Discovering Vancouver

It’s eight in the morning when I wake up. I’m glad to have slept for about eight hours straight, so I’ll have some energy for today. I call my parents to tell them about the journey. It’s nice that these days you can call from wherever you have internet just as easily as when you’re home. As usual the day starts with a workout and a shower. One of my friends got me really nice shower gel from Rituals for my birthday and it’s such a delight (thanks again Iris). Being rested and refreshed I get dressed and pack my bag to go into the city.


One day in Iceland

As usual I start the day with a short workout and a shower. It’s nice, they have a rain shower in this hotel, I love it. While waking up I think about what a great surprise this turned out to be. A free excursion to Iceland. At nine o’clock I have breakfast with my new travel friends. A Dutch man called Alfred and an American guy called Paxton who lived in my city for two years. While having breakfast together Paxton and I realise that we’ve actually briefly met once in the Starbucks where I usually work. The world is really a small place. As usual when I’m staying in a hotel I really enjoy the extensive breakfast.


The hardest part of traveling

I’m at Schiphol Airport only to discover that my flight is three hours four hours delayed. Fortunately I have my laptop with me, so I decide to just accept it and do some work. I’m thankful that I have work that I can do almost everywhere. I text my family and friends that the travel plans are delayed and contact Iceland air asking them what the plan is. They don’t know so much and can only tell me that I’ll find it out in Reykjavik when I arrive there. Either my connecting flight to Canada is also delayed and I can catch it or I have to get the next flight tomorrow which means I’ll have to stay a day in Iceland. I’m fine with both for now. There is not so much that I can do anyway. What’s more, the hardest part of the journey is already taken. Let’s go back a few days.


New adventures on the horizon

Next month I’m flying to Canada to live there for a couple of months. Even though that sounds exciting, there are also moments that I think by myself ‘What am I doing?’. I have to admit that it’s a bit scary to go to a different place in the world where you don’t really know anyone yet and have to figure everything out. Somehow living in one place seems more challenging than just traveling around, but that’s probably because I’ve never done it before.


Lessons on the journey of life

It’s challenging to maintain a travel blog when you’re not traveling continuously. Fortunately – how cheesy it may sound – I’m still on the journey of life and I can write about that as well. Today I want to write about the ups and downs of life and how I’m learning to deal with that.

I do my best to enjoy this journey of life as much as I can, but at the same time I’ve been struggling for years with depression, self-doubt and worries about the future. Not continuously, but from time to time there are dark days that are challenging to get through. As I read a lot and watch videos about it, I learn more and become better in dealing with it. Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned so far.


To buy a one way ticket

The other day I met a girl in the coffee store who had just bought a one way ticket to Africa. Her family lives there and she had decided to go back to them. A few days later I met someone else that had decided to buy a one way ticket to Australia and both got me thinking about the idea of buying a one way ticket.


Why you should buy souvenirs

You might think that souvenirs are a waste of money, but I think otherwise. It’s not that I always buy a lot of useless stuff every time I’m traveling, but I like to to buy something when I visit a special place. It’s nice to have a reminder of a good memory. Recently I discovered the importance of souvenirs again.

Since a couple of weeks I’m working two jobs.


My first week working at Starbucks

I wake up half an hour before my alarm clock. What makes that more impressive is when you know that my alarm clock was set at 5.00AM. Even though I’m feeling excited, I also sense that I’m still a bit tired so I stay in bed until the alarm clock actually goes off. Then I get up and start my morning ritual of making some lemon water in the kitchen. While in the kitchen my mind goes over the things I read last night in the Starbucks partner guide and I repeat the mission statement for myself. ‘To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.’ They want to change the world. Actually, from today I can say: “We want to change the world.” I feel proud. A long time dream will come to realization today. I’m going to work for the brand I love so much. Today is the first day of my training as barista for Starbucks and I’m looking forward to what is to come.

I continue my morning ritual of meditation and working out, taking a shower and having breakfast. Then I get on my bike to the Starbucks store.


The antidote for stress: vacation mode

Before I went on my journey to America I sometimes suffered from stress. Being an entrepreneur means that you have to think about a lot of things. It’s not simply working from nine to five, but it goes always on, at least in your mind. Going on a real vacation helped me breaking free from that and when I got back I noticed that one thing was different: I didn’t have any stress anymore. Now I’ve been back for three weeks and there have been moments that stress tried to get back into my life, but every time I notice it, I take a break and be in the moment.

This morning I thought about writing a blog about dealing with stress and a while later when I was in the train and listened to the latest episode of one of my favourite podcasts. It turned out to also be about stress. You can listen to it here. I don’t believe in coincidence, so without further ado is here my advice on dealing with stress.

We seem to be living in a faster time than ever before. We multitask a lot and there are hundreds of things each day calling for our attention.


Adjusting to being back home

It’s Friday morning and I’ve been back in the Netherlands now for almost two weeks. When I was traveling I hoped to be able to continue writing each day, but as expected that turned out to be harder while being back home. I wrote some pages on the first days that I was back, but I didn’t post them because it felt like it was quite mundane. Now that I quickly glance over the stories I realise that it could have been interesting to post them, but it’s okay. When I was traveling I wrote about what I did each day and that was great, because I could share my adventures with the world. If I write about my days while being back home, it feels more like a diary and since most people are quite busy I don’t think many people would have the time or interest to read it anyway.

Talking about being busy, that’s one of the first things I had to adjust to coming back home. People here are so busy. In traffic and in public places, everyone seems to be rushing. Coming back from high mountains, big forests and wide open fields, it takes some time to get used to living in little Netherlands again.