Ubud, Hiking through the rice fields

Ubud, hike through the rice fields

Back in 2014 I was fierless and went on a Hike through the rice fields of Ubud. Ubud is a very busy city, with lots of tourist. Also it is the centre of religious Bali and art community. Back then it was also the place to be for digital nomads.

Busy Ubud

But I was looking for rest and quietness. That is when I discovered that
there was a hiking track surrounding Ubud. You start at the end of Ubud and
hike through the rice fields and the art villages. Each villages had its own
speciality in art.

The hike

It was a great walk. I loved the views and the art I saw on the way. The
path is not marked well so be aware of where you have to go. Have a coco in the
fields and a talk with the locals.

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Reisverhalen inspiratie

Inspiratie

Ik volg een Reisverhalencursus op Instagram. Daar werd gevraagd wie inspireren jou met hun schrijven over reizen. Ik moest er even over nadenken, want zat meteen aan boeken te denken, maar ik lees meer over ondernemer zijn dan over reizen als het om boeken gaat. Tot ik bedacht blogs zijn ook verhalen en zo kwam langzaam aan naar boven borrelen wie me inspireren.

Claudia van My adventures accross the world

My adventures accross the world van Claudia. Claudia inspireert me door dat ze de stap durfde te zetten van academic lawyer tot blogger. Ze noemt zichzelf een niet succesvolle backpacker, maar is wel een succesvolle reisblogger geworden in een bestek van een paar jaar. In 2013 ontmoette ik haar op Cuba niet tevreden met haar leven op dat moment en het klikte en we bleven in contact en ongeveer een jaar later hadden we beide gekozen voor verandering en was ze reisblogger. Claudia beschrijft uitgebreid de locaties die ze in haar reizen bezoekt en natuurlijk ook Sardinië, haar eiland.

Suzanne van Vrije meid

Een ander blogger die me inspireert is Suzanne van vrije meid. Ook zij heeft een rechten carrière achter zich gelaten om meer vrijheid te hebben om te kunnen reizen. Zij inspireert weer op een ander manier doordat zij streeft naar een carrière naast het reizen.

Esther van Esther Jacobs

Toen bedacht ik me dat ik toch een ‘reisschrijver’ heb die me inspireert namelijk Esther. Bij haar is het thema vrijheid ook erg belangrijk. Zij inspireert omdat ik in haar het in actie komen herken.

Wonderlijk Werken

Een nieuwsbrief die over vrijheid gaat maar dan in het doen van wat je zelf wilt is van Wonderlijk werken. Ze verrassen steeds met hun invalshoeken op een onderwerp. Daarom kijk ik uit en word ik erg blij van mail van Diana en Steven van Wonderlijk Werken.

Kitty van De Blogacademie

Ik heb gehoord dat je altijd voor een oneven aantal moet kiezen in je blogs dus nog eentje dan. De blogacademie van Kitty. Nee, nee zij heeft het niet zo op reizen en is nu met het klimaat bezig. Wat mij aanspreekt is haar eigenzinnigheid en hoe ze zich verliest op een goede manier in een onderwerp. Ze wil er alles van weten en deelt dit dan ook met iedereen tot ze genoeg krijgt van een onderwerp.

Er zijn er vast meer die me inspireren maar deze zijn de belangrijkste. Ik lees deze vijf super graag en ik ben een klein beetje jaloers op hun schrijfstijl.

Deze blog schreef ik voor de opdracht wie inspireren je met hun Reisverhalen van de Instagram cursus Reisverhalen schrijven. Het is een reeks van drie opdrachten. De 2 andere opdrachten kan je hier terug lezen: Opdracht 2 beschrijf je omgeving en 3 beschrijf een heftige of bijzondere moment in het reizen van je.

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Zenuwen voor mijn reis

Zenuwen voor mijn reis

In februari 2013 stap ik in de vliegtuig voor een soloreis door Cuba van drie weken. Ik ben zenuwachtiger dan normaal. Sinds de fatale reis in 2010 met de Trans Siberië Expres (met de trein van Moskou naar Beijing) heb ik geen lange reizen meer gemaakt alleen.

De vlucht

Ik kijk een film en spreek wat met mijn buurvrouw in de vliegtuig. Ik word nog zenuwachtiger van het gesprek, want zij gaat in een resort blijven en durft niet alleen te reizen op Cuba. Juist wat ik ga doen! Vroeger had ik erook geen moeite mee, maar die ene reis die mis ging speelt nog door mijn hoofd. Ik slaap wat en denk ik heb alle guesthouses en bussen al gekocht dus route staat vast dus zo moeilijk kan het niet zijn.

Cuba

We landen midden in de nacht, mijn transfer naar Havana staat klaar. Na een ritje van een uur kom ik aan bij een super mooi hotel in een van de oude historische gebouw. Ik check in en maak me klaar om te gaan slapen. Ik verzet de tijd naar de lokale tijd en val in slaap.

Havana

De volgende dag ben ik vroeg wakker en ga uitgebreid ontbijten. Ik raak in gesprek met een Nederlands stel die net drie weken met de auto door Cuba heeft gereisd. Ik krijg nog wat tips en kijk op mijn klok. Het is tijd om mijn lokale agent te ontmoeten om mijn vouchers voor hotels en transfers te ontvangen.

Er gaat iets mis

Ik neem plaats beneden in de salon. Iets later komt een vrouw op me af, de agent. Ze zegt dat ik te laat ben. Ik heb bij het verzetten van de klok me vergist in de tijd en nu moet ze naar een andere afspraak eerst. Ojee er gaat al iets mis! Rustig adem in en uit!

Komt toch goed

Ik kan met haar mee naar de twee andere hotels waar ze heen moet en terwijl ze met hun spreekt kan ik de omgeving verkennen en na afloop zal ze me mijn vouchers geven en wat kleine dingen uitleggen. Prima deal, ik ga mee en verken een stuk van Havana waar ik waarschijnlijk anders niet zou zijn geweest.
Eind van de middag word ik met mijn vouchers en wat tips weer bij mijn hotel afgezet door de agent. De volgende dag verken ik Havana wat meer. En daarna gaat het avontuur pas echt beginnen, want dan ga ik met de bus door Cuba heen tot het andere eind van het eiland.

De rest van de reis

De transfers gaan goed en de guesthouses zijn gaaf en ik raak overal in gesprek met locals. Mijn vertrouwen groeit weer. Als de bus van Santiago naar Baracoa onderweg een klapband krijgt moeten we allemaal uitstappen. Ik raak in gesprek met 2 Italiaanse zussen die net aan hun reis zijn begonnen. Ik spreek met hen af om een cocktail te gaan drinken na het eten. Het worden 3 diners en een vriendschap met een van de zussen.

Cuba

Baracoa

We hebben niet alleen gesprekken over Cuba, maar ook over het leven. De revue passeert vooral dat we maar weinig vakantiedagen hebben om alles te zien wat we willen zien van de wereld. Dit is het plek dat voor mij en een van de zussen een verandering in gang zet, want aan het eind van 2013 hebben we beide ons baan opgezegd en zijn op reis gegaan. Zij haar baan als academicus aan de faculteit rechten en ik focus me meer op mijn bedrijf dat ik in 2012 had opgezet. We hebben samen een correspondentie blog voor 6 maanden, delen hiervan zijn nog te lezen op mijn website en haar website. Zij vanuit Zuid-Amerika en ik vanuit Oceanië. Dit alles wisten we toen nog niet in Baracoa bij de diners en cocktails.

Nieuw avontuur met vertrouwen

Terug in de vliegtuig kon ik tevreden terug kijken op een mooie reis. Mijn fatale reis in 2010 waar ik in Mongolië in een lokaal ziekenhuis belandde en psychose werd geconstateerd wekt geen angst meer op voor het reizen. Er is zelfs weer sprake van mijn reisverslaving die weer opsteekt. Op 18 november 2013 vertrok ik naar Australië als digitale nomade, nieuwe avonturen te gemoed.

Deze blog schreef ik voor de opdracht beschrijf een heftige of bijzondere moment in je reizen voor de Instagram cursus Reisverhalen schrijven. Het is een reeks van drie opdrachten. De 2 andere opdrachten kan je hier terug lezen: Opdracht 1 wie inspireren je met reisverhalen en opdracht 2 beschrijf je omgeving.

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Even terug

Even terug

Het is eind 2017 ik zet na bijna 7 jaar weer voet aan de grond op mijn geboorte-eiland Curaçao, ik ben even terug. Alles en niks is veranderd. Mijn moeder woont nog in het huis waar ik de laatste deel van mijn tienerjaren heb doorgebracht voor ik ging studeren.

Honden

We komen met de auto aan in de garage. De hondenkennels staan er nog, maar de honden uit mijn jeugd zijn er niet meer. Wel andere die me enthousiast groeten ookal kennen ze me niet.

Zwembad

Ik loop naar binnen door de porch het huis in. Door de grote raam in de huiskamer zie ik de pool waar ik vele baantjes heb gezwommen en toen mijn vader nog leefde veel gebbqd werd door hem.

De Tuin

De volgende dag maak ik een rondje in de tuin. Alle vruchtenbomen staan er nog. De mangoboom heeft vruchten. Ik pluk er een, was het en begin te eten. Dit brengt me terug naar mijn jeugd waarin er kneppa’s (Spaanse appel), sorsaka, granaatappel, cashewvrucht, appeldam, mango, etc uit de tuin zo in je mond belanden. Tja daar kan zelfs geen balcon of tuintje met aardbeien en tomaten in Nederland tegenop.
Deze blog is geschreven als opdracht voor de cursus reisverhalen die ik op Instagram volgde. De vraag was beschrijf je woonomgeving/verblijf. Het is een reeks van drie opdrachten. De 2 andere opdrachten kan je hier terug lezen: Opdracht 1 wie inspireren je met hun reisverhalen en 3 beschrijf een heftige of bijzondere moment in het reizen van je.
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40 km once but never again or again?

In 2009 I walked the Vierdaagse van Nijmegen (The Walk of the World), 4 days 40 km every day. Afterwards I said 40 km is too far and too tiring, never again. I stayed with this thought till the beginning of 2019. In the meantime I did a lot of walking, even the Camino de Santiago in 2016. I tapped the 35 km a number of times there, but remained below 40 km each day.

Night of the refugees

Night of the Refugee

A few years ago I saw the night of the refugee passing by and I thought I would like to participate. I forgot about it until this year. Someone I knew registered. I asked her about it and she said walk with us. I registered and thought I am walking 40 km again?!

40 km

In 2009 I was 25 kg lighter and in shape. I played tennis at least twice a week on average and I walked long distance once a week. Yet I found the 4x 40 km in 2009 very tough.

Well then what?

I said Yes to walking and the first sponsor money came in. And I occasionally walked the Pieterpad, on average 20 km each time. There were now 5 kg off again and I also made sure that the counter came to 6 km every day.

Oh, I’m going for it

The date was approaching. The weather was bad beforehand. The person with whom I would walk canceled a few days before. Yet I decided to go for it.

The night

On the day itself I tried to get some sleep in the afternoon. It didn’t work except for a 1-hour nap. I did rest though. I am not a night person so how am I going to keep going through the night? I took another bottle of coke cola and a banana.

Skyline Rotterdam

And then it was time!

It was a nice trip. It was very nice to walk at night and very different from walking during the day. I was entertained with beautiful skies and the sound of frogs and of course the skyline of Rotterdam. What was also very beautiful was the walking to the day.The predicted rain did not come and the pains stayed away too. I walked with breaks included from 0:00 to 10:30 the next day. I was a bit stiff, but it went well. I thought 40 km is a bit too far again.

The route

One day later

It was a super experience. Nice experience and route. And a goal that I support. Slowly the thought came to join again next year, because it is a beautiful goal and a spicy but beautiful challenge for your body. So next year I will walk one of the 3 other routes and hopefully then again 20 kg lighter.

Thank you this years sponsors!

The finish

Are you sponsoring next year? 

Blog entrepreneur Life

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7 remarkable things of Berlin

I was for the second time in Berlin. Again for a conference, but also this time I managed to squeeze in some exploring time. These are the 7 things I noticed about Berlin.

Train station

The train station is free to wander. No gates like in Holland which you can’t open without a card with money on it. And it works, So why did NS choose to close everything?

Berlin Central station

Homeless people

Berlin has a lot of homeless people. On every street and station in Berlin they are. Not just one, but a lot. I wonder if it is because of the housing prices that went up through the sky the last years and because of airbnb.

Public transport

There are stations everywhere. So it seems like every corner of Berlin can be reached. And the card system is simple with area A, B and C. It is definitely cheaper than in Holland.

Station

Language

In Berlin they speak German and more and more people are speaking English. Which is a good thing with the loads of tourists coming to town. Even if they don’t speak English, they are friendly and want to help. I asked for directions, but one of the people spoke English. I got there in the end.

Graffiti

Berlin is the capital of Graffiti. There is graffiti everywhere. Sometimes it is nice or functionally and sometimes it is just not art. On the Eastside a whole part of the Berlin wall is decorated with graffiti art.

Graffiti on the Berlin wall

German Bread

German bread is different from Dutch bread. They seem to use more seeds and nuts. Also the bread is heavier. So you need less.

Curry wurst

It used to be a lot of Curry wurst on each corner of the street. Now it is shoarma on each street corner. It is a bit sad, a cultural thing is gone. And I don’t need shoarma I can make it myself or buy it in Holland too.

Curry wurst

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Is Hockney a new Van Gogh?

Someone asked me if I wanted to go to the exhibition of Hockney in the Van Gogh museum. I like the work of Hockney so it was not difficult to say YES! I met Hockney in 2013 on my visit to Bilbao when I visited the Guggenheim museum there. On this play was then his work of the nature of Yorkshire which he painted and filmed with 9 cameras in all the 4 seasons of the year. I was impressed.

Van Gogh museum

I had been to the Van Gogh museum on museum night sometime in the past and last year I went to Neunen. Neunen is one of the places where Van Gogh was very productive in producing paintings. Most of the paintings of Van Gogh in Neunen were about farmlive.

Are Hockney and Van Gogh comparable?

Hockney and Van Gogh both love nature. They even look at nature the same way: They look at details and see something special in ordinary landscape. They both say that nature changes every day. They both liked to see the effect of the season on the landscape.

Hockney painted the same place in Yorkshire again and again in each season. Van Gogh did this in Arle. Both use a technique in their paintings which makes nature move on the paintings. There are a lot of similarities between how the two painters paint, but Hockney uses a lot of new techniques like filming the seasons and painting on an Ipad.

If you want to know more about Van Gogh read my blog about Van Goghs Neunen.

Sculpture Van Gogh

Blog entrepreneur Life

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Cheese, cheese, cheese or too many tourists?

Cheese market Alkmaar

Touristy things

I wanted to see some touristy things in the Netherlands. I have seen some in my youth but I don’t remember much about them. So Good Friday I traveled to Alkmaar to see the Cheese Market. I wanted to go early to be ahead of the tourists, but NS put a stop to that and I stranded in Zaandam. For a moment I thought about doing the Zaansche schans instead of the Cheese Market, but did not want to go there unprepared and was still looking forward to cheese.

On the way to the Cheese market

Cheese market Alkmaar

Fortunately I ended up in Alkmaar with a three-quarter of an hour delay. The Cheesemarkt is a 20-minute walk from the station right in the center of Alkmaar. Follow the mass of tourists and you will be there 😊. In the meantime there were more tourists on the way to the Cheese Market than I thought, but it wasn’t too bad on the big square. In the first instance, I was unable to access the weighing system, so I skipped it and moved on to the square, where I got a spot at the front and therefore had a good overview of the square and its action.

Walking with the cheeses what a chore! I would want to do it. Of course it is now touristy and no longer has a function, but you do get an impression of how the cheese market functioned in history.

The Cheese Museum

Don’t forget to walk into the Cheese Museum. Entrance fee includes a block of cheese. You get a picture of how cheese is made by a movie, posters and interactive screens. On the second floor there is a nice view over the square with the action. Don’t forget to just stand there and watch.

Cheese

Cheese weighing

Back outside the scale area was practically empty and I could see how people were weighed instead of cheese these days. They shout your weight very loud and you get a certificate with your weight. No, I did not feel the need to weigh myself there and get a certificate. So I looked at it and walked on.

You can also make a trip on the canals, but that is only possible with cash, pin is not accepted. And the nearest ATM was through the busy crowd to the other side and back. So I skipped it this time and walked smoothly through the streets of Alkmaar with a detour back to the station.

Blog entrepreneur Life

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Free workspace in the Netherlands

Free working space

As an entrepreneur with no office, I am always on the look for working spaces. In the Netherlands I found three main places which I can make my office for a day or part of a day. All these places have free wifi.

University Library

Even if you are not a student (anymore) you can work in the university library. There are tables and chairs. There are 11 universities in the Netherlands I know of in which you can use the library as a non-student. The plus of the university library is their opening hours. On weekdays they open at 8 and closes at 22 hours. In the weekend they open at 10 and closes at 18 o’clock. So great hours for early and late starters. Toilets are free to use.

Public library

Another library you can use is the public library. The hours are less then the university library, but still good. The opening hours differ in each city. On Monday and Sunday most of them open late, 12 or 13 o’clock. It depends on the city if the toilet is free. Otherwise you pay 50 ct to go to the toilet. There is enough space and there are free newspapers to read.

Seats2Meet

The last one I use is Seats2Meet you pay here with Social Capital. Basically this means someone else working in Seats2Meet can ask you questions about your area of knowledge. When you reserve a space you have to fill in your expertise. Seat2Meet is an open space with tables you can use. There is free coffee and tea and toilet. It is a great way to get to know more entrepreneurs or other workers working there.

So next time instead of working at home try one of these options.

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Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate everywhere

Chocolate festival

In Ecuador, a lot of years ago, I had the opportunity to make my own chocolate on a cacao farm. We harvest a cacao fruit and peeled the cacao. The cacao we had we pulverized. To get some sugar we had to walk the sugar cane mill. The cacao, the sugar and some milk made a delicious chocolate milk. Better then you can get in stores. I can still taste it in my mind…

Chcocolate tasting

Chocolate tasting

So when I saw that there was a chocolate festival in the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam, I had to go. Nothing better then source chocolate. So Saturday 23 February I went to the festival and tasted chocolate till I was nauseous.

The difference is that the chocolate in Ecuador and at the festival was pure no artificial ingredients added. You can still taste a bit of the bitterness. I had a lot of chocolate bars, hot chocolate, beer with chocolate, sausage with cacao and cheese with cacao. Also I had for the first time cacao juice from the fruit. I already had tasted how good the cacao fruit is in Ecuador and Cuba and now the juice. It is a pitty you can’t get the juice in shops yet.

Cacao fruit juice

Good & Bad in Chocolate industry

There were a lot of chocolate with a statement. Rokbar chocolate 100% made and owned by women, empowering of women. Tony’s Choconally with their 100% slave free chocolate.

There was also an environment organization Mighty, which makes sure we know that not all chocolate are produced environment friendly. A lot of bush has disappeared for cacao plantations. This are mono plantations destroying the habitat in which monkeys and other animals live.

More and more chocolate producers and supermarket chains in the world are committing to selling chocolate that tackle issues as deforestation, sustainability and human right issues. In the Netherlands these chocolates are not common yet, but will be in a few years as the chocolate market is changing.

Chocolate with a issue

A resolution

With the fasting period coming up I am making a resolution to myself to only buy chocolate that tackles issues from now on. Are you going to do that to? They cost a bit more, but they taste better and are friendly to humans, animals and our environment.

 

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