“A life dedicated to adventures and exploration. Fascinated by far away, less traveled destinations, cultures and people. Obsessed with landscapes, colors and lonely tracks leading nowhere. Collector of experiences. “
Directly after highschool I found my very first adventure when I just turned 17: I Enrolled on a freight ship as a sailor. The rough seas taught me more about sailing than anything else. I learned what traveling was and how to persist. The endless seas made me lose my fear of being alone and taught me how to make my own plans.
Two years later I left the ship and started college: “ Sports Studies”. My dreams of adventures never ceased to exist and soon I created the opportunity to do an internship at the Outdoor Education Leadership Department of NW College in Wyoming, USA. I received training and soon started assisting to teach climbing, rafting and winter/desert survival courses. A year later, thirsty for a new challenge, I went to Los Angeles for my final internship. A little more mature and experienced in teaching I took on a job coaching sports in a youth detention centre where I used sports as a tool trying to get boys, who were often sentenced with gang related crimes, to straighten up.
After finishing my studies I backpacked Mexico solo and soon after moved to a small French Alp village to improve my skiing and snowboarding and found work.
In 2007 I went to university. During my studies International Business and Management and later Business Economics I joined numerous small trips ,but the longing for real adventure stayed. In 2010 I created my first opportunity: With the help of sponsors I rode a motorbike around Mongolia crossing the Gobi desert, solo. In 2011, Bolivia followed and in 2014 I cycled from North to South Sulawesi, Indonesia. All of these trips are documented and can be found here.
I linked my travel interest to my studies and with the support of the Hofstede University en Prof. Joop Stam I wrote my thesis on cultural differences between Asia and the Western world. Having finished my studies, I gained several sponsorships and I left the Netherlands on a Yamaha Tenere in June 2014 and travel documented the Silkroad, crossing: Germany, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Kashmir and India. I flew to Australia where the long way home started: Around Australia, crossing Africa and back to Europe. To find out more about this travel and our supporters along the way go here.
I grew up in a small village in the North of the Netherlands where life was easy and typically uneventful. My favorite place was the local library getting lost in stories, learning about the world and traveling through letters, words and sentences.
This changed in secondary school, when an Italian girl came to study with us for one year. We became good friends and her stories of Italy opened my eyes to the world. After this I took every opportunity to meet with exchange students and travellers from different continents. I found out I had an aptitude for languages, in particular English, and made it my mission to get really good at it! I changed my reading focus to English books and tried to speak it at every opportunity I got, which resulted in going to University to study English Language and Culture.
My first off the beaten track travel was cycling Sulawesi, Indonesia from North to South. A physical and cultural challenge. I soon found comfort in being uncomfortable and looking back to this trip it is what made me want to travel more.
As an English teacher I love the English language. Realizing that I never spent much time in a English speaking country I know it was time for a change. All the inspiring teachers I ever came across were teachers who had stories to tell. 18 Months traveling, working and living in Australia boosted my English but now traveling all the way though the African continent for the last 12 months is making me a teacher with stories to tell.
Africa has taught me a lesson. It has showed me a different way of living your life. Beauty in simplicity and possibilities in total darkness. The constant insecurity of not knowing where to sleep tonight, what to eat or simply where to find the next toilet totally got me out of my comfort zone but has made me who I am today.