The World Wanderers Podcast

Tired of reading through my blogposts? You don’t have time to properly get educated about the beauty of travel or are in serious need of some distraction during your morning commute?

I have the ultimate solution for you: The World Wanderers Podcast! A weekly podcast run by two Canadians, Amanda and Ryan. I had the pleasure of meeting Amanda in person while traveling through Alberta, Canada last July.

Amanda and Ryan describe themselves as 20 something’s with a passion for travel, living live to the fullest and finding happiness in all corners of the world. Sounds familiar? Yep, that’s how I also tend to describe myself. So if you like my blog you’ll LOVE the podcast.

In 2014, the two wanderers decided to leave their “big kid jobs” and dedicate their lives to traveling, their first stop being South America. Since then they live and breathe an insatiable urge to travel and share their experiences with us. Travel has changed and impacted them in a positive way, has forever shaped the way they see the world and last but not least, while traveling they have managed to discover what it means to be truly happy.

To end with their very own words: Join them as they explore, learn, grown and seek happiness through travel and adventure!

Happy 2 year anniversary!

I can’t believe it. It has already been two years since I started this blog. It all started with a trip to Bolivia, to see my best friend from my all-consuming, incredible and once in a lifetime experience in Oklahoma. The journey to Bolivia was my first ever solo trip and it made me learn so much about myself and the world and experience South America’s beauty for the first time. Another continent crossed off my bucket list! We ventured around La Paz, spent some days at the Salar de Uyuni salt flats and I took an overnight bus trip to see Sucre on my own.

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Sucre, Bolivia

The rest of the summer was filled with trips around Germany, a week in Ibiza and a long awaited trip to Santorini, one of the most heart-warming, dazzling and enchanting places on this earth. Exploring this tiny island by hiking from one end to the other and enjoying utter tranquility and the natural beauty of the island just left me breathless.

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Galatia Villas in Santorini, Greece

Then it was time to prepare for another adventure: a year in Wales, finishing my Master’s degree in Cardiff. Little did I know that I would find my soul sisters, two incredible souls that I know will never leave my side, wherever life will take us. We share something real, something that is beyond words, beyond this world and even beyond my imagination. Definitely changed for good! I finished off the year with a trip to Dublin, Ireland to spend some time with my dear friend Susann to ring in the Christmas time.

Besides meeting incredible friends from all over the world, I got to experience that Wales is a truly underrated country. The landscapes, cities and people in Wales are so much more than beautiful, I cannot wait to come back this summer! I also got the opportunity to go back to Greece and see Athens, Cape Sounio and the Kaisariani Monastery. Despite being robbed my adventurous spirit made me make the best of it!

During my time in Wales I was lucky to travel to Canada for my best friend’s wedding. I definitely left my heart there and hopefully I’ll be back rather sooner than later to go and collect it. I can’t wait to be back in Alberta, meander windy roads around the Rocky Mountains and just LIVE.

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On our way to the Glacier Skywalk.

2015 got even better once I handed it my dissertation and left Cardiff for good. I jumped on a plane to Southeast Asia with my best friend and soulmate Nicole to start our first backpacking trip around Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. It is safe to say that I more than fell in love with backpacking and taking the day one hour at a time, truly relishing the bliss of having the day at your disposal and enjoying a time off without responsibilities.

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Bali Bliss.

The incredible and eventful year wrapped up with a huge surprise. I got invited to go on a roadtrip through Japan! Never would I have imagined to get the opportunity to travel even more that year. I will forever be grateful and humble for this opportunity and wouldn’t want to miss the experience for the world. I got to admire Japanese architecture, eat carefully crafted dishes day in and day out and experience the craziness and mind-blowing size of Tokyo.

Nara, Japan

Nara, Japan

The new year started on a more slow note. I am incredibly happy to have found a full-time job and I even got to take a little trip over Easter, recharging from the craziness of everyday life in the Netherlands.

I am more than positive that this year and this life has so much more to offer and I cannot wait for all the experiences to come and to share them with you! Happy Birthday on wanderlust!

 

 

What I learned in 2015

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This is not an entirely travel or wanderlust related post as the end of the year always encourages me to reflect on all that’s happened in the last 365 days. As for me, many of those days and endless thoughts and daydreams were and always are defined by a violent urge to explore the world. As the quote above says, it really is what sets my soul on fire. That’s why I have the solemn pledge to dedicate my existence to travel.

This year has been especially eventful in many ways and there is one lesson that is connected to everything that I encountered this year: stay calm and everything will figure itself out.  2015 taught me this lesson very early on with me getting robbed in Athens. Instead of freaking out and wishing to go home, I gathered my thoughts and decided to enjoy my time in Greece even more. I was determined not to give other people the freedom of pulling the strings of my happiness.

Sitting here on the last day of 2015, I can connect the dots even further. Especially right now, staying calm is what I need to do. I should have learned by now that the best things in life come super unexpected, just as my most recent trip to Japan. Who would have thought that after trips around Wales, loving life in rural Canada and roaming Southeast Asia I would get another opportunity to travel this year? I did and I am so grateful for fate fueling my life continuously.

Right now, at the edge of 2015 and with 2016 in sight, I find myself in a phase that seems all-consuming, confusing, exciting and nerve-racking. Being a recent Masters graduate, I am about to leap off into a phase of my life that seems to determine my existence. From time to time, this utterly terrifies me. But just as I did with my travels, I am just going to center myself, take a deep breath and believe in whatever comes along will set my soul on fire. And I will not settle before I find it. Happy 2016!

 

2015 Bucket List Review!

This is it, the year 2015 is more or less wrapped up. For me, this time of the year is always dedicated to re-living everything that has happened over the course of the last months. If you are one of those awesome fellas that regularly read my blog (YAY, big shout out to you guys!), you might remember my bucket list for 2015. It’s an excerpt from my infinite bucket list that I am hoping to check off in decades from now.

A bucket list really is like a to do list for me. As I have uttered several times, I simply like checking things off lists just to be excited for the next step on that list. But what I’ve learned this year is that bucket lists are a tad different. They really mostly fuel my excitement and are less straightforward than a regular to do list. I’ve learned how much I like veering off the beaten path and finding myself in situations I hadn’t planned out for myself.

So here is what I had planned and what actually happened:

Athens, Greece

Yep, that definitely happened! I still look back to this trip regularly. Not only because I relish thinking back to the incredible Greek architecture or the vast amounts of mouth-watering dishes we consumed but also because it made me learn a life-lesson right at the start of the new year: getting robbed and still managing to enjoy your trip.

Filopappou Hill Athens

Filopappou Hill Athens

Exploring Wales

I can also cross this off my list! And as a matter of fact, I could cross it off several times because I was lucky to explore Wales more than once. Every day whenever I wander through the streets that I currently call home or used to call home, I am determined to explore and look behind each hidden corner. But not only did I meander my immediate surroundings, I took three road trips around Wales!

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Driving around North Wales

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Skrinkle Haven Wales

Scotland

Well, I was not able to visit Scotland this year. I was all too consumed with running around Wales or sitting at my desk in Cardiff, head fuming with thoughts about assignments or my dissertation. But Scotland, I’ll be back someday!

Alberta, Canada

Hell, yeah! Words cannot even begin to describe how much this trip impacted me. Being a bridesmaid at my best friend’s wedding, road tripping through the most incredible landscapes I have ever seen, summitting my first mountain and just loving everyday life in rural Alberta. A trip to remember and a heart lost to Canada!

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Southeast Asia

A trip of a lifetime. My first backpacking trip and also my first time in Southeast Asia. This trip made me learn a lot about myself and about travelling. And even though we’ve been back for almost three months now, I am still basking in Bali bliss with my head in the clouds and radiant sun streams still leaving warm marks on my skin.

Sunrise hike on Mount Batur

Sunrise hike on Mount Batur

Jimbaran Beach Bali

Jimbaran Beach Bali

Breakfast at Crate Cafe

Breakfast at Crate Cafe

Black Forest, Prague and Barcelona

These three destinations still remain uncovered. With a year as eventful as this one and with as many accomplishments and changes happening, I am at peace with not having discovered these destinations. Instead, I focused on going back to my hometown more, admiring it with the eyes of a first-time visitor and building up an immense amount of gratefulness about having grown up here.

Well, were did I veer off the beaten path then? Being caught up in one-of-a-lifetime-experiences often doesn’t come planned. Just as my most recent trip to Japan did. Sitting at home, caught up with job applications with no immediate bucket list destinations ahead, I had never expected for such an opportunity to happen that quickly. A very dear friend and her family suddenly swooped me out of my rut and invited me to a road trip through Japan. Who would I be to say no that?! Against my I-am-an-adult-now better judgement I left my job applications instantaneously and went to rove around Japan.

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Himeji Castle in Japan

It made me realize that this truly is what I love about traveling. Expect the unexpected and just go with the flow. Those are the times when you discover who you’ve always been, what drives and motivates you and how you find your utter bliss.

 

Fate is for the fearless.

This will be just a quick note. But it does mean a lot to me. Recently, fate seems to be ruling my existence. As Steve Jobs once said, I am true believer of the concept of connecting the dots looking backwards. Sometimes you don’t know what will happen but you just have to trust your instincts, be intrepid and leap – more or less defy gravity.

More and more I seem to be making decisions guided by me listening to my gut. More or less always inexplicable and non-understandable by my loved ones – turning down a perfectly fine job offer, chasing the dream of living and working in faraway places or traveling whilst I should rather stay home for numerous reasons.

But then there are these people that believe in you just the same way as you do yourself. And they not only believe in you but they support you with their whole being. Or even fuel your recklessness and adventurous spirit.

For now, fate has sent me to Japan. A two-week trip exploring Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Tokyo. And who would I be to turn down such a precious opportunity to chase my bliss?!