With the Amsterdam Dance Event around the corner, DJ’s from all over the world come to Amsterdam. We are proud of our Dutch talents and because of ADE we have a special interview lined up this month. This is the Wanderlust of.. Techno DJ Joey Daniel.
Joey Daniel was born in Rotterdam but currently lives in Amsterdam. When he’s not home he flies around the world playing at different gigs alongside the best DJ’s in the world. He has also become a resident of the Music On Family, run by techno legend Marco Carola. Time to find out where Joey likes to hang around when he’s home! Joey will be playing at Dockyard Festivalduring the Amsterdam Dance Event on the 19th of October.
DJ Joey Daniel (he’s not that angry in real life ;-))
Next to Amsterdam, what is your favourite destination in the world and why?
In general, my favourite place in the world has to be Asia. When i’m there, I can escape from the western culture and all the stress that comes along with it. It’s a completely different world. Not to mention the amazing food and interesting culture. I’ve been to many Asian countries but I’m currently planning a backpack trip through China with my dad! So far, I’ve only seen Beijing and can’t wait to discover more of the real China.
Nice! As you hit the road a lot, what is your favourite hotel in Amsterdam you would like to tip?
There is this really nice boutique hotel in Amsterdam called The Toren, they have in the back the garden with some really cool special rooms.
Hotel The Toren
In your opinion, what are currently the best new parties during the Amsterdam Dance Event?
Too many to name, because every year there are new parties popping up. But if I have to name one; Kaluki is definitely one of those best new ones. It will take place on Thursday night at the A’dam Tower, not only the party is amazing but as well the venue as its at the 19th floor with views all over Amsterdam.
It’s not easy, but DJ’s get used to it
So how do you balance conference and parties?
You asking this to a DJ? Haha, it’s not that easy to be honest, but we are used to less sleep and living at night.
What is your favourite breakfast spot in Amsterdam?
I love Benji’s, for brunch. They serve healthy açaí bowls and really nice buns combined with fresh juices. My tip: Try the “The Jack 10”, an Indonesian style flavoured bun with jackfruit and its 100% vegan. I love it!
And your favourite place for late night dinner?
In general, I think Izakaya is the best place for a late night dinner, because where normally the kitchen close around 10pm in Amsterdam, you can easily order food until 11:30pm at Izakaya. This Japanese fusion restaurant serve amazing cocktails as well, plus they play nice music.
Where do you go to get away from the madness?
From my place, it’s only a 15 minute drive to the Amsterdamse Bos, a beautiful forest on the edge of the city. I go their every day for a long walk with my dog, even thought its so close to the city centre its absolutely the place to reset my mind and completely get zen. By the same token, there is also this big spa centre with sauna’s, massages a big gym and a pool where I like to go.
Besides your own gigs, which parties do you advise us to check out during ADE this year?
Definitely check out Moog presents: Composing Live Techno Analog Synthesizers. Even if you don’t like this genre of electronic music its more then worth to check this one out.
Thanks Joey and good luck getting through the Amsterdam Dance Event this month!
Find out why you should visit ADE Green this year. The event that brings music and sustainability together.
When we met this talented creative about 6 years ago, her personality already made an impression on us. Behind her stunning appearance hides a funny, adrenaline junkie that travels the world for her job. She has won multiple awards in the hair and make up world and last month she won another two Coiffure awards, the oscars of hairdressing. Time to talk! This is the Wanderlust of.. Juliette den Ouden.
Hi Juliette! Could you tell our readers who you are and what you do?
Hi girls! I am Juliette den Ouden, an international Hair and Make-up artist and owner of JDO Academy Hair and Make-up artists based in Amsterdam. At the Academy we train people to become hair and makeup artist or advanced students to the next level. After their training, we guide them at the start of their career by building a portfolio and experience in the beauty and fashion industry to increase the flow to work. Besides that, I work on national and mainly international campaign shoots so I travel a lot. I am also one of the local advocate for a completely new hair brand called the Authentic Beauty Concept and the Ambassador of Denman (the largest hairbrush brand from the UK). This September I will be traveling to Nepal to provide education as the ambassador for Hairdressers Without Borders.
Juliette den Ouden at work at the JDO Academy
Congratulations with your 2 Coiffure awards! How many have you won so far?
Phoehhhh… A lot! I have won more than 15 Make-up Artist and Hairdressers Awards in the last few years. In 2014 I’ve become in the top 10 best Make-up artist of the world and in 2017 number 3 best Hairdressers of the world. A few weeks a go I won 2 awards and a nomination for Hairdresser of the year for he Coiffure awards.
I love the adrenaline, the variety and I can continue to develop and set new goals.
Nice! So how did you get into hair and make-up and why do you love it so much?
I knew what I wanted at a young age and I did everything to get there. For example, from the age of 13 I had jobs to pay my schools. Through hard work, discipline and investment I came to where I am now. As a result, I have won many awards in recent years and have done great projects as a hair and makeup artist. Why I love it so much? It’s hard to explain, but do you know the feeling of falling in love? I have that feeling every day when I think about my work and do my work.
Juliette wins her Coiffure award
You travel the world for fashion shoots, which trip has been your most memorable so far?
I always have very nice experiences with the trips that I do but I think that Morocco has also been one of my Magical trips. We’ve been a total of 3 days in this country and the experiences vary. Our first shoot was at a beautiful resort, then we arrived at a dessert camp where we shot with a herd of shelves. In the night I had to prep the hair and makeup without electricity or light with minus 11 degrees. But the photos have become amazing! The last day we shot in a great villa of a warm family. I was biased about Morocco by all the stories I always heard, but developed great love for this country. Nice and warm people, magical happened in Morocco.
Which destination has your heart and why?
Cape Town is one of my favourite countries and has stolen my heart. I get a lot of inspiration from nature and nature is beautiful there. When i’m hiking and look around, the creative ideas pop into my head. After my comeback of two years of injuries, Cape Town was the first country where I went to shoot. Then my career started as an international hair and makeup artist. In recent years I have been in Cape Town every year with my best friend and partner in crime. She is a photographer and together we create the most beautiful images. Last year, for example, we shot our winning collection for the coiffure award with our project Authentic beauty. With this project we photograph strong souls with an authentic beauty such as albinos and people with vitiligo. Which is very close to our heart and our passion.
You’ve worked with many talented people, is there anyone left that you dream of working with?
I have been lucky enough to have worked with many talented people such asWesley Snipes, George Clooney and many others. But I would love to do a shoot with Winnie Harlow!
Helping out on shoot
Cape Town, this is the place where I feel free and I develop my drive and creativity the most!
Amsterdam is your hometown, is there another country you could or want to live?
There are many, but if I have to pick one, I choose Cape Town. I have developed an emotional bond with cape town, cape town was once the start of my career and after years the change in my career. Last year I also shot my winning collection for the Coiffure Awards in Cape Town.
Tell us a little bit about your latest charity project Hairdressers Without Borders?
Hairdressers Without Borders is a nonprofit organisation based on charity and education purposes. We inspire people around Asia on the profession of hairdressing, by teaching them the technical aspect through professional training courses. With our contribution we are seeing the growth in our students self-esteem and creating real opportunities for changing their lives. Our goal is to give our students the chance to learn a profession, to motivate, inspire and unlock their own energy and creativity. The level of the Hairdressers Without Borders training is high in order to equip students for paid professional employment in the real world.
If it’s possible, I would love to start my own agency and publish a book to inspire people in life.
What can the world expect from Juliette over the next few years?
I will continue to follow my passion and my heart as a traveling Hair and Make-up Artist that will hopefully win more awards! I would also like to grow with the JDO Academy so that we will be able to open a second location in the Netherlands or abroad. Because I love charity, I will set up a project for refugees and unemployed people in the future. And of course I hope for more travels, projects and international shoots.
And last but not least, What kind of traveler would you consider yourself to be?
You may not expect it, but I’m a real biker chick, I love to hike and I’m addicted to Adrenaline!
She is the founder of the Instagram account and platform SheIsNotLost, a community for female travelers finding their way. Her community daily inspires women who travel or want to travel the world, feeling free and adventurous. In between her busy travel schedule she found a minute to talk to us and tell her story. This is the Wanderlust of.. Carina Otero.
The greatest thing about the abundance of travel inspiration on social media is that it makes the world a smaller place. -Carina Otero
Hi Carina, for those who don’t know you, tell us a little but about yourself and what you do! Hello! I’m Carina, the creator of @sheisnotlost, an online community for female travelers. My goal has always been to inspire others to get out there and find beauty in the world, whether it’s on the other side of the planet or even in your home town. The greatest thing about the abundance of travel inspiration on social media is that it makes the world a smaller place, and now people are dreaming of destinations they wouldn’t otherwise know about if it weren’t for Instagram. I am from California, and I freelance as a digital content specialist. I feel very fortunate to have the flexibility to travel and work and travel for work!
Dreamy pictures on @SheIsNotLost
Why did you start the @SheIsNotLost Instagram account, and did you ever think it was going to be so successful? I started @sheisnotlost because I was so inspired by the beautiful photographs of far-off places that female travelers were sharing on Instagram. I made folders of screenshots (this was before Instagram had a “save” feature!) and I would keep them to myself for my own personal inspiration but thought there had to be a fun way to build a community out of the travelers and photographers and others that could also be inspired. To be honest I never expected it to grow as big as it has! But inspiring others to dream and to travel has always been a passion of mine, so curating the feed for @sheisnotlost was and is always a pleasure.
Like us, you travel the world to write about the most beautiful or unique places. What has been your favorite press trip so far? One of my favorite press trips was to Club Med Cefalu in Sicily, Italy during Summer of 2018. It was my first time to Sicily and it was even more magical than I could have imagined. My favorite part about the property was its deep connection to the old town of Cefalu, which was just a short walk down the bluffs. It was a unique experience to visit an all-inclusive resort that still focused on the history and culture of a region. I also just saw on your website that you visited recently!! I hope you had a wonderful time, it’s such a beautiful place! Here’s a link to my blog about it.
Club Med Cafalu, Sicily
Oh, how we loved that place! Any bucketlist for 2019 and why? I’m looking forward to crossing off a big bucket list item this year as I will be moving to Madrid for a few months in the Spring. It will be my first time actually living abroad (I’m from San Diego, California) instead of just passing through a place as a traveler. I’m very excited to be able to get to know the city, and also because I will be close to so many European destinations!
Cool, that’s one hell of a step! So, what kind of traveler do you consider yourself to be? I’d have to say I’m a mix between adventurer, glampacker, and city traveler. I’m open to experiencing anything at least once, and I love feeling connected to the area or region that I’m visiting. I like to take it all in while I travel so I tend to move a little bit more slowly rather than rushing from place to place on a tight schedule. Especially If I’m traveling and sharing the experience with the @sheisnotlost audience, I prefer to stay in smaller accommodations or family-run boutique hotels that contribute to the local economies and are more accessible to a wider audience.
Carina in Istanbul
If you create content simply because you enjoy it and you love doing it, then the audience and community will come.
What is your tip for beginning female travel creators on Instagram? My tip for female travel creators getting started on Instagram is to think about why you want to share your travels on Instagram and if it’s for the right reasons. Rather than focusing on gaining followers or getting sponsored stays or paid trips, you should ask yourself if you would still create content even if you knew you would never get any perks. If you create content simply because you enjoy it and you love doing it, then the audience and community will come. Having the right motivation and mindset will show through in your content and your audience will appreciate the honesty and integrity.
Instagram has changed a lot with people buying likes and followers nowadays, how do you feel about this and what advise do you have for those who are thinking about doing the same? I think If someone wants to be “successful” on Instagram, the goal should never be to make money or to having a certain number of followers, but rather to inspire. I think buying followers and likes or any other shortcuts that people take will eventually come back to bite them or impact them negatively. There are so many new tools and platforms that shine light on these tactics, and businesses, brands, and audiences increasingly become more aware and disinterested in the content of someone who buys likes and followers.
What do you look for in a photo in order for it to be featured on the @SheIsNotLost account? (yes, we all wanna know! ;-)) First I look for clarity and composition- the photo has to be well-framed and in focus. I love photos with striking colors or contrast, and perfect symmetry or interesting angles. I love seeing new places or fresh perspectives of well-visited places.
The destination I was most surprised by was Sri Lanka
As a female, which 3 countries would you advise for female solo travel? (In no particular order) Copenhagen, Denmark was actually one of my first truly solo travel destinations, and I found it lovely and easy to navigate. The city was full of kind and welcoming people and I felt like I was able to see a lot by renting a bike and going around town. I visited Taiwan recently and absolutely loved it! There is so much to see and it feels very safe. Taipei is pretty flat and you could cover a lot of ground walking between museums, temples, shops, and most importantly food! Public transit and the metro in Taipei were also very clean, safe, and convenient.
Carina in Tapei
The destination I was most surprised by was Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka might be home to the friendliest people I have every come across, and when I say friendly- literally everyone greets you with a big smile. The country had a very laid-back feel to it, and I met many other solo female travelers there that were really enjoying themselves on their trips through Sri Lanka. *Read the full Wander-Lust Sri Lanka Guide here.
Wander-Lust in Sri Lanka
I want to encourage and help others find that balance in their lives
What can we expect from Carina Otero in 2019? In addition to hoping I inspire women to travel, I want to focus on inspiring people to travel in a way that is sustainable and realistic, and to maintain a healthy relationship with the content they are inspired by on Instagram. I want to show women that you don’t have to be wealthy or be a travel influencer constantly on the go in order to travel the world, but rather to empower women to find a balance in their lives that makes them happy. For me personally, I am someone who loves to travel but I also really love taking time to settle down, enjoy home, and spend time with my family and friends. Finding a happy balance has allowed me to really enjoy all the work opportunities and travel opportunities that come my way, and I want to encourage and help others find that balance in their lives too.
Carina in Marrakech
And finally, when are you planning to come to Amsterdam?? We would love to show you around! Hopefully this Spring 2019! I will be sure to reach out and would love any of your recommendations! 🙂
Check out Carina’s beautiful website and be inspired!
Curious who else we interviewed? Check them all here!
After a press trip to Spain, we met London based Andrea, the co-founder of London @PrettyLittleLondon and owner of @dr_difilippo. Two amazing Instagram accounts that shows you the best of London, and the world has to offer. Want to know THE prettiest spots in London and are you curious about the story behind this amazing account, read on..
Nice to catch up with you again Andrea! Tell us a little bit about who you are and what @PrettyLittleLondon is all about. @PrettyLittleLondon was created with the intention of showcasing the most beautiful hidden gems in London, which could be an undiscovered neighbourhood, a typical British pub, a colourful café or even a pretty door. Many Londoners tend to only explore their own neighbourhood and the main tourist attractions, but London is much much more, and we want them to get out of their comfort zone and start exploring!
We were amazed on how much London had to offer.
How did you and Sara come up with @PrettyLittleLondon, and did you guys ever expected it to be such a success? I was working in an awful office job and was completely lacking creativity, so Sara thought it would be a good idea for us to buy a camera and start exploring the city we had lived in for over a year and knew nothing about. We started going on long walks and taking pictures, and we were amazed on how much London had to offer. We were looking for inspiration on Instagram but couldn’t really find anything a part from the obvious tourist attractions, which lead us to create an account where everyone could share anything they thought was ‘pretty’ in the city. We didn’t expect the account to grow so quickly, but we knew London needed an account like ours, it’s just such a pretty city!
London’s natural history museum by Andrea
So you must know London pretty well by now. What’s your all time favourite spot and why? There are so many, which makes it really hard to choose! But I really love Hampstead because it looks and feels like a small village within such a big city, so when I am looking to have a relaxing walk and take some nice pictures, that is my go-to spot.
Elke lived in London for 7 years (near Hampstead actually!), but so much has changed over the years. What area in London do you think has stayed the most traditional? I think the Southbank is pretty much the same as when I arrived in London and is – in my opinion – one of the best areas for a summer walk, with its stunning views and lovely atmosphere.
Our followers are loving the foodie hotspots; could you tip them 3 restaurants/café’s that are totally hot right now? Again, there are so many! If I had to choose 3 though, it would have to be Elan Café, Mr Fogg’s and Coppa Club.
The amazing Elan Café
The popular Coppa Club in London
Does this place even exist or was this just a dream?
Besides London, you guys travel a lot for Pretty Little Trips, what has been your favourite place so far? Every place we have visited is unique in its own way, but if we had to choose our favourite so far it would have to be The Maldives. It’s one of those places that when you leave you ask yourself: ‘Does this place even exist or was this just a dream?’
What can we find in your carry-on luggage that you wouldn’t leave the house without? The simple stuff, but necessary; my camera, power bank and laptop.
Because you and Sara are a couple, we wonder; is it difficult to mix work with your relationship? Not really, we are very good at separating work from our relationship, which means we can still switch off at the end of the day and enjoy our personal lives.
Andrea and his Sara
Sounds very romantic! What can we expect of Pretty Little.. over the next few years? We have a lot of projects and ideas we are working on, so expect a lot of surprises in the next 2-3 years!
Can’t wait! And finally; what kind of traveler would you consider yourself to be? I am the traveller that will wake up at 6am to explore, and make the most of every second. (when I am in a new destination). Staying in the hotel to relax is not an option for me!
She recently competed in the World Championships Surfing held in Japan, and fights for a plastic free world. Time to catch up with Dutchie Julia van Rooij, who is in love with the ocean.
Hi Julia! Could you tell our readers a little bit more about yourself? Whehooo! My name is Julia van Rooij, but my friends call me Juul or Guli. I was born in Groningen; a farmer province located in the North of the Netherlands. I surfed my first wave after the car broke down when I was 12. As soon as possible I exchanged the cows for waves after graduating from High School when I was 17. Nowadays I am still happily living in Scheveningen, trying to finish my studies and surf when there are waves rolling in.
I don’t think my fascination is specifically for surfing, but for being in the water.
Where does your fascination for surfing come from? I don’t think my fascination is specifically for surfing, but for being in the water. It’s so relaxing to be able to float around, enjoy being weightless and have nothing to think about but the fishies that are swimming next to you. And then, the moment you see a perfect wave is coming through, you grab your board, get in the right position, paddle as hard as you can and then it’s all about you and that wave: to enjoy it as much as possible with nothing around you but nature – hopefully, haha. Surfing is obviously getting more popular which makes it a rare situation having the line up all to yourself these days, but hey, more reason to explore.
I exchanged the cows for waves after graduating from High School when I was 17
You have recently competed in the world championships surfing in Japan. How did you experience this? WHIEEEEUW! That was so sick! No words for this experience. I still get goosebumps while answering this question. Japan is such an amazing country with the kindest people! They’re so humble and helpful! We’ve managed to end up in the top 20 of the World, which is a pretty good result for a small country like us with shitty waves. I definitely want to go back to Japan one day.
How often do you travel the world in search for the best waves? Whenever my bank account allows me to go, haha
Haha, we can imagine! So what is your favorite surfing spot so far and why? That is, uncrowded, Uluwatu, Bali. I enjoy that spot because you have to paddle out through a cave, which can be really exciting sometimes. The water is super clear, you have marine life saying hi, and there are so many lefthander options! From Racetracks to Temples; from barrels to racers. I really enjoy these type of waves.
Noted! Any bucketlist surfing spots we should know about? My dream is to surf between huge rocks of ice one day. When people think about surfing, it’s always about warm destinations like Hawaii and surfing in bikini. But in reality you’ll be struggling with the 1309812 people out there. For me it’s all about finding a spot, being out there with more fish than people, and enjoying the silence.
It hurts when I paddle out, and literally feel all the plastic floating in the water.
You are also an activist for plastic free oceans, tell us more about this. I won’t consider myself as an activist but I try to share my experiences with pollution and the beauty of nature on the internet as much as possible. It hurts when I paddle out at a spot in the middle of nowhere, and literally feel all the plastic floating in the water. I once even picked a piece from a fishing net out of my hair after a session in Scheveningen, which was really shocking. When you’re continuously confronted by this problem you become more motivated to raise awareness and prevent further pollution of our oceans. In short, this is why I collaborate with organisations and hope to inspire more people to start pledging for cleaner oceans.
We know plastic is a huge problem we face everyday. Any tips for our readers to reduce their use of plastic? I’ve got some basic ones, but please also check out the internet, there are sooo many ways to help a little!
Use your own reusable bottle like a Dopper, Mizu, KleanKanteen or whatever style suits you.
Make it a habit to always bring your own reusable shopping bag while shopping or doing groceries.
Double check the label of your ‘scrub’ beauty products: those scrubs are often made out of microplastics that will end up in your sink and eventually in the ocean. You can also just buy your products at Lush or Rituals, they don’t work with microplastics.
Check the label of your clothing. It’s often made out of polyester. While washing, small pieces of this polyester will come loose and end up in the sewage. A better option is to put it in the freezer or just let them catch some air for a while.
Reuse or resell your clothing. Go find some hidden gems in vintage stores. The longer your clothing lasts, the less you have to buy and the better for your wallet!
Get out and buy your veggies at the market! It’s fresher, has a better taste and it’s not wrapped in plastic.
When you’re on the road, what’s the song we can find on your playlist? Boulevard des Airs – Emenne-moi
Any cool new projects in 2019? I have so many projects in mind but I have to focus on finishing my studies first. After I get my degree, I want to learn how to sail and go to Antarctica.
Pretty big plans Julia! And last but not least, what kind of traveler do you consider yourself to be? A traveller who tries to avoid mass tourism, carrying as little stuff as possible but goes home with as many souvenirs as possible, haha
This next travel couple first caught our eye a couple of months ago when they appeared on our Instagram timeline. Besides their incredible good looks (yes, they both work as models), they took some time off to chase the adventure of a lifetime. Their amazing content and positive spirit, is something we love to share with you, so we asked them for an interview. This is the Wanderlust of.. Travel Couple SebBatical!
Tell our readers who you are and what do you guys do? Hi Guys, we’re Sebastien and Marloes, together for 5 years, and currently on a sabbatical year around the world. We have been traveling for 11 months now and are already down to the last one. Furthermore, we are insane coffee lovers! Having coffee together somewhere beautiful is the best moment every day. Luckily, we’re in Australia now; coffee heaven. Oh, and we are incredibly fond of the ocean! We’re both kite-surfers, so that’s no big surprise. During this trip, we came to realise that the ocean makes us feel at home and we like to stay close to it. We are big road trip fanatics!!Our favorite way to explore the world would be by campervan. We’re both very sporty and just love being outdoors.
We’re not typical backpackers; although we travel on a budget, we do like some comfort every now and then.
Where have you been so far, and what has been your favorite destination on this trip? We started our trip in South East Asia where we traveled for two months. Just before our departure to Asia we were really exhausted. The final weeks felt like madness, filled with work obligations and last minute travel preps. We had been looking forward to our departure for as long as we had been planning the trip (2,5 years), but we just couldn’t get into the travel mode, not when we arrived in Kuala Lumpur and later on the Krabi coast of Thailand. We totally lost our balance there. While we were in need of some peace and quietness we went into tourist mode and rushed our way through the first couple of weeks. Funny how that happens to more people! We spend 6 weeks in Indonesia, visited Lombok and Bali, and finally calmed down a bit. Our favorite spot were definitely the Nusa Islands, next to Bali. Most travellers only spend a day or two here, but we stayed on Nusa Penida for three weeks! People say it is the Bali of 20 years ago. To us it was perfect: little tourists, away from the crowd, unpaved roads, untamed nature, super friendly and welcoming locals, Balinese culture to the max.
The Devils Tears, Bali
After two months in Asia we flew to our second destination: Cape Town – South Africa. Our happy place! We had been longing to go back there ever since we got there for the first time five years ago. Number 1 on our bucket list ever since: living in Cape Town for a while. That’s why we stayed for five months, and combined it with modeling jobs. We fell in love with the place all over again; the people, the nature, the climate, table mountain, the surfer lifestyle, the great kitesurfing wind, the ocean.. the food and wine!! After those months we made a huge life changing decision: we were going to extend our sabbatical year. Marloes quit her job in the Netherlands, meaning that we would both go freelance.
From Capetown we flew to Melbourne, which was the last flight that we pre-booked in our ‘around the world ticket’. We arrived in Australia totally unprepared for the next couple of months, which led to some bumps on the road but also great adventure: the ultimate feeling of freedom. We flew to the South Island of New Zealand a few days later where we did a road trip for two months. Such an amazing country with beautiful nature. Untouched, pure, and very photogenic surroundings. Not much later we flew back to Melbourne, caught a flight to Cairns a week later and picked up our campervan. Now, we’ve been driving down the east coast for a month already. We want to stay longer at every place we pass by, and are already making plans to return to Australia in the future.
Marloes, you recently quit your job completely to continue traveling with Sebastien. What advice do you have for people that aren’t sure about taking the leap and doing the same? Well, I still have to get used to the ‘recently completely quit your job to continue traveling’, part;) In my opinion, most people make it seem easier then it actually is. It’s nice to meet travelers who made the same choice, because although everybody has different backgrounds, they all have an interesting story to tell. I found out that the difficulty of it depends mostly on your mindset. To give you an example: I’m one of those who can make it very hard on myself. I have a tendency to overthink and see bumps on the road. It led me through lots of bumps and in the end to a state in which I just wasn’t afraid to fail anymore. This made me feel much more at ease. I changed my mindset and started looking for opportunities instead of failures.
I also changed my situation by taking a sabbatical year from work. Although my mind told me that I was far from ready for such a big adventure, I went anyway. That’s when things started coming my way. The successes I experienced during this year were a big motivator to keep going. They gave me courage to quit my job completely. And really guys, new doors will open when you take the leap. Don’t look back, commit to your choice. It probably sounds very cliché but it’s so true: what you believe, you attract. So believe in the road, embrace the uncertainty and trust on the magic of new beginnings. Things will come your way for sure. Oh, and in case you think that I got this all under control now, I have not. Still learning 😉
We need good vibes and natural beauty around us, something we’ve learnt during this year of traveling.
Have you guys always been so adventurous or did you start seeking more adventure when you two got together? That’s a good one! Marloes; I’ve always had the dream to travel the world, but started working full time instead and never dared to really do it. Sebastien did the opposite, he had been traveling and working as a kitesurf instructor ever since he finished his studies. He even planned to emigrate to Australia before we started dating. After being apart for a few months, he changed his mind and decided to stay in the Netherlands for a little longer. We learnt a lot from each other since then: Sebastien learnt to commit and I learnt to let go. The adventure lust has always been there, we just implemented it differently. When combining it, the outcome is pretty amazing though:) Because besides the big worldtrip adventure that we started planning years ago, we like to put little adventures in every day. We don’t mind driving all the way to the coast for a quick sunset kitesurf session, or to wake up early on a busy day to have coffee together. We make sure to always have something to look forward to! Weekends are for road trips and small getaways, sunny days are for the beach and those moments in between are for coffee and adventure planning.
Start putting money aside, you can fill in all the details later
Something all of us are curious about, how do you guys fund your travels? We get that question a lot! Well, we definitely don’t travel for free. We’ve been doing a lot of collaborations lately, we take photos and edit videos in return for a complimentary stay or tour. A great way to fund some extras. But regarding our world trip, we saved up money like normal human beings;) We had been planning this trip for 2,5 years before departure. One day we decided to take this dream to the next level and made a plan. We opened a saving account and started putting money aside monthly. The amount was based on how much we could miss and how much we would need for a whole year of traveling. We found tons of information on the web that made those calculations a lot easier. That information let to a to do list that was spread over the next 2,5 years. The list included monthly goals, like narrowing down the bucket list and brainstorming about our jobs and appartement. We also set a date: august 2017. We didn’t really get into details until months before departure. In the meantime we watched our savings grow and bought our around the world ticket. That was just amazing. The account was ‘holy’ to us, so we couldn’t mess with our world trip money even though it would mean that we had to watch our expenses. The best advice we can give to people who would like to do the same: just start!!
Traveling with a partner can be the best thing ever, but we can imagine that there are some off days? How do you cope with that? It really is the best thing ever!! Looking back at this year, we’ve grown so much!! Individually and as a couple. Off course there are tons of struggles, but those moments are 100 percent worth it because you will come out so much better. When you both are lucky enough to find yourself while traveling, you will find each other after that. And as a bonus, you get to create some incredible memories together, memories that you won’t be able to share with anyone else. Saying all this doesn’t mean that we are perfectly happy all the time. The biggest challenge are indeed those off days, when being exhausted from moving around, feeling sick, dirty or just having an off day for no reason. It takes a lot of energy to like each other all the time, so hating each other is definitely part of the journey;) For us, a lot comes down to communication. No matter where you are in the world or what you’re doing, there is always a way to implement some alone-time in your travel life.
5 years and going strong..
You recently teamed up with Kilroy Travel (that’s how we found you!), are you planning to do more collaborations like that? We absolutely love to work with Kilroy as they are travel enthusiasts themselves and know what they are talking about. We chose to book our around-the-world-ticket with Kilroy as it perfectly fitted our needs: providing the comfort of planning ahead, leaving enough flexibility for spontaneous adventures. With just a phone call away, they helped us out with some very stressful situations that we got ourselves into. As for the collaboration, we took over their Instagram twice now. We showed their followers what a road trip through New Zealand and Australia can be like. We got lots of interaction and exposure out of it. Last week they arranged a 5 day Fraser Island tour for us. We took pictures, shot a little video and had such a good time. We are doing more collabs lately and are planning to do more in the future. The ultimate dream of course would be to make a living out of photo- and videography. To be able to work from anywhere in the world, with just a laptop, camera and – kitesurf gear. Goals!!
We can tell you are pretty good with a camera and drone equipment, what’s the story there? Sebastien; photography always had my interest. Once you are hooked you start seeing beautiful shots everywhere. Having a feeling for both sides of the camera helped me a lot during modeling jobs. A few months before departing on our trip, I jumped. I quit my job, sold my old gear and bought some new including a drone. Having a drone with you while traveling really is a big plus! There is a lot to consider though, as you need to check the local rules and regulations everywhere you go. You need full control of the drone, in every situation, so practice is a must! I hope to turn this passion for photo and videography into a paid hobby one day.
And finally, where are you two heading next and what is the plan? (if you have one) Haha, we are happy to tell you that we have a plan indeed. At least for the next couple of months. We’re flying back home to the Netherlands halfway July, to see our friends and family again and to get our work going as well. Save up, and head back to Cape Town during winter for another modeling season. We would love to start a little business together, so we will be getting more into that while being on the road. After Cape Town.. not sure yet. We stil have a bucket list full of travel adventures and destinations. So, when everything turns out the way we believe it will, we definitely won’t get bored. As we said before, believe in the road.
Born in Portugal, he is a professional videographer with a degree in Marketing & PR that decided to turn traveling into a full time job a few years ago. He was on a job that made him fall in love with the world of travel and since then he has produced content for some of the biggest brands such as the Travel Channel, Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental and our favorite airline, Emirates. We finally managed to interview this inspirational guy! This is the Wanderlust of.. João Cajuda.
Hi João! Could you please tell our readers who you are what you do? Well, I’m a travel blogger and videographer, I also have a travel agency where I take people in adventurous trips to some destinations I love like Thailand, Morocco, Indonesia… So when i’m not traveling with people I’m exploring the world by my own, shooting videos and writing articles.
You travel the world for your job but it seems like you caught the wanderlust virus way before that, how come? My father is a football coach, so since I was a young kid I was moving from city to city almost every year. I think I got used to it. Nowadays I can’t stay in only one place. I always need to meet new cultures, food and people!
I’m a huge fan of Morocco, but I must confess that I hated the first time.
It’s a boring question but nevertheless important. What’s your favorite destination and why? It’s not a boring question, it’s a very hard question to answer actually… I love Asia, can it be like this? haha. I love Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia… I’m also a huge fan of Morocco, but I must confess that I hated the first time. Then I spent one month there and I started to understand their culture, it’s such an incredible and diverse country. I’ve been there more than 30 times, I can´t stop going to the desert, is one of my favorite places ever!
Morocco, a place close to his heart
So we will hire you as our tour-guide next time we are in Morocco then! Have you ever experienced a big drama whilst traveling? Oh so many! Like running from floods in India, getting into Typhoons in the Philippines, my drone falling into a Volcano in Indonesia, many flat tires in weird places such as the Serengeti. I even got surrounded by Lions in Tanzania and I crashed with a scooter in Thailand, do you have all day?
Wow, I guess we were lucky all these times! What about your best travel hack/tip? To be honest I don’t have many… But I would definitely recommend people only to book the first night when going on a trip, don’t book too many things ahead like flights, hotels, etc… just go with the flow!
Traveling the world means tasting a lot of different cuisines. Name 3 restaurants in the world you think our readers should visit. Best dinner I had: Cottocrudo in Four Season Prague (I will never forget that delicious night), Any restaurant in Favignana in Sicily, is impossible you go wrong here, food is incredible everywhere. Buenos Aires in Lisbon… is near my home, I go there very often, I love the place and the food.
Voted as a favorite by João Cajuda, Cottocrudo in Prague
Good tips, we must check these out then! Let’s look ahead, how do you think we travel in the year 2025? I hope airplanes can go a bit faster eheh and not with so many turbulence. With all the apps and electronic systems we have nowadays I think it will be much easier, cheap and secure to travel, but I don’t think the transportation will change a lot in the next 7 years.
Do you prefer to travel solo or with friends? With friends, however, it depend of the friends eheh. Sometimes it can go wrong!
In Khao Sok, Thailand
What song can we definitely find on your travel playlist? Arcade Fire – The suburbs, for example. But I have like 5000 songs on my Ipod, i’m always adding new ones.
What can we expect from you in 2017/2018? I still don’t know where I’m going on vacation, but maybe Japan, maybe Seychelles or perhaps Myanmar. I have work in Morocco, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines, but the rest of the year is still unwritten 🙂
The last question we always ask everybody in this segment; what kind of traveler are you? I can be all at the same time. Usually I do some weeks of backpacking into remote places, so I could be explorer, I love camping… but I never say no to luxury hotels, eheh, I’m not gonna lie, I love a big bed, a big bathtub and a big breakfast!
Ever felt like making a completely new start? Leaving the good-old familiarity behind and follow your hunger for adventure? Rebecca Braak, owner of Ecua Horse Rides and Rebecca Adventure Travel, took the challenge and did exactly that. She followed her heart and moved to the sunnier side of the planet. New places, new people, new possibilities, new everything. It’s the ultimate out-of-your-comfortzone-challenge. The human version of rebooting your system.
I asked her 7 questions on how she made it work. From corporate KLM in Amsterdam to her own travel company in Ecuador, from rain to sunshine and routine to absolute happiness. Read and learn!
When did you come up with the idea of living in Ecuador? Immediately after my MBA graduation I got a wonderful position at my dream company KLM – Royal Dutch Airlines. I had a good job, great colleagues a nice house in Amsterdam and of course my friends. Everything was going well, but something very important was missing in my life; Horses! Life is short, so I decided the change had to be made right away. I decided to take 3 months off and looked for a place in the world where I could volunteer with horses. After spending some time on google I found a ranch where they could use some help with the training of horses, so I took my chance and a couple of weeks later I left to Ecuador to work on a horse ranch in the middle of the Andes.
Rebecca when she was little
You turned your hobby into a travel agency, how did you come up with this idea and how did you make it work? I just decided to follow my heart and tried to build my life on the other side of the world. I had to earn money and therefore I decided to organize horseback-riding tours for the KLM staff who were having a 48 hour break in Quito. I bought a jeep and every day I sold the tours to guide them the next day. I really thought this was my dream job; horseback riding every day with new people through the beautiful Andes. But I did miss the business aspects and the dynamic which I experienced when I was working for KLM. Therefore, I decided to create two websites where guests could book tours online. Her website ecuahorserides.com became a hit and I can now proudly say I am an official tour operator in Quito.
With offering my tours in Latin America I hope that I can carry out this happiness that I experience in Ecuador to others. – Rebecca Braak
Was it hard for you to leave your comfort zone and start a new adventure overseas? I can not say that it has always been easy and there were definitely moments that I would have loved to pack my stuff and go back home with the first KLM flight, but I am happy that I pushed through. Sometimes I realize how much luck I have had to have this chance and how happy I am that I went on with it.
What are the positive and negative aspects of living in South America? It is a lot easier for me to recall the positive sides of living in Ecuador then the negative ones. Living here is a lot more relaxed than in Holland. The nature is beautiful, it has a great culture to discover, the people are very friendly and you have got to love the Latin American music. One of the biggest negative aspects of living in Ecuador would probably be the poverty and the fact it can be dangerous at times. In the Netherlands you can go anywhere, anytime by yourself on your bike, in Quito you should be way more careful at night.
The colors of Ecuador
Which sights or activities (beyond the tourist traps) would you recommend when going on holiday to Ecuador? Stay as long as you can and see as much as you can. Absolute must visits are the Amazon, the Galapagos, the beaches and the volcanoes. If you like hiking you will definitely enjoy the peace and quietness of the nature around Quito.
Do you miss home and family sometimes? Of course I have times in which I really miss my friends and family. Mainly when things are not going that well. Of course Skype, email and WhatsApp make it far more easy to stay in touch. Although it not the same as being home, it definitely helps. During bad days it helps me to realize I probably also would have had a bad day if I would have been in Holland.
Making new friends
And finally, do you have any tips for readers that are considering moving abroad? Maybe this doesn’t sound that original, but I would strongly recommend to ‘follow your heart’. If you really feel like doing it, nothing should stop you. Don’t forget you will always have your save base in Holland where you can fall back on. I truly believe it is better to regret something you did than regret something you did not do.
Rebecca’s story tells us we should never silence our hearts or let fear control it. With the right mindset, anything is possible. So, are you inspired yet?
*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.
She has traveled to a stagering 99 countries so far and is going to hit the 100 mark very soon. Sleeping at the most amazing locations, tasting a different cuisine each month and writing about travel in it’s most diverse way. It’s the life of a digital nomad. This is the Wanderlust of Travel Journalist Yvette Bax.
Hi Yvette, tell our readers a little bit about yourself and what you do? “I am a freelance travel journalist. I write for (mostly Dutch) newspapers en magazines and I travel all year round. You could say I live my life as a so called ‘digital nomad’. My two bases are Cape Town and Amsterdam.”
Overlooking the Gocta Waterfall in Northern Peru
One of my favorite press trips I have ever done is driving on a snow scooter from Finland to Russia.
For your uber cool job, you travel to the most amazing places. We can’t help but ask; what has been your favorite destination so far? “Ufff, that’s a tough one. I like several destinations for different reasons. I absolutely love South Africa and Argentina, as they are my second and third home. (As I live part time in Cape Town and have lived in Buenos Aires before.) I love Africa and South America in general: because the people are very warm and open there. Vibrant cultures, very social, with music, sun and laughter. Furthermore I love Japan for being it’s own crazy little planet, the Philippines for the nature and the cute tarsiers with their funny faces that live there. One of my favorite press trips I have ever done is driving on a snow scooter from Finland to Russia. Driving over frozen lakes, on top of meters of snow where I could only see tree tops popping out: truly stunning. Furthermore I love the orange and red dunes of Namibia, the jungle of the Amazon and the roughness of New Zealand..I could go on and on.”
Yvette at Machu Pichhu, Peru
And what has been the biggest disappointment? “The biggest disappointment… Well, I was a bit disappointed about the northern part of Java. I did not like the city of Jakarta much: it was very dirty, polluted and full of traffic jams. Not many pretty things for sightseeing either. But maybe if I would have spent more time there I would have discovered more beauty, who knows. But I loved the southern part of Java and the other islands of Indonesia, as Lombok and Sulawesi especially.”
Have you always been traveler and how did this come about? “I always loved to travel and whenever I could I did. My first big trip on my own was my trip to Cuba, which was a very special experience. I went for 3 weeks and ended up staying three months. That became the story of my life: always staying much longer than planned. I like to spend a lot of time on one destination: to really get to know a place and its people and culture well: to see it from the inside. I spent several months in Mexico, have lived and studied in Surinam, and Argentina where I went to stay for two months but ended up living one year. And now Cape Town is basically my home, where I spent most of my time since the last three years. Although ‘most of my time’ isn’t a lot since I mostly travel non-stop for my work.”
Yvette’s gang in South Africa. Photo by Binniam Eskender
Yvette on top of Table Mountain at her second home South Africa. Photo by Binniam Eskender
Do you find it’s hard to settle back home sometimes, because you’re away so often? “Yes, it’s very difficult. I don’t even really know where ‘home’ is anymore. I guess it is Cape Town, since I spend most of my time here. So I am used to living in different places, always getting to know new people and other new places. It’s a very hectic, intense and crazy life. But I love it. Sometimes it feels as if I am living in a dream: all the most beautiful spots I get to visit.The amazing and interesting people from all over the world I get to meet. I am making a living out of my two biggest hobbies: travelling and writing. I realize every day how lucky I am, I soak in every moment to enjoy it to the fullest and feel very grateful for all this. But obviously it has it’s downsides too: my last two relationships did not last because of the long distance. And I also do miss my friends and family back in the Netherlands, but we video-Whatsapp call a lot, and my parents also came to visit me here in Cape Town last January, that was very special. And my sisters, parents and quite a few friends also came to visit me when I was living in Argentina.”
Some of Yvette’s workspots in Australia, South Africa and Fiji
They once gave me a 80 square meter suite in the Lebua State Tower in Bangkok, on the top floor with 4 huge balconies, right below one of the most famous roof top bars in the world.
Could you tip our readers with some of your favorite restaurants or accommodations around the world? “I love the Tsim Sha Tsui fine dining restaurant in Hong Kong: on the 30th floor with an amazing view over the city and the harbor. The cocktails of the Eyebar on the same floor are exquisite too. My favorite food cities in the world are Hong Kong, Berlin and Cape Town, you have to really do your best to find shitty food there.”
“In Thailand they once gave me a 80 square meter suite in the Lebua State Tower in Bangkok, on the 60th-plus-something floor with 4 huge balconies, right below one of the most famous roof top bars in the world. That was pretty amazing. But in the end I would prefer a cute little lodge in the middle of the nature anytime over such luxury: a week later I stayed in a so called ‘floating rainforest camp’, in a tent floating on a lake in a nature reserve in the south of Thailand. More basic but with a priceless view.”
“I absolutely love the Ngong House hotel, just outside of Nairobi, Kenya. It’s a tree house hotel with beautiful views on the famous Ngong Hills (from the book/movie Out of Africa), in a very cozy and intimate setting. In Cape Town my favorite hotel is Cape View Clifton: a small boutique hotel with and infinity pool and incredible views over the Clifton beaches. Bush camping at the Okavango Delta in Botswana with wild animals walking besides your tent is stunning and fun too. Unless you have to pee in the middle of the night, haha.”
Sounds amazing, we should check those out! As a journalist, you must have written a lot of pieces. Which articles are you most proud of and why? “I like the articles I have written on South Africa and Argentina best, because I think you really can feel the love I have for those places when reading it. And obviously the articles of places I know in and out are the best, because I have a deeper and better perspective of what is going on, so I can share more than just some superficial ‘hotspot’ information.”
Traveling can take up a lot time, do you listen to a lot of music and if so, what can we definitely find on your travel playlist? “For quiet times I love listening to soul music and jazz. For dancing I like to listen to deephouse – especially the funky deephouse with African beats that they play here. I also love salsa, samba, reggae and old skool Motown music.”
As what kind of traveler would you consider yourself?(Luxury, backpacker, adventurer etc.) “All in one.”
And finally; what will be your hundred destination? “Seychelles or India. Can’t wait!”
I’ve known him from the age of 12 and knew something was going to become of this man that build a name for himself by just doing what he loves. He travels to more than 15 countries each year and has tried pretty much every cuisine in the world. (no wonder that he’s opening up his own restaurant soon) Time to interview the guy that makes his dreams come true! This is the Wanderlust of.. Ron Simpson.
Hi Ron! Or Mr. Simpson as many call you, could you please tell our readers who you are what you do? Hahaha sure thing! Well you can call me anything, but my mother named me Ron and the Simpson part comes from my father, he’s English. I’m a creative entrepreneur from Amsterdam that tries to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. I could never choose what I wanted to be, so I just blended all the stuff I liked [People, Music, Brands, Movies, Food, Art] and made a way of life out of it. I started working on my own concepts and ideas quite young and after a bunch of fun and eventful years I own a few businesses of my own. Like a talent management agency for artists, actors and awesome people, a brand marketing company that works with innovative multinational brands like Red Bull and an event production company that creates a 100+ events and parties a year. And o yeah, a restaurant too.
Ron (left) almost forgot to mention that he used to perform with Girls Love DJ’s for many years
You travel the world for your job but it seems like you caught the wanderlust virus way before that, how come? That is something I have to thank my parents for I guess. We moved countries a few times when I was a kid, so I got to see the deserts and the sea, the city and the country, hear different languages, eat different foods and meet so many people. I was always intrigued and interested about all the wonders that this world has to offer. Next to that I loved music, movies and magazines. Seeing, hearing and discovering all of the beautiful things that were going on in the world it was just a matter of time before I decided to go out and see them all. My first jobs as well as my first companies had international allure and I always hustled hard to make sure I got to go on trips for school, work or pleasure. It makes my heart smile to see that after all these years my parents are traveling the world together as well.
Ron was in Montreal recently and shot this amazing foto
Favorite destination by far? No traveler can pick just one place right? I remember being super impressed, the first time I got to see and experience New York. But the biggest surprise as a city came from Buenos Aires. The vibe, the architecture, the food, the dancing, the people. Bali was the first place that gave me the feeling I really NEVER EVER wanted to go home again and Tokyo is the most inspiring environment ever. After all these years, I still can’t pick just one thing hahaha.
Which countries are still on your bucketlist and why? Australia! For some unknown reason, we still haven’t met each other. The wildlife, the nature, the city, the food, the people but mostly THE ACCENTS. Ushuaia and the south-pole are on the list too, I think that is breath taking and want to see it before we destroy it :(. And a roadtrip from Colombia up to Belize is the last one on my list. There is so much culture and nature to discover there. After these I have seen my original wishlist and hit over 60+ countries. Then I will go where ever my life, love, friends and work lead me.
Ron in the Seychelles
Besides travel, we know you have a huge crush on food. (like us!) Could you tell us 3 hotspots in the world we should visit when it comes to delicious food? O yeah, food is my compass most of the time. This is so hard to pick wow, but let’s see. I will stay away from the captain obvious ones like New York, London, Paris, Madrid and Toscane or anything you see on Chef’s Table. And I would recommend you to go and eat at the streetfood market in Kuala Lumpur, literally pick ANY restaurant or food festival in Montreal or “open a table” at Itzik Hagadol in Tel Aviv.
“Travelling and internet doesn’t just show you the beautiful stuff of life, it opens up the book of horrors too” – Ron Simpson
Palmtrees for breakfast
You’ve recently had a new outlook on the way we consume (food, products etc), do you worry about what’s happening to our earth more so if you look 5 years back? O absolutely. Travelling and internet doesn’t just show you the beautiful stuff of life, it opens up the book of horrors too. I am way better informed about food, the environment, politics, threats and global warming. But I also know what we can do about it, and I think that everyone needs to discover that in their own way. A vegan person could never convince me to become a vegan or vegetarian. The only person that is strong enough to do that is me. I can convince myself. But I have to want to. So you listen and you learn, you talk to people and watch content all over the place. Eventually it starts to nag you and you decide that changing the world starts by changing yourself first. 5 years ago my main focus was just having as much fun as I can.
Do you prefer to travel solo or with friends? I prefer to travel light, so not a lot of luggage and not a lot of people. When I am out discovering the world I like to move at a faster pace, follow my interests and path, so +1 is my favorite. And if a group of friends do join me then I love to be in a place that you don’t need to discover but you can just sit back and enjoy. Like Ibiza or Bali.
What song can we definitely find on your travel playlist? It’s funny, but I always have The Opposites with me. It’s a Dutch pop / hiphop duo that make brilliant music. I usually listen to songs and sounds of where ever I am, really get into the place that I’m visiting, so when I do listen to something that I brought with me, it will be a little bit of home.
What can we expect from Ron Simpson or your agency in 2017? Well, both have a great year to come as far as I know. Even though it was a successful year, I didn’t like 2016 a lot. Negative energy and bad things ruled the focus, but next year you can expect a LOT of food [opening up a restaurant and some more cool food brands too], a lot of traveling again [the first 12 trips have been confirmed and I might just go on another world tour], filming overseas with a a client, traveling and writing a book with another, a few pretty big brand campaigns and a lot of great events to bring people together. And I’m in love since a long time, so you can expect a big smile on my face wherever I go.
Oh wow, in love, who would have thought! 😉 The last question we always ask everybody in this segment; what kind of traveler are you? (explorer, backpacker, glampacker, luxury etc) I’m a chameleon. I can explore a city or a country and I can lay on my ass for a week. I can stay in a five star resort and then get bored and jump in a camper. I wouldn’t call myself a backpacker or a luxury guy, so I guess the label that fits the best would be: an enjoyer. Getting the most out of every situation.