2019 was a great travel year! I went on 22 trips abroad in 13 different countries. On top of that I also went on 12 staycations, where I spend the night in a hotel or Bed&Breakfast somewhere in the Netherlands. So you can actually say that I went on 34 trips this year! On this page I’m telling you all about my trips of 2019
I started the year in Madagascar. We flew there in December 2018 and got back in January 2019. It was a very adventurous trip. We weren’t really well prepared. So don’t be like us and check these 10 things you need to know before your trip to Madagascar. We actually got very ill. But that didn’t stop us from still driving down the RN7, the main road of Madagascar, for a road trip. We saw beautiful sights along the way, like Isalo National Park, Anja Community Reserve and the Lemur park in Antananarivo.
Click here for my video of our trip to Madagascar.
In March I went to Berlin for the biggest travel conference in the world: ITB Berlin. I always love going to Berlin. It’s such a creative city with many vegetarian and vegan restaurants. They even have a vegetarian hotel! But this year I din’t have much time to explore the city as I was mostly there for the congress. The congress is great for everyone in the tourism industry and focusses more and more on travel bloggers too.
Are you a blogger and interested in going? Click here to read about ITB Berlin for travel bloggers.
Every year in March and November I travel to Frankfurt. Besides my blog and my work as a drama teacher, I’m also part of a group of European improvisers called Ohana. We all work with improvisation as a profession and three times a year we come together to inspire each other. In March and November we meet up in Frankfurt and in August we meet up in Slovenia. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to go to Slovenia this year, but I did make the two trips to Frankfurt in March and November.
Israel is one of my most favorite countries in the world, especially when it comes to food. As a vegetarian (or vegan) Israel is like paradise! There are s many vegetarian and vegan friendly food spots in Tel Aviv. The climate is also a great reason to visit Israel and of course it’s an interesting country with a rich history. Some people, especially the older generation, think it’s unsafe to travel to Israel, but I never felt unsafe there. As long as you don’t go to conflict areas you should be fine.
With my improv hobby that I mentioned before I travelled to Copenhagen in the spring of 2019 to take part in the Copenhagen International Improv Festival. We performed there with the Ohana group that I’ve told you about. Besides performing and seeing many great improv shows in Skt Petri Hotel, I also had plenty of time to stroll around the city to discover the best vegan food spots of Copenhagen.
Wine trip Germany
Germany is really upcoming as a wine country, I would even say that Germany is the wine country of 2019. They’ve been making wine for ages of course, but they were often looked down upon. As if they only make low-quality sweet white wines. It’s a big misconception as Germany has some delicious wines. I discovered wine regions Nahe and Rheinhessen to learn all about German wines.
During my time in Germany I stayed at the wonderful QL Hotel Meisenheimer Hof, a real recommendation if you’re visiting the area.
On my way back from the wine trip I stopped for two days in Düsseldorf. Düsseldorf is a compact city in the Western part of Germany quite close to the Netherlands (it’s only a 90 minute drive from Arnhem). Düsseldorf is popular for its museums, Christmas market and shops.
You can click here for all my top sights and activities in Düsseldorf.
Just a few days later I went on another trip to Germany. This time I visited Trier. Trier is the oldest city of Germany and as a rich history. You’ll see remains from the Roman era to the middle ages, so the whole city is full of interesting sights.
Click here for my top sights and activities in Trier.
In May my boyfriend Eelco and I were together for 5 years. We celebrated this with a wonderful weekend in London. He took me out for dinner at a restaurant with a wonderful view of the city and I got him tickets for the Harry Potter show The Cursed Child. We stayed at the Good Hotel. Their ethos is: sleep good, do good. So if you stay at the Good Hotel in London, you’ll do something good for someone else as well. And besides that, they have lovely rooms and delicious food.
To celebrate our anniversary some more we had an afternoon tea at St Ermin’s Hotel. The building is beautiful, the interior is impressive and the food is magnificent. A perfect anniversary weekend!
I’ve been to France as a kid many times. This year I went back to France with my mom, just like we’ve done with my father and brother many times in my childhood. We went to the Ardèche region this spring. We went on a road trip in the Ardèche and saw several nice spots in this French region. The high light of our trip was our stay in a tree house. It was so cool to spend the night in this fabulous place.
My boyfriend and I both like going to new countries so that we can scratch off more places on our Scrape Map. We spend most of our time in Belfast, the capital city. There are many nice things to see and do in Belfast and of course we also had some great vegetarian food in Belfast.
We also rented a car for a day to drive the Great Coastal Causeway.
In May 2019 I went to Strasbourg for a wedding of friends. Strasbourg is really a lovely city. Strasbourg is a French city but it has many German influences. It has several great Instagrammable spots like this cute house in the middle of the river.
It was years ago that I’ve been to Italy before the trip to Modena this year, so it was really lovely to be back. I went to Modena for a special reason; it’s the region where the real balsamic vinegar comes from. We had a special behind the scenes look at Mazzetti Balsamic Vinegar.
I know that many people don’t really know much about balsamic vinegar so I wrote a blog post with everything you need to know about balsamic vinegar.
After being to London for several times I really wanted to explore more of England. I went to Northern England as I discovered that Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds are all quite close together so you can perfectly visit those 3 cities in one trip. I often heard that people went to one of them for a few days, but as all three really have a lot to offer I think it’s much better to visit several cities while you’re there.
There’s an easy train connection between Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds so it’s really easy to turn your city-trip into a three-cities-trip in Northern England.
This summer I went on a road trip in Swedish Lapland. Swedish Lapland is the most Northern region of Sweden and it covers about 25% of the country. Many people know it as a winter destination but it’s also great in summer!
You can read all about our road-trip in Swedish Lapland on this page.
Oostende is a lovely coastal town in Belgium. The main attraction of Oostende is the beach of course, but there’s much more to see and do in this town that’s just half an hour from Bruges. On this page I’m telling you all about the to sights and activities in Oostende.
We stayed at an awesome hotel in Oostende: Upstairs Hotel. It was so cool that it deserved its own blog post. Click here to read all about Upstairs Hotel Oostende.
The region Auvergne Rhones-Alpes in France is a great destination for a vacation. I went on a road trip in Auvergne Rhones-Alpes and visited three of its towns: Bourg-en-Bresse, Chambéry and Aix les Bains.
I’m still working on my blog post, it’ll be online soon. You can sign up for my monthly newsletter below to stay up-to-date.
When you think of Greece, many people only think of the Greek islands like Crete. I also had the image of the Greek mainland being less attractive. I thought of hot summer days and the absence of beaches. But then I found out about Halkidiki. Halkidiki is an area on the mainland of Greece, but it has 3 peninsula’s and therefore a long coastline. After I explored the Halkidiki region in Greece I became super enthusiastic. On this page I’m telling you all about the top sights and activities in Halkidiki. It might be your new favorite part of Greece!
Cyprus is a great destination for a long weekend or a week. This island in the Mediterranean sea has a lot to offer; from beaches to restaurants and from ruins to rock formations.
We discovered Cyprus by car and stayed in a wonderful holiday home.
As I already said at the top of this page, I travel to Frankfurt every March and November for a weekend with my friends from improv theater.
A week after my trip to Frankfurt I went to Germany again. This time for a thing that Germans do best: Christmas Markets. I went to the Christmas Market in Bochum, Germany this year. Bochum is perfectly located within driving distance from the Netherlands and there are more reasons why I’d recommend a visit to the ‘Weihnachtsmarkt’ in Bochum. The delicious vegan lunch you can have at Naehrstoff-Reich and the flying Santa Claus for example.
Click here to read all about the Christmas Market in Bochum.
Cambodia and Laos
While you’re reading this, we’re in Cambodia. We always like to go far away around Christmas and this time we’re back in one of our favorite parts of the world: South-East Asia. My blogs on Cambodia and Laos will be online soon!
Besides the wonderful trips abroad I also went on several ‘Staycations’ where I spend the night in a hotel or bed&breakfast somewhere in the Netherlands. Below you’ll see the list of all the Staycations I did this year.
The QO hotel in Amsterdam is one of the prettiest hotels I every stayed at. This design hotel has opened up in 2018 and isn’t only very well designed, it also focusses on sustainability. The rooms are beautiful and in the same building you’ll find rooftop bar Juniper & Kin on the top floor and restaurant Persijn on the ground floor.
Kruisheren Hotel Maastricht
The Kruisherenhotel in Maastricht is a luxurious 5 star hotel in the city center. The hotel is a heaven for interior design and art lovers as it’s located in a former monastery. If you’re looking for a special hotel in Maastricht or if you want to surprise your loved one with a luxurious stay; I suggest you book a room in the Kruisherenhotel!
The Stayokay in the city centre of Utrecht is officially a hostel, but I’d like to think of it as a ‘Hostel 2.0’ as it’s very different from the average hostel.
Stayokay Utrecht Centrum is very comfortable, clean and modern. They also have many private rooms, so you don’t have to sleep in a dorm if you’re staying there with your partner.
Being this crossover of a hostel and a hotel, Stayokay Utrecht is the perfect place to stay for a comfortable trip on a budget.
B&B De Nieuwe Warande Tilburg
De Nieuwe Warande is a sustainable B&B in Tilburg, or actually in the outskirts of Tilburg in Berkel-Enschot. Here you can sleep in a quiet area in one of their 3 beautiful rooms. But what makes De Nieuwe Warande so special is their philosophy; they work as sustainable as possible.
Hotel Mercure, Tilburg
People often ask me for recommendations for hotels in Tilburg, but it’s difficult to answer that for the city that you live in because you never need a hotel there. I’m very happy that I experienced Hotel Mercure in the city centre of Tilburg, because now I can send my friends and readers there rest assured. This 4 star hotel has everything you need for a city trip to Tilburg.
Landgoed Huize Bergen, Vught
Looking for a nice hotel in the Netherlands for a wonderful night out or a weekend get-away? Romantic hotel Landgoed Huize Bergen in Vught might be just the right place for you!
You can have lunch, dinner and drinks at Huize Bergen, but it’s also a beautiful hotel. You can find this romantic hotel in Vught, which is very close to Den Bosch in Brabant. The main building of Landgoed Huize Bergen is an old villa, and the hotel rooms are divided over several different buildings on the estate.
I spend two days in Almere this year. Almere is a very new city in the Netherlands, located just 30 minutes from Amsterdam. The city centre of Almere has been voted best city center of the Netherlands in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. There are several nice sights and activities in Almere and they have great restaurants for vegan and vegetarian food in Almere.
Beer Cocktail Safari
I went on a Beer Cocktail Safari organized by Mercure hotels. We started at a Mercure hotel in Amsterdam, continued at Mercure Hotel Tilburg and ended at Mercure Hotel Blankenberge in Belgium. We’ve tasted many different beer cocktails.
On this page I’m sharing 6 beer cocktail recipes.
Bunk Hotel, Utrecht
BUNK Hotel Utrecht is located in a former church. It’s such a unique experience to spend the night in a church or to have dinner underneath an organ. The hotel and restaurant is located in the city center, close to the central train station. Sleeping and eating in a church; BUNK Hotel Utrecht makes it possible.
Hilton Hotel, Rotterdam
After having dinner at their restaurant for several times, it was time to spend the night at the Hilton Hotel in Rotterdam for a review. The Hilton Hotel in Rotterdam is very centrally located and as you expect from a Hilton Hotel it has a beautiful interior design
Houseboat via Musjroom
I’ve tested the new app called Musjroom. With this app you can book accommodation last-minute. So if you’ve missed the last train or if you have a change of plans, you don’t have to pay the high prize of a hotel room. You can book your room for the night in the Musjroom app. I stayed at a really cool houseboat in Amsterdam when I tested the app.
My last staycation of 2019 was really local. It was actually in my own street! When I heard that Bed and Breakfast 013 opened up in my street, I wanted to have a look so that I could recommend it to friends if they were staying in Tilburg. You can read the review on my blog soon.
2019 was a great travel year! I don’t know if I ever made this many trips in one year. I’m already looking forward to the trips that I’ll be making in 2020. Some are already booked like New York City in February and I’m going to ITB Berlin again in March.