6 great work spots in Amsterdam

As a freelancer I work pretty much everywhere. On Monday I always work from home just because it’s harder to wake up that morning-so-I-might-as-well-chill. On the other days I plan in a few meetings and they could be anywhere throughout my home town. For this reason you can find me and my laptop in several lunch or coffee bars throughout Amsterdam.

Somehow I always seem to return to a few where I really like to work. These are my favourites work spots in Amsterdam with free wifi and great coffee:

SLA, Amstelveenseweg

We love working at one of their newest locations and right across from the famous Vondelpark in Amsterdam. Their salad options are endless and healthy. Best of all, they offer free tea refills! 

Lunch spots in Amsterdam, SLA

The Hoxton, Herengracht 255

Okok, this one has been mentioned soooo many times but I would lie if I said this isn’t one of the best  work spots in Amsterdam. Big chairs, open spaces and tout creative Amsterdam walks in and out, making it a freelance hub where you can network your ass off if you have to. The only point of critic I have, is that they have a problem with making a killer Latte Machiato. They just can’t seem to get that foamy part right. (believe me I’ve tried many times) Despite this minor detail, I always come back for a work session during the week. Website

Coffee & Toast, Burgemeester Rendorpstraat 11-15

If you live in Amsterdam new west you will like me mentioning this one. It’s a bikershop, lunchroom and barber all into one. They are a rare sight in this neighborhood but stand out in their own right. When I work here I can listen to cool music from sting, the rolling stones and eat a great toasty. It’s also near to the Sloterpark so if you feel like going for a walk to clear your head, it’s the perfect spot. To find out more about Coffee & Toast, check here.

Looiedet Coffee & Toast
Coffee & Toast

The Student Hotel, West & East Amsterdam

You may have heard from this one but did you know it’s the perfect place to work? There is plenty of space and the chairs are comfortable to work in when you’re a laptop-on-lap kind of person. They have 2 locations, one in West and one in East Amsterdam so take your pick. Website

Coffee Lounge at B-Amsterdam, Johan Huizingalaan 763a

B’s living room (as they call it), you can work, have meetings, welcome your guests or simply relax after a busy day. They offer a daily lunch buffet, snacks, drinks and fresh coffee throughout the day! More on B-Amsterdam soon! Website

B-Amsterdam coffee lounge
Creative and cool, B-Amsterdam

T’s

Located in Amsterdam West, this is a pretty special work spot. Instead of coffee, you can drink the best kind of Tea’s. Enough tables,plugs and the tea menu is something I can’t get enough of. Ice tea, popcorn tea, beauteas! To learn more about this amazing work spot in Amsterdam, check my review

Ts Amsterdam

Overrated Work Spots in Amsterdam

There is something a bit daunting about HOTspots. They become so hot, that they burn out a little bit and they are always crowded:

Coffee & Coconuts

when you arrive it’s running for a table or you need to touch elbows with your freelancer neighbors. Great for those tasty coconuts and coffee but not to work.

La Place in the Public Library, It’s too noisy. Period. 

At Home

Yes I work from home every Monday but I seriously get so much less work done than I would do in a different environment. I have 2 bunnies that are just too cute to ignore, plus I do the occasional dancing through the living room if a nice song comes on. Not one of the best work spots in Amsterdam.

Work Work Work Work Work Rihanna said so we might a well do it at a good spot. Enjoy the free wifi and let me know what your favorite work spot is!

Love,

Elke

5 countries you should add to your bucketlist this year

When you travel as often as I do, the world becomes smaller and you would think my bucketlist becomes shorter right? No way! My list is growing by the year as many countries are opening their doors to tourism, making it easier to travel to.

The Philippines
I’m happy to say that I’ve finally managed to cross this country off my bucketlist because it had been on there for a while. I flew over to Manila in December to continue my way over to Cebu, Bohol and Palawan. So why visit The Philippines this year? Unlike Thailand, this country doesn’t have a lot of tourist, yet. But The Philippines are becoming more popular with couples, friends and backpackers. It’s Asia, so it’s cheap and there are more than 7000 islands for you to enjoy. The people here aren’t ruined by tourism and almost everybody speaks English which makes it much easier to communicate. Planning to go this year? The best time to visit is between november and March when the typhoon season is it’s lowest. For tips about where to go and what to do check out my articles about The Philippines.

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Peace and quiet on Bantayan Island in Cebu

Papua New Guinea
Visitors should note that travelling in PNG is challenging to say the least. Paved roads are rare to traveling is quite bumpy and sometimes you’ll need to cross a few rain-forests and rivers. The weather can be quite unpredictable so it’s difficult to say when it’s the best time to go but May to October would be your best bet. But once you get there you will be rewarded with the most amazing rugged ecological beauty, little known dive sites, stunning peaks and sleep in real rainforest villages where you’ll meet the tribes. The best part of this country has to be the amazing Raja Ampat, located just off the northwest tip of West Papua. Raja Ampat is a cluster of over 1,500 small islands which lay in the province of Indonesia. Get your diving gear ready because Raja Ampat is called the amazone of the ocean. To get there you must fly over to Sorong in West Papua (flight go from Bali for example) after that you’ll have to make your way to Waisai, which is the capital of Raja Ampat.

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Stunning Raja Ampat

Hawaii
Although it’s a state of the USA, it belongs on this year’s bucketlist. The country is running out of teachers so they are desperately looking for applicants and you don’t even need a degree in teaching! According to Hawaii News Now, Hawaiian officials expect up to 1,600 vacancies in their schools. Besides this opportunity, Hawaii has some of the most beautiful scenery and polls show that it’s one of the nation’s healthiest and happiest states. Unfortunately the house prices are still high so maybe a move wouldn’t be the best option but why visit New York when you can surf and dance on Hawaii right?

Bucketlist 2016. Hawaii

Burma
Until recently, Burma was off limits to adventure seekers and travelers. But after five decades of military rule and consequent democratic reform, this Asian country has finally opened doors to tourism. Burma offers beautiful temples, real adventure and kind people. No, you won’t find a Mc Donalds or Starbucks anywhere and this is how Asia should be in my mind.

Bucketlist 2016. Burma Photot by Roxanne Desgagnes
Burma is full of beautiful temples.

Nepal
Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their homes in the devastating earthquake back in 2015 but the country is slowly getting restored. This also means that the tourist industry is getting back to business and trekking routes are re-opened. It’s important for Nepal to get it’s tourism back on it’s feet and we are the ones that can make it happen. Choose homestays instead of big hotels to make sure your money ends up in local pockets. Nepal features varied landscapes and local species such as tigers, rhino’s and elephants, making it a wonderful place to visit in 2016. Fly to Kathmandu, Nepal international airport but it get’s busy during late Sept to mid-Nov and late Feb to late March and flight can be booked up for months so plan well ahead.

Bucketlist 2016. Nepal
Getting back on her feet; Nepal

So which of these 5 will you add to your bucketlist this year?

Love,

Elke

The most beautiful honeymoon suites in the world

Yes I do!
More friends around me are getting married. They are so excited, but they also need to make a million decisions. Next to the wedding dress, the wedding location and the honeymoon destination definitely need to stand out! A honeymoon is one of the important milestones of a marriage. Where to spend your first holiday as newlyweds?

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These are the best hotels in The Netherlands

Oh, how we love these Tripadvisor lists that they give us on a yearly basis.
This time, they have asked their loyal “travelers” to vote for the best hotels in The Netherlands when it comes to service. This must have been a difficult task as The Netherlands has so many amazing hotels on offer. They did managed to narrow it down to a top 25 and this is the top 5 result:

1. The Toren, Amsterdam
Apart from the amazing decor and ambiance, this hotel scores extremely high on service.
When you arrive you might be asked if you are staying for a special occasion and if so, they will pamper you!
They think of everything and do everything to make their guest feel at home. Proud to have this hotel in our hometown!

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2. Vesper, Noordwijk
This hotel is right at the beach so that’s already a bonus. You get a welcome drink upon arrival and they score high on Food & Drinks.
If we must believe all the guest, this hotel does everything right. What a place to spend your summer nights.
Started in 2014, this hotel is doing a great job by making it into the list of best hotels in The Netherlands

second best hotel

3. Hotel Sebastian’s, Amsterdam
Described as affordable luxury, this hotel in Amsterdam is located in the heart of the city.
Everything is close by so tourist love this place. It’s a small hotel but nobody complains about it. With good reason because the rooms are greatly designed, the staff is extremely friendly and scores high on all bookings sites.

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Purple rain at Sebastian’s

4. Banks Mansion
Another Amsterdam based hotel which scores extremely high on all fronts. This upscale boutique hotel is a minute’s walk from the nearest tram stop and near all the tourist attractions.  IPads, Nespresso machines, flat-screen TVs and rainfall showerheads are all standard in the rooms here.
Freebies include drinks and appetizers served in a fireplace included lounge and you can enjoy a cooked-to-order breakfast in the morning.

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You can’t miss this impressive hotel in Amsterdam

5. Hotel Fita, Amsterdam
Yes, yes, we know (amsterdam again) but sorry not sorry. Our hometown has a shitload of awesome hotels.

Take hotel Fita for example. This cute hotel is situated near the museum district and that’s a very good place to stay indeed.
Breakfast is always included and the rooms are simple but elegant. And of course, they score high on service!
One guest told said that because it rained outside, the hotel staff put an umbrella outside their room just in case. How sweet!

hotel-fita
Simple but amazing service made Hotel Fita come in at nr. 5.

Click here for the full list!

Love,

Elke

Top 5 » Bluest Things in the World

Blue freaking Monday. Everybody is talking about it today and so are we! But let’s not talk about how depressing this day is but let’s showcase all things blue in this world. We’ve lined up the best and bluest things this earth has to offer us. Here’s our top 5:

1. The bluest sea ever
I have never seen a sea as blue as in Lefkas, Greece. When I saw it, I though it wasn’t real. It couldn’t be! But it was and boy did I love it.
My advise is to book your ticket asap! Read about Greece here.

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Is this a swimming pool or what?

2. The bluest animal in the world
It’s the blue poison dart frog ( Dendrobates azureus )and is considered the bluest animal on earth. This frog has the most beautiful blue color but don’t come to close though, this poison dart frog has enough venom to kill 10 grown men! Check the little creature here.

3. The Bluest town in the world
We wrote an article about the most colorful places in world and Chefchaouen in Morocco topped out list. This cute town is noted for it’s blue houses.

Chefchaouen
Blue dreams in Morocco

4. Bluest fruit you didn’t know existed
Yes, these strawberries are blue. Okok, they are genetically modified..BUT still pretty cool right? To make them blue, you must put genes from a fish called Arctic Flounder Fish to the fruit.. 

5. Bluest beach
We didn’t mention this in out most colorful beaches in the world blogpost but that’s because it has more to do with the plancton than the actual beach. The shore lights up at Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives because of the high concentration of phytoplankton that light up the night.

Check the bluest sand here

Love,

Wander-Lust

Top 5 » Most colorful beaches in the world

If you like beaches as much as we do, then you should definitely read on.
Some beaches are greater than other but these beaches have something extra special in common.They all have amazing colors!
We’ve lined up our top 5 most colorful beaches in the world that I was lucky to visit 2 of!
( If you can’t have a unicorn, than this might come closest to what you can experience ;-))

1. White haven beach, Australia
The sand is so fine that you can brush your teeth with it! That’s exactly what I did!
The sand is one of the whitest you will find anywhere on earth.

whitehaven-photo-scenic
Source: http://airliebeachonline.com.au/

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Brushing my teeth at Australia’s whitest beach

2. Pink Beach at Harbour Island, Bahamas
Wow, can a beach be even more perfect? This beach has a pink glow because tiny marine creatures with red and pink shells live in the coral reefs that surround the beach. Once they break and shatter because of the waves and wind, you are left with this wonderful display of pinkness. One of the most colorful beaches for sure!
(this picture has been edited a bit I think, but still: AWESOME!)

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3. Red Beach in Santorini, Greece
Santorini is a volcanic island and has 2 beaches with colors you may not see anywhere else. Black and red. The red beach is by far the most impressive.
Not the best place to swim but great for shooting pictures! I was there this summer and I can recommend it!

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Weird but beautiful. Red Beach in Santorini

“These colorful beaches are worth traveling for”

4. Papakolea Green Sand Beach, Hawaii
The beach is located near Ka Lae, the southernmost point in Hawaii and is not a easy beach to get to. You need to endure a tough and hot hike for about 3 miles but when you get there it’s pretty amazing. The sand is made out of olivine, a green mineral, and comes from Puu Mahana, a volcanic cone nearby.

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5. Glass Beach
Not natural but nevertheless extraordinaire. In the 20th Century the people of Fort Bragg dumped their trash including glass over the cliff that’s now called glass beach. After many years, the beach was finally cleaned but they couldn’t remove all the pieces of broken glass. As a result, the remaining pieces got washed and rounded by the sea and you end up with a beautiful display glass putting this in our top 5 of most colorful beaches.

OiXop5k

More top 5? Check here:

 

The best Travel photo’s of 2015

I traveled to Malaysia in November where I experienced the spectacular wilderness of Borneo. I explored a new adventure in only 30 minutes away from KK city.
Kota Kinabalu is famous for its incredible richness of tropical rain forests where you will see and find proboscis Monkeys, orangutans, plants, rivers, waterfalls, hot springs, caves and a lot more! Sometimes its hard to capture the moment that make people wonder and want to know more, where the picture says it all and no words are needed.
I’m amazed by the work of some travel photographers, it’s sometimes hard to believe that some places really exist! Both Elke and me are trying our very best to make photo’s of our unforgettable experiences that will make you pack your bags and go!

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Top 5 » Amazing Drone Photo’s

Drones are the shit right now. Amazing video’s and photographs are a result of the flying devices that have broaden our horizons when it comes to photography and film. We’re thinking about buying one and bringing it along our travels, what do you think?
Until then, we’ve selected 5 images made by a drone that really takes our breath away.

1. “Lost Island, Tahaa, French Polynesia”
This is our favorite drone picture by far. Nothing beats a deserted island with palmtrees right?

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Photo by Dronestagram

2. Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Iceland
The waterfall with the difficult name is something we can look at forever. Shot with the DJI Phantom using a GoPro Hero 3 black.

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Photo by Don Pablo

3 . Snorkeling with sharks in the French Polynesia
Another beautiful shot made at the French Polynesia. Guess we need to book a ticket!

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Photo by Mike Gandouin

4.The cathedral of Maringa in Brazil
If you could fly, it probably looks and feels something like this. Ricardo Matiello wasn’t sure what his drone would photograph above the clouds of Brazil.
He was happy to discover a blue sky with incredible views.

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Photo Ricardo Matiello

5. A Male Elephant in Chobe National Park , Botswana
American Photographer Paul Souders used his DJI Phantom Vision 2+drone for this amazing shot, using a small remote in order to get close.


Amazing animal Drone shot
Photo by Paul Souders

Love,

Wander-Lust

Top 5 » most beautiful beaches of Ibiza

The first time I visited Ibiza was 2 years ago. I fell in love straight away. Ibiza is known for it’s clubs and famous DJ’s from all over the world, but it seriously has  a lot more to offer!
Ibiza has everything you need for the perfect summer holiday; Sunshine, palm trees, white sandy beaches, breathtaking sunsets, great food, terrific views and very friendly people – and don’t forget the sexy language:). Exactly what I needed after some very busy working months. I booked my ticket and found some very nice spots that are worth sharing with you!

Purpose: Chill, relax, soak up vitamins, tanning and eat & drink as much as possible!

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Top 5 reasons why you should live in Barcelona

Europe has a lot of amazing cities but Barcelona seems to attract a lot of foreigners that try to build a life over here. And we can’t argue with them. It’s one of the cities I could live. Why?
I give you 5 reasons why you should live in Barcelona.

1.  Helloooo, there’s a beach! 

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Beachlife. There’s a sweet word that everybody loves.
Barcelona has a long stretched version of 4km and it’s a good one. There are plenty of beachbars, people walking around to give you drinks or massages and it’s so near the city that you can easily tan for a few hours after work or during your lunch break. This way you kind of feel like you’re on a holiday even though you’re working. Love it!

2. Free bicycle rides


Viu Bicing bicycles lined up, waiting for a ride

When I stayed in Barcelona 2 weeks ago, I stayed in an Airbnb and the host gave me their bicycle card for the period of my stay. This card gave me access to all the Viu Bicing bicycles in town.
How does it work? In order to use this card, you are in need of a membership. For this you need a home address. (This is why you never see tourist on these bikes -except for me of course ;-))
Swipe the card at one of the many Bicing stations and it unlocks one of the bikes ready for use. You get up to 5 min to test the bike to see if it works alright for you. After that you can cycle up to 30 minutes for free with 0,70 cents per 30 minutes after that. With so many docking stations around the city, it’s not hard to find another station to lock it again. Swipe your card on the station and you’re done.
This way you help to eliminate climate pollution, traffic noise and traffic congestion. Awesome!

3. Catalans have awesome celebrations

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Incredible. The decorated streets of Gracia

They have carnival in February, 
Festival de Sant Medir de Gràcia in March and San Jordi in March but the month June is the cherry on the cake when it comes to festivals.

Apart from Sonar Music Festival (I’ve been there twice!) they celebrate Corpus Christi. will be held in June with parades of giant and carnival figures with big heads.
Then they also have the Festival Grec. The series begins in June, reaches its peak in July and goes on into August. The Grec offers a wide range of cultural events, from theatre of dance music and cinema events under the open sky. The one I would love to see is Holy Sant Joan, which is celebrated with campfires and fireworks and fire-crackers in all streets.
In August they also have Festa Major de Gràcia. I was lucky enough to be in Barcelona during this period and I enjoyed the beautiful decorated street in the area Gracia.
hundreds of people go on the street to enjoy concerts, food and open bars until 4 in the morning. This festival last 6 days.

4. The food


I can get used to this system!

If you know Barcelona, you know that there’s good food. Tapas heaven.

And the fact that you can eat different spanish bites for only €1,50 per item makes it even better!
They are called Pinchos. The main difference to tapas is that the bread and other ingredients are held together by small skewers, which is actually what pincho means in English. You grab a plate, pick what you want and save the sticks. After you’ve finished, the waiter counts your skewers and calculates your price. I never had such a wonderful dinner for only 10 euro’s (including a drink!) at Blai Tonight.
The best area to eat Pinchos is Poble Sec.

5. Culture & History

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Awesome Street Art in Barcelona

Barcelona has a unique historic culture and you can find it all over the city. Beautiful churches, landmarks and museums full of it.
Take a day to explore. The city offers a feast of sculptures, paintings, mosaics, impressive architecture and fashion. Museums dedicated to Picasso, Miro, Tapies and Dali.  And let’s also not forget about Gaudí.

Are you convinced yet? 

Love,

Elke