Open your eyes and let the adventure begin!
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” ~Jawaharial Nehru
Los Llanos are vast plains of grasslands and savanna in both Colombia and Venezuela. In Colombia we had traversed them for six days to reach the Venezuelan border. We felt a bit saturated with the landscape, but now had to cross the Venezuelan Llanos as well, this time to get to the Andes Mountains. Continue reading
Even after more than ten years on the road I can still be surprised how one meeting can lead to all sorts of events, adventures and other meetings. Maybe because I never take them for granted. It is not something you can plan, or find in a guidebook. You can plan a meeting, but you can’t plan all results of such a meeting. And that’s where the charm lies: the unexpected. Continue reading
In Ecuador, Colombia, and now in Venezuela we have been amazed and surprised by the amount as well as the quality of graffiti and murals we have come across when meandering through towns. Some are politically oriented, others are simply fabulous works of art. Continue reading
“You’re lucky. Normally I don’t answer the phone if I don’t recognize the phone number,” Luis Jaime said.
We were lucky indeed. Continue reading
I feel as if I’m swimming in my grandmother’s tropical fish aquarium; the fish have the same bright colors, the same vertical shapes. All around me are yellow-purple-striped king angelfish, ivory-colored barber fish, and black stripe and deep-blue surgeonfish. Continue reading
Grandpa and grandkids found the treasure!
It is just one of these perfect days. The sky is blue, the sunrays are pleasantly warm. The heat is gone, the air is fresh and cool. Like one of those beautiful Indian Summer days. We go geocaching and walk to Quito’s Parque Metropolitano.
Most hills are covered with forest and soon I am following in Coen’s footsteps on a narrow trail winding among Eucalyptus trees. Around us people are hiking, mountain biking and even hugging trees. The energy is strong, people are happy, enjoying themselves. Continue reading
One moment we were driving through green, lush vegetation; the next we were on the moon. Kind of. We were entering a miniature version of the Bryce Canyon (US): a red-brown, eroded landscape sculptured into gullies. Continue reading
You can travel; you can slow travel; you can stop for a while and stay in a place. We’ve done all three and each have their charms. What I miss about the first two is a social life. Sure, when you slow travel you have more opportunities to meet people than in ‘regular’ travel, and sometimes you do meet kindred spirits, but that is not the same thing as having a social life. Continue reading
“The Miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.” ~Thích Nhât Hanh
A couple of years ago, when visiting my parents, my father asked me to join him for a bicycle ride. The region I grew up in, in the east of the Netherlands, is characterized by lots of green and even today still has a sense of space. The latter is not evident: the Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world with an average of 500 inhabitants per square kilometer (for comparison: the U.S. has 35). Continue reading
When we returned from the Galápagos Islands and I looked back on a trip full of magic and wonder, my eye was drawn to a sticker above my seat in the Land Cruiser.
“The Journey is the Destination“
And I realized, once more, how true that is. Continue reading
“Happiness is like a butterfly. If you chase it and chase it directly, it will elude you, but if you sit quietly and busy yourself with other things, it will come and light upon your shoulder.” ~Old Chinese Proverb
What’s so special about a butterfly, you may ask. Well, I got a visit from one who cleaned my keyboard. Seriously. Continue reading
When you don’t plan much on your travels, you can stumble upon big surprises. Argentinians carrying the country’s longest flag through the streets of Rosario was one of them. Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago, Fernando Polanco Plaza invited us to Hacienda Zuleta, his family farmstead in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador. Continue reading
I can’t remember the name of the book but it was a fiction novel about Germany right after the war. In high school, World War II had been a major topic in our history classes so I thought I knew quite a bit about it, yet when reading this novel a couple of years later, it was the first time I heard about the Airlift in Berlin. Continue reading
“You know what would be a great idea?” Coen asked as we moved up the last steps of the stairs that brought us to a 30-meter-high watchtower.
“What?” David, our guide, asked.
“To serve champagne upstairs. Wouldn’t that be a fantastic surprise?”
David didn’t respond and we continued our way up. Continue reading