To introduce you to a little more of where I actually traveled before I landed in Colombia, I decided to fill out the “been there, done that” tag found at Sandra. Through a series of questions, I’ll tell you, among other things, which countries I’ve visited, where I’d like to go back, and what my best travel memories are. My list includes links to new blogs, still be updated in 2023 after each trip!
What countries of the world have you already visited?
In total, I have been to 37 countries (2023). Here is the list:
Europe: Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, France, Spain, Andorra, Portugal, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia, Greece
Middle East: Israel, Jordan, Palestinian Territories
Asia: Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong
North America: United States
Which destination is at the top of your wish list? In other words, where do you REALLY want to go again?
I would like to go to Japan, it seems like such an interesting country. A little closer, Bolivia is very high on my wish list; it won’t be long before a visit. After my trip in Curaçao, I would also really like to explore the rest of the Antilles. I also want to go to Vietnam, Cambodia, Canada and New Zealand. And actually to many more countries: the world is so beautiful!
What is your most perfect vacation? (beach vacation, shopping trip, cultural vacation, etc.)
If I don’t like anything it’s beach holidays. All that sand, swimming in the sea…. brrr. Lying in the sun does not make me very happy either. A day is still manageable by the way. I especially like variety and discovering more unknown places of a country. Doing things just a little differently than usual. In other words, off the beaten path. Creating my own travel path. Most of all, I enjoy being in nature, beautiful towns, colorful markets or natural wonders. If I want to rest I’d rather do it on a bench on a mountain than at the beach.
While traveling, I do like a challenge and I like to learn about the culture and what it is really like in a country, how people are and live. Especially places that are not obvious to go I find immensely interesting. My parents were not always happy about that, by the way, especially when I traveled to Ghana, Israel, Palestinian Territories, Kosovo and to Colombia for the first time.
What place did you find so special that you would like to go back?
I don’t have often that I really want to go back to a place. Still, there are some places in this beautiful world that have stolen my heart. Like the enchanting Greece and Austria, so much beauty nearby. Or well: no nearby anymore. I also found the Lofoten, the North Cape and the Azores So special that hopefully you will find me there again. In addition, Portugal stole my heart. I might even live there… So I will definitely go there again. Like to Curaçao. Even if it’s just to be in a more Dutch environment for a while.
Have you ever been sent to a nice destination for work? If so, where?
Yes, to Barcelona and Hamburg. I especially liked that last one surprisingly. Barcelona was my first time and it rained almost every day. Later, I also went there with lots of sunshine, but neither time I liked it a lot.
Who or what would you take to a desert island?
My partner. He can then make fires, assemble tree houses and catch fish. I provide coziness in our treehouse with delicious food from the sea. I take some DIY books and make our new interior out of branches and tree trunks.
Also, the camera goes with me to show everything to you later. In my bag I also put a lot of chargers, preferably solar powered, lots of anti-mosquito repellent, dozens of tubes of sunscreen, those water shoes for walking in the sea, a travel towel and a couple of bikinis. What also seems useful to me is a book on what to eat and what not to eat on a desert island. After all, I don’t want to be poisoned by some grape.
Oh yeah, and a book about how to get off a desert island as soon as possible, just in case. With that the suitcase will be full I think.
Have you vacationed in the Netherlands before? If so, where?
In my youth, my parents always took my little brother and me in the caravan to all corners of the Netherlands. And now that I live in Colombia, Holland is always vacation for me. Last time we visited Amsterdam and the Zaanse Schans. What a beautiful part of the Netherlands that is! But also other places in Holland have stolen my heart.
Would you prefer a ski vacation or a sun vacation?
I like a vacation in a place under the sun, but not for sunbathing. A ski vacation is fun, but without skiing. Once I had a winter hiking vacation in Austria where I walked miles by myself over those beautiful white-snowy mountains. That was really great!
What is your fondest vacation memory?
There are so many, I really can’t choose from them. So let me mention a few.
First, traveling alone through Greece has given me many great memories. On the third day at Mount Olympus, I met an Austrian who was making a motorcycle trip by himself. He asked if I wanted to ride on the back, and so we tore through the Greek mountains together for a day. Felt special, wonderful and exciting at the same time. I always said: I never get on a motorcycle. And so you see: never say never. There in Greece, I was enchanted by the beauty of the country and the euphoria of traveling alone, and then this just happened. The wind through my hair, the beautiful views: it was fantastic!
I also loved traveling alone to Curacao. I will never forget it. Exploring the island in my own way, a way that hardly anyone sticks to. I did not spend a second at the beach: who would have thought that you can have an active vacation in Curaçao?
I also have great memories of Seville, Hong Kong, New York and Argentina. And actually so much more… You create your own happiness while traveling, so if all goes well, almost all your vacation memories are fun 😀
What is your least fun vacation memory?
Two days on an IV in a filthy hospital in Ghana was not much fun. Softly spoken. I also had major cockroach fights in Malaysia and Ghana, among other places, that I could have been spared from. Did you know those animals can also fly? And not to forget that time I went on a desert trek through Jordan’s Wadi Rum on a camel. Very beautiful and fun, but trust me: you don’t want to spend two days sitting on a camel in 40 degrees under the burning sun. I got sick from the heat (to the point of vomiting) and after two days I felt like my butt was covered in blisters. Not worth repeating.
Where would you never go on vacation?
Never say never, but Russia dangles somewhere at the bottom of the list. Also, I don’t think you will see me in Thailand anytime soon. And countries with a high security risk I wouldn’t easily visit either. And no: Colombia is not one of those countries.
All this looking back on my travels really makes me want to pack my backpack again: travel is so much fun!
What place would you like to go back to?