsterdam will open their doors to the public
On Saturday the 24th of March 2018, the sixth Open Tower Day will take place in Amsterdam. Historical and contemporary towers in Amsterdam will open their doors to the public between 10:00 and 16:00, free of charge! There are, however, a few exceptions. Therefore, before visiting the towers, please read the opening hours and the terms and conditions carefully. Be quick to register, because full = full!

Secondhand Fashion Sale
When? 24th & 25th of  March,Fashion for Good: Rokin 102
What? Fashion for Good is joining forces with Trashformers to organize a weekend filled with secondhand fashion in the heart of Amsterdam!
Looking for something to spice up your wardrobe without added impact on the planet? Trashformers supplies you with the best secondhand treasures to give them a new life and keep them out of landfill. Facebook

Kindred Spirit Sample Sale
When? 24th & 25th of  March, Kindred Spirit Store
What? Discount prices at one of our favorite stores in Amsterdam!
Original boots price will start at €75,- * Sneakers are only €25,- & Rugs starting at €50,-!! * Clothing up to 70% discount and many more surprises! Music and drinks are on the house. It’s cash only and they open at 11am on Sat and at 12pm on Sun. This is a sample sale that you can’t miss out on. For more info about the store, check our review!

WijnSpijs Wandeling
When? 25th of  March, Around Amsterdam
What? A culinaire walk around Amsterdam
The perfect Sunday stroll if you ask us! While enjoying different meals at the participating restaurants, you are walking from one to another. Enjoy the best wines at different locations. This time there are 6 restaurants in Amsterdam East that are joining in. De vergulde Eenhoorn, Bijvangst, House of  Watt and Weesper are just a few. Tickets are €55,-. For more info check here. 

Atelier Des Femmes Sample Sale
When? 25th of  March, Singel 105
What? The best Barets and headscarfs are for sale!
The store is only small, so be quick before they sell out! Pin & cash. Facebook

Pure Market
When? 25th of  March, Frankendael park
What? The first Pure market of the new year!
Goods, food, drinks and music produced locally. Everything is organic and tasty! Bring your kids and stroll around.

Dutch Sunday Roast
When? 25th of February, Restaurant Floreyn
 The famous English roast goes Dutch!
It’s the first edition of the Dutch Sunday Roast where you can enjoy a lazy, comfy meal for the whole family. Every last Sunday of the month, you can enjoy a meal where meat is the center piece. All ingredients are local and Dutch. Vegetarian of allergies? No problem, they are here to accommodate you. Reservations are €29,- per head.  Book your table here!

Moderne Hippie Market
When? 25th of March, Westerunie
 Vintage and chique bohemian goods

Elke loves this market! Get the best items for this coming spring from clothes to accessories. Facebook

Easter Weekend
With this bankholiday weekend, there are tons of nice things to do! A complete Easter to-do, will be published soon!

Vind & Win X Conscious Hotel
When? 31st of March, 12pm – 2pm Westerpark
 Easteregg hunting, but different!

Did you find an office item in the search area around the soon to open Conscious Hotel Westerpark, Bar Kantoor or Conscious Café? That means you’ve won a cool prize. From cocktails or lunch on the large terrace of Bar Kantoor to a sexy package of Conscious Café. The first prize is an overnight stay at the brand new Conscious Hotel Westerpark and a dinner for two at Bar Kantoor! Yes, you want that. Entrance is free and for 18+. Facebook

Easter Egg Hunt X Pulitzer Amsterdam
When? 1st of April, 11am – 12.30pm Pulitzer Amsterdam
 Chocolate Bunny search for adults & kids

A ‘Chocolate Easter Bunny’ escaped from the Pulitzer gardens but left a trace of chocolate Easter eggs. A shout-out to our youngest fans; come and help us find the Easter Bunny and its lost eggs! All children 10 years of age and younger are invited to participate in the Easter Egg Hunt. Before the hunt kicks off, children will have the chance to festively decorate their egg collecting bag, while feasting on some lemonade & cookies. The lucky finder of the Easter Bunny wins a voucher for lunch at Jansz. for the entire family. Pre-register before the 28th of March by sending an email to Facebook

Seafood Festival
When? 31st of March, DOK Amsterdam
 For seafood lovers

Various stalls with oysters, lobsters, mussels, crab burgers, sea bass, sushi, fruits de mer and many other goodies from the sea. In addition, of course, tasty wines and a special gin and tonic bar. You will be able to see and taste it all at this great new event in Amsterdam. Free entrance.

DGTL Festival
When? Easter Wknd, NDSM Amsterdam North
 The first Techno Festival of the season!
One of the best music festivals in Amsterdam (and worldwide!) But this festival is rather special and this is why: They are super green. At least, they are trying to be one of the most sustainable festivals in the world by re-using energy, serving only vegetarian food and re-cycling the plastic they use at the festival. Tickets are still available but be quick!

Have two amazing weekends y’all!



Why you should live abroad at least once in your lifetime

When I just turned seventeen years old, I moved to London. Why? Simply because I wanted to see what it was like. My plan was to live there for one year, and then explore the rest of the world. I ended up staying for 7 years.. I also lived in Los Angeles on and off for about 2 years. It was a great experience. It taught me so many life lessons. I came to London young and pretty naive when I look back at it but living abroad has made me into the women that I am today.

So, do you have any plans to live abroad? And is it for you? If so, these few lessons and tips may prepare you for one of the best decisions of your life. 

1. Stand on your own 2 feet
It’s about letting go of the save harbor and sailing away to a new experience. Yes, it might seem scary but taking that first step and just GO feels great.
You’ll be surprised how quickly you will become that independent person.

Living abroad made me stand on my own 2 feet and gain my independence.

2. Learn a new language and culture
Ok, I probably picked one of the easiest countries to live in because in The Netherlands we all speak a fair bit of English. 
But I must say, every city speaks it’s own language and with it, it’s own culture. I learned to speak “the London way” and even understood it when people told me they were “Lee Marvin”. (which means Starvin’  in cockney English.) If you learn about different cultures and habits you will also become more open minded, which I think is a good thing. If you don’t know the language at all, take a course. It will make everything 10 times easier.

3. Meet new people (from all over the world)
If you’re going to move to a big city, you’re probably going to meet new friends with different nationalities. I’m still in contact with people from Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Mexico, England, Australia and the States. Some of these contacts have visited me back home and the other way around. This way you broaden your network.

Meet new friends for life.

4. You will get to know yourself (really really well)
There’s no better way of getting to know yourself whilst traveling or living abroad. Learn from your mistakes and get back up. Always listen to your intuition if you’re unsure.

5. Make a plan before you go
So, what will you do when you get there? Don’t go there with empty pockets. Save enough money to last you a few months or even better, find a job or course before you go. 
Depending on which country you may fly to, you may need to arrange a visa and working permits. When I moved over to London, I worked as an Au-Pair. This meant that I needed to look after the kids, clean the house and cook dinner. Is a good starting job when you are young and you want to integrate quickly. For this you need some experience and it’s always a good idea to get some sort of a diploma. 
For more information on how to start to work as an Au-Pair, check this website.

Make a plan before you decide to leave your mark 

Let it happen and enjoy it

6. Fall in love
Whether it’s with a person or a city, you’re probably going to fall in love. Let it happen and enjoy it. It happened to me twice (I dated an English man for 5 years and a guy in LA for about 2,5 years) and although it didn’t work out, it helped me grow and taught me the life lessons we all need to know. Falling in love with a country, city or small town is a beautiful thing. Because you can always return and you will never forget the experience!

Falling in love abroad
Don’t be afraid to fall in love abroad..

7. You can make a new start
You may have fucked up a few times in your life. Or you may have done really good. It doesn’t matter because when you move to another country, you can start all over again! This is great. New friends, new habits, new food, new adventures. 

8. You will appreciate your home country
Homesickness. If you are a frequent traveler, you may have experienced this feeling before. Yes, I have called my mum up a few times, crying my eyes out because I didn’t like my job, didn’t have a lot of friends in the beginning or felt lonely. But I never gave up. At the end, you know you can always return. Nowadays we have so many channels that help us to get in touch with the home front that it is almost impossible to miss home! Living abroad makes you appreciate where you came from. Maybe you shouldn’t complain about the rain so much (sunshine everyday of the year can also get a bit boring believe it or not!) or you may appreciate your mothers home cooked dinners a lot more.

When I stayed in sunny LA, I loved it when it rained now and then.

So whether you want to move to England, Miami or Australia. Prepare yourself for the best ride of your life and always stay true to yourself.
You’ll be fine!



Katfé, the first Cat Café in Utrecht will open soon!

Cat lovers around the world listen up! After the success in Amsterdam and other cities around the world, Utrecht is finally coming with a “Cat Café” named Katfé.

After a crowdfunding process and help from 65 volunteers around the neighbourhood, they have finally managed to find the right location and the construction has started. Katfé will be located where the old Wibra store used to be, in the Amsterdamsestraatweg in Utrecht.

Cuddling with Cats
Katfé is going to be a place where you can enjoy a coffee or a small bite while you can cuddle with several cats from all shapes and breeds. Don’t be mistaken, it’s not the place to bring your own cat, but to enjoy the company of others. There are many cats on the streets of Utrecht that love to sneak into different café’s and bars, which is not always the best place for them to hide or relax. The Katfé will be the perfect sollution for this problem and the cats will have a safe and especially designed area for them to play and relax.

Cat café, Katfé in Utrecht

Jelmer Bergsma en Stephanie van Hovell came up with the idea a few years ago and believe that cats can bring cat lovers together. “It’s also the perfect place for those that can’t keep a cat in their own home, for whatever reason”.

Katfé is planning to open the doors early Juli 2018, Miawow!


Amsterdamsestraat weg 253, Utrecht

Spingaren, the restaurant where opposites attract

If you cycle around in Amsterdam, you almost forget how many hidden spots there are. Behind the walls of the many canal houses of Amsterdam, you’ll find restaurants, hotels and businesses. The other day, I had dinner at Spingaren, a restaurant that I could have easily missed when walking by. Time to tell you what’s behind those walls.

Spingaren entrance bar

Arriving at Spingaren, you need to walk up a small staircase to find a glass door that brings you to the restaurant. The bar and brick walls welcome you for a drink and you wonder where the tables are. The restaurant area is situated in the back and goes on for ever. The best spot to sit at, is without doubt the area where I enjoyed my dinner, I call it the green spot. Plants are hanging from the ceiling and one of the walls is covered in moss.

greens at Spingaren Amsterdam

The Menu
Spingaren is able to accommodate anyone at anytime. There is a menu available for vegans, vegetarians, carnivores, pregnant women and if you can’t bare gluten, you’re also good here. I enjoyed a veggie platter for 2 and it was delish!

One of the shared platters at Spingaren (this one includes fish)

Share your plate and discover your neighbours dish

For mains, I was pleasantly surprised with my sticky cauliflower dish, and noticed the carnivores across the table looked with envy as they tried to steal the food of my plate. But hey, sharing is caring and I was more than happy to give them a little taster. This is what Spingaren is all about. Share your plate, discover your neighbours dish and order something else next time around! I ended my meal with roasted pineapple (which was a little too sweet for my liking), espresso creme brûlée and ice-cream. You can find the full menu here

Sticky Cauliflower at Spingaren
Sticky Cauliflower with black quinoa

The location is surprisingly large and even fits a large group of people up to 200 people! But there is more.. Spingaren developed their own charcuterie and creates homemade pastrami, vegetarian chorizo and kimchi. The wine and cocktails aren’t bad either so Spingaren is a great contender for a dinner with friends, where you can discover new flavours that you may not have ordered first hand. 

Herengracht 88, Amsterdam



More tasty hotspots here:

The Avocado Show just announced their second location in Amsterdam!

Holy guacamole! Just when you think the hype has calmed down a little bit, The Avocado Show is back at it. Again. Celebrating their 1 year anniversary, the’ve just announced their second location in Amsterdam and we know where!

Haven’t heard of the Avocado Show? Quick recap; it’s the first Avocado restaurant in Europe and has been trending on social media for the past year. You can order anything you can imagine that includes the healthy green stuff. Entrepreneurs Ron Simpson, Julian Zaal and chef Jamie van Heije, opened the first Avocado Show in trendy area De Pijp in Amsterdam and even had people sleep in front of the doors, the night before it opened.

From L to R: Ron, Jamie and Julian

After a good and solid first year, their collaboration with Shawn Harris, the woman behind Nature’s Pride, one of the largest Avocado supplier in the world, they dicided to take the next step and expand abroad. She believed in the Dutch entrepreneurs from the beginning and is investing millions to take The Avocado Show International.

Avocado breakfast

The Avocado Show second location in Amsterdam

But first, let’s talk about the highly anticipated second location of the Avocado Show in Amsterdam! (I know you have been scrolling down the page for this one..;)) It will be located on the Willemsparkweg, with the focus on take-away and delivery so you won’t need to queue for hours. As soon as there’s more news to tell, we will be the first one to let you know, of course.



*All photo’s are courtesy on the Avocado Show

More tasty hotspots?




The Maker Café, unlimited coffee in Amsterdam

You may have heard of the Maker Café, in de Hallen passage in Amsterdam. A wonderful store where local craftsmen and talented creators showcase and sell their products. But only a small amount of people know the Maker Café, that is located on the top floor. We checked it out and ordered a cup of (pretty amazing) coffee.

You could easily miss it, the Maker Café. They’ve been here since last september though and it’s time that more people took notice. Why? Well, for one, the coffee is good. Very good. They are using Rotterdam-based Manhattan roasters coffee beans, that created a special Maker Café blend for Amsterdam. You see? Both cities can go hand in hand! The coffee combined with the rich and creamy Queens of Dairy, creates one of the best cappuccinos you’ve tasted in Amsterdam. Yep, I dare to say it. The barista’s behind the counter and well trained and also serve amazing filter coffee, if that’s your thing.

Manhathan coffee at the Maker Café in Amsterdam

The interior is all available to buy and created by talented craftsmen that are connected to the Maker Store. From chairs, to tables and even the art on the walls. With a touch of pastel pink, the Maker Café is a comfortable place for a quiet sit down after a stroll over the Ten Katemarket or foodhallen, which are just around the corner. There is room to sit down around 20 people, so it’s not big, but it’s good enough.

Maker cafe in Amsterdam

Free Coffee!
To top it all off, and perhaps best of all, the Maker Café offers a monthly coffee subscription, that is just too good to pass. It works like this; You buy a monthly description and for the entire month you can order and drink as many coffees or tea as you’d like. A subscription cost €35,- per month, but for your first month is only €25,-! If you drink 1 coffee a day,  (and you’re in the hood) you save at least..well, you can do the math right? If that’s still a bit much for you, you can also opt for a stampcard and receive a free drink when it’s full. 

See you there?



Maker Café
Hannie Dankbaarpassage 39 (upstairs), Amsterdam

Sweets Hotel, a new tiny housing concept in Amsterdam is now open!

As of today, Sweets hotel is open! And yes, you should be exited because it’s a rather special and unique hotel concept..

28 different bridge houses, connected by the waters of Amsterdam, have been transformed into cute, but comfortable accommodations. The tiny houses situated on the bridges of Amsterdam, lost their original purpose, and Sweets Hotel has brought these monumental properties back to life!

Each tiny house has their own story to tell. The oldest house for example, dates back from 1673 and is located on the Amstelschutsluis in front of Carré Theater and the latest edition is from 2009. Each house gets a interior designed specifically to match the architecture. 

beltbrug 1 Sweets Hotel

Sweets Hotel is also on trend because “tiny houses” are super hot right now, because of their innovating use of space. Even though the houses are small,  there is space for a comfortable bed and cozy atmosphere that you can enjoy to the max. Sweets hotel is a concept and co-initiative of Space&Matter, the same people behind De Ceuvel (a creative and eco-logic hub in Amsterdam), Grayfield, Suzanne Oxenaar, Otto Nan (from Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embass and Hotel The Exchange). A huge project to say the least!

At the Kinkerstraat

Yay for Pink bathrooms!

At the moment, 11 of the 28 bridge houses are available to rent, with the city as their lobby. The other houses will be designed over the next few years. Curious? You can rent them here!



Sweets Hotel
Several locations in Amsterdam

Your Guide to the Perfect Business Trip

What is the first things that comes to your mind when you think of a perfect business trip? Fancy hotels, exotic destinations and luxurious restaurants maybe? All the ingredients for a perfect holiday. And somehow it often doesn’t feel like it. 

To be clear, I’m not saying it’s no fun at all. To be honest I think business trips are awesome. It pulls you directly out of the comfort zone, gives your business relationships a boost and teaches you a lot about the company you got invited by. It all sounds amazing but putting it together in (often) only a few days can be totally exhausting. I normally feel like I’ve been traveling for a few months, been run over by a bus and like I drank two bottles of tequila when I get home from a business trip. And I don’t even drink tequila…

Business trip

Isn’t it as fabulous as it sounds?

Is it all luxurious?
I’ve never been disappointed when it comes to food on business trips (and me and food have a pretty intense relationship, so that says a lot). And how about the fancy hotels? Most of the time it’s part of the deal. But, after a whole day of spending out of that beloved comfort zone you’re probably only interested in spending time underneath the sheets. So what makes the big difference? Isn’t it as fabulous as it sounds? It can be as long as you can keep your balance. That thin line between business and pleasure, between late night ‘networking’ drinks and enough sleep and going on little adventures and staying in your cosy comfort zone. So let me give you some tips on staying energetic during your business trip while not missing out. Cause we all have some sort of FOMO case going on.

SO Sofitel, Bangkok
Waking up in some of the best cities in the world

business trip

Go with a purpose
It can be hard to stay focused on a trip when it’s full of distractions, people swirling around you and often only a few hours of sleep. It will drain your energy when you get caught in de buzz of the day. Therefor it’s important to remember the reason you went on the trip. Although business trips are fun, they steal lot of your time. At the end of the trip you want to look back on days well spend. The key to be satisfied with the result is setting a purpose. Ask yourself this: Why did you go on the business trip? It doesn’t necessary have to be sales or closing deals on the spot. If your goal is to network, make sure you made a list in advance with the partners and people that are joining the trip and whom you want to talk to. Or maybe your goal is just to enjoy, cause it’s a little present to yourself or an incentive from your boss. In that cause it is even more important to remember why you went on the trip, to benefit from it to the fullest.

Stay ahead of the game
If you know your purpose, you know in which activities you should invest your energy. Take a moment to plan your day in order to make the most of your time. Or, if your business trip comes with an overbooked schedule it’s even more important to take a good look at the agenda. Is it necessary to attend every event or can you use those moments to rest of maybe work a little? If the activity is required but not that relevant for you, try to save your energy. You want to be sharp and well prepared for the moment that counts. A good plan is not only to make the best of your time there, it also makes sure you don’t feel like a puppy that’s just following the pack leader. Don’t forget to take some free time as well. Do some sightseeing, find a cute café to relax or just put on Netflix in your hotel room. After all those hours of networking, being polite and interested you deserve some me-time.

Business trip

Being open-minded means that you’re willing to listen to other ideas, opinions and have a positive attitude towards other cultures.

Stay and open minded
The key to a relaxed way of networking is positive and open-minded. Being open-minded means that you’re willing to listen to other ideas, opinions and have a positive attitude towards other cultures. It’s not only pleasant for your conversation partner, it also guides your business to success. You may find that there is a lot of information you can profit from between the lines. Focus on things as body langue, the motivators of your business partner and their dreams. Those talks doesn’t necessary have to be about work. Sometimes the type of sports someone practice, his or hers family situation and their ideal holidays will teach you more about them than you’d have known after the standard formal talks.

So, are business trips the same as holidays? Absolutely not, and they never will be. But, there are ways to make your trip as comfortable as possible. So enjoy, with certain modesty, and you’ll be just as energetic on the beginning of the trip as the flight home, and probably even with a head full of ideas and motivation.



*Eva is one of our guest bloggers from Amsterdam. She’s a city girl who only leaves her heals at home when wearing a backpack. Living by the urge to be where she’s not, to explore, experience, fall and get up. You can follow her on Instagram.



3 x new Sustainable Hotels in Amsterdam you want to check out

Sustainability is becoming more and more important and you can also see this shift in the travel industry. Right now, we are anticipating the opening of 3 sustainable hotels in Amsterdam. Let us introduce..

Amstel Kwartier

The QO Amsterdam reaches 22 floors and is partly build with the old concrete from the Shell tower, now known as the ADAM Tower. The hotel will have 288 rooms with stunning views over the city. QO wants to show people that sustainability and luxury can go hand in hand. The outside of the building is extremely innovative and very special to say the least. It’s provided with revolutionary climate control through the innovative moving panels is making savings on heating, cooling and ventilation possible. The moving panels on the outside of the windows respond to time and climate. I had a look at one of the finished hotel rooms and it looked amazing and super cozy, with warm colors, designed by Conran & Partners from London. The interior of the open spaces and restaurants are designed by award winning agency TANK. Also keep an eye out for the highly anticipated restaurant Persijn which is opening within the next month! The opening was due in December but like most building sights, it’s postponed until early spring. To read more about QO, go to this article.

QO, sustainable hotels in Amsterdam
One of the suites at QO

QO Amsterdam
QO from the outside

There will be an indoor garden with plants and trees from Asia

Jakarta Hotel Amsterdam
Java Eiland

Located on Java Eiland in Amsterdam, this hotel is set to be the most sustainable hotel in the Netherlands. The name comes from the location, where ships used to leave for Jakarta, Indonesia. Hotel Jakarta offers 200 luxurious rooms with a Indonesian influenced style. All the materials used to build, are recyclable and even the staff will wear sustainably made company clothing, designed by fashion label By Rockland | HACKED by. There are panoramic views over the Amsterdam IJ and most rooms have a balcony. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served at Café Jakarta and you will be able to get your drinks at Malabar. Besides this, there will be a wellness and swimming pool! In collaboration with Amsterdam’s Hortus Botanicus, there will be an indoor garden with plants and trees from Asia.

Hotel Jakarta, sustainable hotels in Amsterdam
Relaxing in the spa


Another hotel that is being build right now is Boot&Co. The hotel is expected to be finished in 2019 and we can’t wait! Boot&Co is designed for the traveler that wants to feel at home, and perhaps would like to extent his days. Instead of the usual hotel room, this place will be equipped with 84 hotel apartments to give you the feeling of being at home. So what makes it sustainable? First of all, the hotel will be located in a fully climate neutral neighbourhood. Secondly, they will try to save and re-use water, isolation will be of the highest standard and Boot&Co will get it’s heating from factories around the area. They will of course work with PV panels and you can even charge your electrical car in the car park. 

With a EPC of 0,041 and a BREEAM ambition for Excellent, Boot&Co will be extremely sustainable

Boot&Co, sustainable hotels in Amsterdam
The building will have the look of a school (source)

We’re happy that these 3 hotels are setting the bar for the “green” travel industry. Hopefully there will be more to follow.