Quit your job & go backpacking

For a long time I wondered: “What do I really want? What do I want with my life? With my job?” I started to work for a Dutch television company in The Hague and had a good time. Even though my colleagues were fun and I learned a lot, all this time I knew this wasn’t my dream. I wasn’t born for this kind of work. I switched jobs in September 2015 to work for a great company in Amsterdam city center. It was such a relief hopping on a bike instead of a one hour drive.

It was a job with new experiences, new challenges, great people and a lovely working environment. But I still had the feeling something was missing.  kasnick2

A few years ago I talked about travelling the world one day with my boyfriend Kasper. Make a trip together and leave everything behind. “Maybe in a couple of years” is what we said. When I told Kas I was a bit restless, he told me he felt the same. And that people.. was a big relief. Every single day, my day feels the same. I wake up, go to my work, come home, have some dinner and go to bed. I don’t want to live like this at the moment. It’s not challenging enough.

After talking together for a couple of days – yes we did make this decision in a couple of days – we decided to make a one year worldtrip. ONE YEAR! We will have one year to do whatever we want. We resigned from our jobs, found a new place for our cat and booked a ticket. I felt the adrenaline running through my body. A feeling that I didn’t feel for a long – long time.

On the 4th of April 2016 our plane goes to Moskou – Russia. From here we will take the Trans Siberian express to Bejing. And afterwards? We will see.. One thing we don’t want is making plans. I think ‘We will see’ is our new motto this year.

Do you want to know what we are doing and where we are? Please take a look at this website, we will keep you posted!

Previous. Winterwonderland – Lapland (Sweden)

21-01-2016 / 28-02-2016. Sweden – Sarkimukka.

Sunday the 21th of February our unique trip to Lapland was starting. Destination: Pinetree lodge, Sarkimukka – Sweden.


The first day I woke up crazy early – I was so excited. Today it was husky day! The Pinetree Lodge has 134 Husky dogs and 1 small new inhabitant: a Christmas Puppy. I was surprised when they told us we were allowed to control the sleigh ourselves. One person was allowed to sit in the sleigh and the other had to stand behind to steer. What an amazing experience! The barking dogs, the crackle of the snow and the sleigh is the only thing you hear. The view is unreal, everything is white. The waters, the trees.. Everything is covered with 2 meters of snow.

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It was lunchtime already, so we secured the dogs and saw a small, wooden house. Our lunch location! The wooden house was not bigger then 2 by 2 meters and we were able to make a fire inside – there was a hole in the roof. While we were watching the view – the white landscape – we enjoyed a warm soup, a tea and a cinnamon bun, a real Swedish delicacy. After this lunch we prepared ourselves for a 2,5 hour journey back to the lodge.


I’m not really a walking person – I don’t understand when people tell me they just had a ‘lovely walk in the mountains’. But when they told me we were going to walk in the mountains with rackets, I could imagine that would be fun with all this snow. In the end it wasn’t really walking. It was more a fall-stand-throw-a-snowball-fall-stand-throw-another-snowball-kind-of-walk. So yes, I actually liked it. A lot. When Kas decided to go for a walk without those rackets, he totally disappeared in the snow – you can see this on the picture. After again a lovely lunch we had the pleasure on meeting the four-legged residents of the country: the reindeers. Here we experienced the reindeers are not only very tasty, but also very special and friendly ;).

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An active morning was waiting for us. After a solid breakfast we walked to the trail of the Buggy Race. The one with the fastest round was the winner of the day. My first round wasn’t that fast, but after my third round I really had the feeling I was driving insanely fast – and yes, I felt quite cool about it. Unfortunately my fastest round was 1.37 minute and I was one of the slowest of the day – great. The fastest time was 1.20 and it wasn’t Kas.. He became second with a speed of 1.22 minute – Kas always wants to win so you can imagine he was a bit disappointed;).

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After dinner it was snow scooter time! With those incredible fast and crazy cool scooters we drove to an open space where you can see the Northernlight  very clear – if the Northerlight is there. It was super cloudy and the chance of seeing the Northernlight was minimum. But in the end, driving on a snow scooter in the dark was a great experience. We made a fire and a couch of snow and enjoyed the darkness & the cold. It was actually quite comfortable for a night picnic in –20.


Because we enjoyed the snow scooters so much the evening before – we could drive those the whole day today! The plan was to drive to the Snowy Mountains. This is quite a drive and the guide decided to drive over the big lake (you can drive fast because you don’t have any obstacles). Because he was driving so fast and I was behind him – I did the same. We drove only between the 35 and the 45 km/h but I had the feeling I was almost flying.

When we stopped for a small break, the rest of the group didn’t come. The guide took his snow scooter and went looking for the other part of the group. The guide find them quite fast but they were all stuck in the water. Because of the pressure of the snow on the ice, the ice became watery. If you cross over it a few times there’s a change you get stuck. And so they did. After 1 hour all the snow scooters were out and half of the group had wet feet. We decided to go to a wooden house close by to warm ourselves again. For the ones who are wondering – we didn’t make it to the Snowy Mountains, but this was a great experience as well.


And today was full of great experiences. During dinner we saw a group of people running away. This was the sign. Before we knew the whole restaurant was outside and there it was: The Northernlight. The sky was super dark, there were many, many stars and a part of the sky was coloring dark green. It was moving all the time and for unexperienced photographers: unshootable. But we saw it. And it was AMAZING!


When I woke up I wasn’t so sure about today’s program. We started the day with Ice fishing – ice fishing? It doesn’t sound like my kind of thing, I’m super impatience. And we ended the day with a Cross Country Skiing tour. Jup. Interesting day.

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The ice fishing was fun – for an hour – and we did even catch a fish! Afterwards it was time for the Cross Country Skiing part . I’m not a super good skier, but I can ski a bit so I expected that I wouldn’t have any problem with Cross Country Skiing But I can tell you: this is something really different then skiing and you can not compare those two. After this great adventure we had lunch in a Tipi – we had wraps with reindeer meat so my day couldn’t get any better .


This day was supposed to be our free day, so we could plan something we liked the most. And this was a tough decision because I loved everything. When we really had to decide – we did choose the husky’s.

Today was much colder then the days before so when we returned to the lodge around 3pm I didn’t mind at all. Everything was frozen and I was super cold. The first day in Lapland it was around –10 and today it was –29.

To all good things comes an end – also to this amazing and special holiday. It was a fairytale.



Previous. South-Africa: KwaZulu Natal – Part 1

20-12-2014 — 02-01-2015

Part 1: Thanda Private Game Reserve

On December the 20th 2014 we had a few flights on the planning: Amsterdam – Paris – Johannesburg – Richardsbay. When we finally arrived at Richardsbay a transfer from the lodge picked us up and brought us to the Thanda Private Game Reserve. Something special was waiting for us: We were going on a safari!

Day 1. 

For the ones who never had a safari holiday before: this is not a relaxing holiday. The first morning our alarm was freakin’ early. On a normal working day I would be cranky and snooze for 20 more minutes. But when the alarms goes off in magical Africa (just to mention this alarm was at 5 o’clock in the morning) I jumped out of my bed and was totally ready for this amazing day in this amazing country. After a cup of tea the Jeep was ready for us and of course we we’re equipped all with camera’s and binoculars.

After a 10 minute drive in the Jeep I realized how it felt like being in Africa. The smell, the nature, the animals, the noises.. It is actually everything we don’t have in the Netherlands. The first day we were lucky: we saw a group of Elephants, a white rhino, a lot of birds and two lionesses who were chilling in the sun after a heavy meal.

At the end of the day it was time for a siesta in the sun and a swim in the pool. `

Day 2 

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We started the day the same as the day before. The alarm was ringing crazy early and we did another morning safari in the jeep. The day started lovely by seeing 5 cubs. A bit further daddy lion was chilling and sleeping in the sun. While we were next to him, he decided to wake up, jawn a bit and stand up to go for a walk.

While we were driving we also saw some elephants, a leopard and another white rhino.

Our guide had this brilliant idea and told us that it would be fun to make a canoe safari over the hippo river. Surprisingly everybody was excited about this plan, except from me. Anyhow, they guaranteed me I would be sorry if I didn’t come and it wouldn’t be as dangerous as it sounds. Allright, I was in – oh men I’m too easy to persuade. The guide we had during this canoe safari was another guide then we had the rest of the week – he was strong and big and I felt pretty safe with him. The guide we had this time was small, I didn’t understand a word he said and he laughed about everything he said. As soon as we arrived at the hippo river it was time to get in the boats. Mister guide went first and told us there are also a hundreds of crocodiles in the water – I already felt super safe, I felt even more safe because of knowing this – can anybody tell me why this was fun?

I still think it was super sweet of Kas to go in a canoe with me– because I didn’t trust myself at all in a boat like this, in a f….. hippo-crocodile river. While we were ‘happily’ canoeing through the water, I saw the hippo’s bathing and swimming. I would have liked that view if I wasn’t that scared – I was literally shivering.

The guide decided it was time for a break and we followed him to a small ‘beach’. I have to say there were times I felt more relaxing on a beach. The guide told us hippo’s can’t swim, but they can run over the bottom super fast. That is the danger of this animal. Because you can’t see the hippo’s they can surprise you by popping up next to your boat to say hi. Did I tell you we still had to go back?

We went back to the lodge to take a shower and make ourselves ready for the sundowner. We did have the sundowner next to the hippo river, something our guide – luckily it was the big and strong one this time – didn’t tell us. Of course it was super special, but I couldn’t get my eyes off those big killers while enjoying my wine.

Day 3 

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The fact days could be even more exciting then the day before… I didn’t expect that. But it happened. Today.

We started the day full of energy and the same as the days before. On our way we saw a big group of elephants and it was amazing – they were all walking up a mountain and I heard the Lion King songs playing in my head.

Our guide really loves some adventure and drove off road. And voila: there we saw the black rhino. The guide told us in the beginning of the week the black rhino is much more aggressive then the white rhino. This one is aggressive when she is on her own, but this giant animal is even more aggressive when she is out for a walk with her babies.

This one was grazing with her two babies and the guide told us it was super important to keep some distance. Otherwise she would be scared – and we could have a problem. Unfortunately for us, the wind was blowing our smell right in the nose of this sweet rhino. It took a few minutes before the rhino realized she had company. And she didn’t like it – at all. She came closer and closer – the baby’s running behind her – until she was standing next to me.

If their mother didn’t look so angry I could have loved the moment, but unfortunately she did have this look. Our guide started talking to her and told her to leave and explained we didn’t want to hurt her. I think she didn’t understand any South-African and she came a bit closer. I felt her breath. My body told me to run out of the car, to hop in a tree and scream. As if the guide was able to read my mind he told us on the exact same moment: “Whatever happens. You stay where you are. Don’t move. Don’t talk. Don’t scream.” Jup – roger that.

The mother turned around and ran away, together with her babies. I could finally breath. Untill…. I saw her leg moving, like she was preparing a big and fast run. And then she started. She was so, so fast. She stopped right next to me and started blowing. I felt every move she made – every breath she took. The guide wasn’t so sure about this situation and started slamming the wooden stick at the door. I can tell you I already was quite scared, I was even more when I saw the fear of the guide. The mother did this trick again, and again… And then she ran away with her kids. Holy shit.

We decided to go for a little drive – so we were sure the black rhino didn’t smell or see us anymore – and went out of the car for a drink. We all needed this. When it got dark we drove home and we crossed an Elephant. Because it was just a one way street we parked the car on the side, put off the lights of the car and were waiting till Mr. Elephant walked by. This was the biggest Elephant I have ever seen and – thankgod – he walked by. Without even looking at us. Normally I wouldn’t like this – when people don’t even look at me – but I was thankful that mister Elephant didn’t do this. It was enough excitement for today.

Day 4. 

Crazy when you realize it’s Christmas evening. This year we don’t have any Christmas tree, no cold or snow but elephants, sun and a jungle. I can get used to this.

Today we had a good sleep and didn’t wake up for the morning safari. We had another program for this morning.. We put on our walking shoes, ready for the walking safari! With a bit of shaking knees because of the day before, but with a lot of excitement we walked into the sanctuary of the animals. A strange feeling to walk here while a lion could be very close.

After a walking safari of 2 hours it was time for some rest, because at three o’clock our guide was picking us up again. We did another safari in the jeep and when it became dark we were driving back to the lodge – or at least we thought so. It took the guide a long time to drive us back and the guide told us he was a bit lost, but he thought he found the way. After a few minutes we all smelled fire and we were shocked. The guide drove to the fire and as soon as we came closer, we knew our guide was making jokes. What we saw was amazing. In the middle of the jungle they made us a real Christmas dinner. Including campfires, wines and lovely food. It was such a big surprise and it was a great and lovely special evening.

After the dinner it was time to go back to the lodge – the animals did smell the food and it was a better to go home safely. On our way back we had another, last surprise: we saw a hyena.

This safari experience was great and although we were a bit sad leaving– we knew our holiday didn’t end yet: Thonga Beach Lodge we’re on our way!

Previous: South-Africa: Kwazulu Natal – Part 2

20-12-2014 until 02-01-2015

Thanda – Thonga Beach Lodge. 


On first Christmasday we drove from Thanda Game Reserve to Thonga Beach Lodge in Thanda. Five relaxingdays were waiting for us.

Day 1. 

On the first day we didn’t do anything. A bit of relaxing, some sunshine, a good book and a wine or a cocktail in our hands. No problem at-all. I love days like these!

Day 2. 

Our lodges had a view on the Ocean and we immediately saw the ocean was really rough. Swimming was possible but I prefer a bit of paddling. But today there was no paddling on the program, we we’re going for some snorkeling! It was very hard getting the boat into the water but: we did it. We needed a lot of manpower and a lot of patience, but it worked . On our way to a great snorkeling place we crossed a beautiful Dolphin family. Our guide jumped into the water to check if it was safe enough for us to jump into the water. After a few minutes she gave us the signal: free to go! It was amazing and it felt like a dream.  When you put your head under water you heard the Dolphins communicating with each other, so special! There was also a little baby who was swimming to me all the time, while mommy was picking her up. Again, and again, aind again. How special is this underwater world?
Day 3. 

The last day in Thonga Beach Lodge! It was almost time to leave Thonga Beach, but not before we’ve visited a real African wedding and not before we saw the tortoise laying her eggs.

I knew African weddings are very different then the weddings we’re used to. If we knew the Bride & Groom? No. Not at all.  We’ve never seen them before. Secretly: I felt a bit uncomfortable being there. But the Newlyweds were very happy to see us and they welcomed us super friendly. The whole village came to this wedding and I think it was the biggest wedding I’ve ever seen. I was especially very impressed because of the slaughtered cows – this was a wedding gift of the father of the bride.

In the evening we’ve got into the car to look for the tortoises and before we knew we saw one. This was so special, this animal is so huge! The process of laying those eggs is quite interesting. They come out of the water, search for a good spot, spit a hole for the eggs and they can start! Those tortoises can’t see anything when it is dark, so they are walking to the light when they are going back to the ocean – they are walking to the  light of the moon – and they are walking to the dark when they have to find a spot for the eggs – and so they are walking to the beach. I love those nature things.
Umhlanga Rocks – Oyster Box Hotel.  

On December the 30th we travelled a bit further. We went to Umhlanga Rocks – to the Oyster Box Hotel!

This was the last part of our trip and we stayed here for three nights. Those days at Oyster Box were super relaxing. We didn’t do anything else except from sunbathing and getting a tan before heading back to the Netherlands.