My thoughts on travel

Over the last few years we haven’t gone on any long distance trips. And you know what? That is okay too. You don’t always have to fly halfway across the world to see the most incredible sights. There are so many incredible sights in our own backyard, as long as we are willing to see those places.

The last two years, we have traveled through Europe, mainly because it wouldn’t be a good idea to fly halfway across the world after a one week hospital stay in Sweden in 2015 and a lot of hospital visits for the past two and a half years.

For the last couple of months we have been talking about taking our first long haul flight again. There are some destinations we can’t go due to vaccinations. Some vaccinations can be dangerous in combination with certain medicine, so always make sure to check with your doctor before getting any vacinations.

But after traveling in Europe for the past two years I realised we have everything we could want at a driving distance. There is France and Spain with beaches and mountains. Luxemburg and Germany with forests and all those other beautiful countries.

And in 2016 I completly fell in love with Italy, I mean the food is heaven and they have everything you need. They have beaches, old cities and mountains. It is such a versatile country. I can’t wait to go back there.

 


My other love in Europe is Basque Country. Which isn’t crowded with tourists yet and has so many outdoor options. I hope it won’t get overflown with tourist due to Game of Thrones, which has some film locations there, check out my blog about one of the film locations here Game of Thrones series part 1. If I would move within Europe, I am pretty sure it would be to Basque Country. I mean the food, the people and the area are all just amazing.

 


I am sure we will make long distance trips again in the near future, but we certainly won’t forget what we already have close to home. If you want to travel on a budget it is always a good option to stay closer to home.

Do you always fly halfway across the world or do you combine it with traveling closer to home?

 

The bucketlist

I am sure you have read a million post like this already, but I wanted to write about my bucket list anyway.

Ever since I was little I have had the travel bug and every time we tick something of I will ad a new one to the list. So my list never gets shorter, but only longer.

Today I want to share with you 10 things that are on my bucket list:

1. New Zealand

This country has been on my bucket list for ages, for all the obvious reasons. I mean an outdoor enthusiast like me could never not want to go here.

2. Norway

Technicly I have been to Norway already, but since I won’t count flying out from Oslo, whilst going to Sweden it is still up on the bucketlist. One day I would love to take the Hurtigruten all the way North and travel back south by train.

3. Faroe Islands

a couple of years ago Floortje Dessing went to this island for the tv show ‘het einde van de wereld’ or the end of the world tv series. Ever since the Faroe Islands have been on my bucket list, because these Islands look incredible.

4. Japan

Japan is out of character on my list, but I have never been to Asia and for some reason I feel drawn to visit Japan one day. I would love to see the crazyness of Tokyo one day and emerge myself in history in Osaka. And ofcourse visit and hike mount Fuji.

5. Finland

I would love to visit Lapland during the winter. In Holland we don’t get very much snow and I would love to see a place like Finland covered in snow and watch the aurora.

6. Iceland

Who doesn’t have Iceland on his bucket list? It is one of those must visit places.

7. Washington State

This place has been on my list for a while now, but since one of my friends from Ohio will be moving here, I think I will see a whole lot of beautiful Washington State soon. I actually told her I would visit her there as soon as she moves there and she will have to put up with me every year as soon as she moves, because I will be going there at least one holiday a year. Good thing they love to have us over!

8. Canada

I have already been to Canada, but never to the west coast. Places like Banff, Whistler, Jasper, Vancouver Island all are on my list. I think I need a couple of months there to see all the things I want to see. Maybe I need to consider moving!

9. Scotland

Even though the United Kingdom is practicly around the corner I have never been there and one place that is high up on my list is Scotland. We were planning on going there this year, but then all of a sudden we sold our house after it had been listed for 6 months and we had only 6 weeks to find a rental property. This is crazy when it is just the two of you, but it is even more crazy when you add a dog in the mix. So we had to cancel our Scotland trip. Hoping to make it out there in the next year or two though, because I would love to hike part of the West Highland way and see the isle of Skye with my own eyes.

10. The Picos, Spain

And last but not least, the Picos in Spain. We were actually going there this year, but we really didnt plan our roadtrip and we loved the Basque coast so much that we stayed there longer then we planned. I am sure I will be able to tick this one of my list very soon.

Since 2017 is slowly drawing to a close. I will post a 2018 bucketlist, with different activities, so you can keep me accountable!

What does your bucketlist look like?

 

A day in Donostia/San Sebastian

San Sebastian, which is named Donostia in Basque, is absolutely one of my favorite cities. It has the most relaxing atmosphere, where it almost feels like you are not even in a city at all.

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So today I want to share with you three things I absolutely loved to do in Donostia:

1. Pinxtos

Eat Pinxtos in the old town.
In the old town, Parte Viejo, the streets are bustling with life. You will find Pinxtos bars at every corner, where you can get the best food you can imagine. I seriously could have stayed here all day and eat all day long.

In the old town you will also find some amazing architecture, like the Basilica of St Mary de Chorus. You will also find the Plaza de la constition in the old town. At the plaza the numbers of the balconies will take you back in time to where this plaza was used as a bull ring.

2. Mount Igeldo

After you have eaten your way through the old town, I would suggest you put on your walking shoes and walk along the beach of Concha bay to mount Igeldo. The Concha bay is incredible, I can tell you that. At mount Igeldo you can take the funicular railway up to the top, where you have amazing views of the city Donostia.

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There is also a restaurant and a little amusement park at the top.

We hiked around here during our visits and we just took in the amazing views of the city, which were just incredible.

After you come back down, I can’t imagine ever getting tired of those views though. You can visit the Peine del Viento, the sculpture at the end of Concha bay, which is a beautiful piece of art. We absolutely loved it.

3. Enjoy one of the beaches or go shopping
Last but not least I would suggest to relax at one of the beaches Donostia has to offer or go shopping, but keep in mind that the stores are closed until four in the afteroon!

We decided to do both and first we had some drinks at one of the terraces along the bay, enjoying the beach view.

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Tell me what was your favorite place in Donostia or San Sebastian?

I know one thing for sure and that is that we will be back, because I fell head over heels in love with this amazing city, if you ever get the chance to visit, you have to!

Camping on a budget in Europe

We absolutely love to go camping, but during summer prices for a camping pitch go up to around 40-50 euros per night. So here are some tips on how we get the most nights out of our budget.

1. Go camping during off season
One thing we do to stretch our budget as much as possible is travel during the off season. Prices are always way better and the tourist attractions are way less crowded too. This year we had a enormous parking lot at Rocamadour, France, all to ourselves in May. Especially if you travel down south the weather will be good too, in Italy and Spain temperatures most likely will be somewhere in the lower 20 degree Celsius.

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2. Use a camping card, like ACSI
We get an ACSI card every single year and we use it to go camping in the off season, sometimes you do have to pay full price though on holidays, but prices will mostly drop back down right after. With ACSI you will be pay 11/13/15/17/19 euros per night for two people, electricity, a dog, and hot showers, depending on the campsite you picked. They have campsites in all different categories, from big campsites to smaller campsites.

In Holland we also use ‘Het Groene Boekje’ which you will need if you want to go camping at smaller nature campsites.

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3. Bring a stove and cook your own dinner
This really is an easy one, just bring a stove, a pan and a kettle and you can cook your own meals and brew your own coffee. While you are at it, I would recommend going to the local markets and pick up some fresh and local produce.

Especially when we take Milow, we really don’t want to go through the hastle of going somewhere to eat. He likes other dogs a bit too much sometimes, unfortunately.

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4. Drink tapwater if possible
In a lot of European countries it is really safe to drink tapwater, so I would suggest bringing a couple of reusable water bottles and fill those up every day.

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5. Go hiking!
Hiking is always free, and you will see so much of the enviroment if you go hiking. It is our favorite activity to do when we go camping! We always find campsite where there are trails close by, and they get extra points if they have trails starting from the campsite.

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What are your favorite tips for camping on a budget?

 

The start of something new

After thinking about starting a blog for ages, I finally decided to give it a go and start up my own blog. I want my blog to be my outlet for all the stories I have in my head and all the pictures I have made over the past couple of years, which I can tell you there are a lot of them and right now they are just collecting dust on my hard drive.

Most of our adventures are spend camping around Europe, but I have also lived in Ohio for a year while I was a teenager, so we try to visit the states every so often.

Right now our home base is the Netherlands, so I will try to tell you as much as possible about the Netherlands.

Besides travelling I also have another big love, which is photography. I love to shoot new places and to show you the beauty of this world through my shots, because there really is so much beauty in this world.

I hope you will want to follow along on our crazy adventures.