Top 5 » Badass Travel Women around the world

We celebrated international women’s day so a good reason to highlight some amazing women who inspire us to the max. We are so happy to see more and more independent females who pack their bags and travel around the world to show us that it can be done no matter what age, size or background. There are too many amazing women to mention them all but we’ve picked 5 badass travel chicks that we feel set a great example of what a strong female represents.

1. Celine Cousteau, USA & France
She’s a filmmaker, diver and most of all an explorer. Born in California and raised in France, she has certainly seen the world. Celine inspires people all over the world with her documentaires about humanitarian and environmental stories. She speaks 3 languages fluently and uses her voice as a public speaker. Besides all this, she is also a mother to a son. This woman has power!
www.celinecousteau.com

Celine Cousteau badass women
What a woman! 

2. Floortje Dessing, The Netherlands
She’s the most famous traveler from the Netherlands. She has seen the whole world from Amsterdam to Greenland, Japan, The North Pole and even North Korea (she and her TV crew are one of the only ones that were allowed to film there). In total she has visited more than 120 countries and for her latest television show she is visiting Dutch people who live in remote places around the world and the TV program scores high! Besides all her travels, she also gives a lot back and she started a fair-trade sustainable clothing store called Nukuhiva. This woman is far from being done with traveling and we love her for it!

Power woman Floortje Dessing
Our Dutch pride; Floortje Dessing

“These wanderlust women show us that anything is possible”

3. Morgan Brechler, USA
She is the bohemian dream-mother of the world. At least, we think so. Morgan (26) is a (extremely beautiful) young mother from the US who travels and climbs around the most amazing national parks of the USA and other parts of the world with her daughter Haidlie since she was only a small toddler. She is working towards a degree in sustainable agriculture and Morgan is part of a new documentary called Born Wild, celebrating single adventurous mothers who want to instill a love of nature and the outdoors into their children’s lives from the very beginnings. Can we say we are a little bit jealous of this amazing woman?
www.instagram.com/morganbrechler

Morgan Brechler badass women
Wanderlust mother Morgan

4. Liss Connel, Australia
We love her Aussi name but her lifestyle is seriously to die for! We’ve highlighted her famous caravan recently and we can’t get enough of her Instagram. She travels whenever she can and like us, she loves to write about it. She’s made the Philippines the new hottest hippie destination by showcasing it on her popular Instagram account. She is not focused on becoming a star but she lives life to the fullest and we applaud her for it. 
www.instagram.com/lifeintheslowlane

Life in the slow lanewanderlust women; Liss Connell
We are addicted to her Instagram account; Life in the slowlane

5. Roshni Sharma, India
Everybody told her she couldn’t do it and she proved them wrong. She became the first woman in India who drove all the way from Kanyakumari to Kashmir with on her motorbike. The 5452 km long road was dangerous and the trip was long but that didn’t hold her back. Armed with pepperspray, the 26 year old, took on the challenge and finished the journey. You go girl!

Roshni Sharma
The woman and her bike. Source: http://www.deccanchronicle.com/

Love,

Wander-Lust

Top 5 Travel Instagram Accounts You Should Follow This Year

Instagram. We love it. We love visually strong websites and blogs and Instagram instantly takes you to a moment. A picture really says a thousands words and these 5 Instagram accounts really prove that. We discovered some new amazing travel Instagram accounts this year that we think you will love.

1. @TARAMILKTEA
With 580K followers, this Sydney based traveler is living it up. Her pictures are truly mesmerizing and she makes our jaw drop every time. Her specialty has to be Japanese style food. Lot’s of color which reminds you of the Harajuku style. All her food photo’s are so perfectly styled and ordered and it looks like she has spent hours on it. Fascinating. Besides her foodie pics, she does a pretty good job of visiting the most amazing places. 


Perfectly organized

Top 5 travel Instagram accounts. tara-milk-tea
Source: @TaraMilkTea

2. @POLABUR
Originally from Russia, Polina calls Amsterdam her hometown now. We’ve actually met her a few times and she’s a lovely girl too! Besides traveling she posts the most incredible pictures with a slightly pink filter which makes it that extra special. From Moscow, to Austria, Australia and back to Amsterdam. This girl has been all over the world. She has a lot of Russian fans and her account grew rapidly over the last year. 

polabur

 

Top 5 travel Instagram accounts. polabur-amsterdam
At the Amsterdam Dam Square. @Polabur

3. @TRAVEL_INHERSHOES
Her name is Aggie Lal and she is one talented girl! Her Instagram account is to die for  but you should also check out her video’s that she is posting on her YouTube channel. It will make you want to pack your bags immediately. She describes herself as a Polish born, Australian educated, Los Angeles based adventure traveler, writer, blogger and photographer. Watch this girl. 

Top 5 travel Instagram accounts travel-in-her-shoes 

4. @DOYOUTRAVEL
Ok, time for some men in this list! Yes, this one is a good one and a real traveler. He’s probably one of the most re-grammed person when it comes to travel photo’s and no wonder that he’s made it to our top 5 travel Instagram accounts list. Jack Morris travels the world with his girlfriend (@gypsylust) who has a crazy beautiful Instagram account of her own. He lives on the road and visits a new country almost every week. Dream off to his photo’s and it’s OK to be jealous, we are too. 

do-you-travel

Top 5 travel Instagram accounts gypsylust
Jack’s girlfriend @gypsy_lust

5. @WEARETRAVELGIRLS
Empowering indeed. This Instagram account features the most incredible pictures of women along their adventures and travels. Be inspired and get to know the women behind the photo’s. Who knows, you might get featured one day! 

 

Top 5 travel Instagram accounts we-are-travelgirls

Love,

Wander-Lust

Top 5 » Best Free Travel Apps of 2017

No one can live without their smartphone nowadays , including us. We love to explore and wander, but I travel best when I can look something up quickly. So even when I’m traveling I use my phone for good reason. There are more travel apps out there than ever and these are by far the best free travel apps of 2017! These apps could make your next journey a little faster, cheaper and smarter!

1.Google Trips
Coming in at number 1, is this new travel app from Google. It basically makes it a lot easier for you to plan your trip. Beforehand or when you are on the spot. Besides finding the usual “things to do”, you can also find travel details like reservations and confirmation numbers in one easy app. Google Trips simply gathers your travel information from Gmail and Inbox, then organizes it automatically. Plus, the entire app is available offline. Bye bye wifi hassle. Get the free app here

2. Hostelworld
Not everybody can effort a room at the Poseidon Undersea Resort in Fiji or The Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong, therefore this app is perfect for you. Search and book more than 30,000 properties in over 180 countries, from anywhere. Read millions of hostel reviews from fellow travelers & book your next adventure via this app. Get to budget travel in an instance here

Hostel world best free travel apps of 2017
Be a backpacker and check out the Hostel World app!

3. AirBNB
We all know Airbnb of course but when they announced the the app in November last year, they have upgraded the experience. ” Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, said “We realized we needed to create a whole, holistic journey.” Always wanted to sleep in a beautiful loft at the canals in Amsterdam, in a Treehouse at Kilauea Volcano in Hawaï or in a mini van right at Cala Cordo in Ibiza? The app is free and available on IOS and Android. 

4. Favoroute
Find all the travel guides in one place, written by travel experts, locals and travel bloggers. Choose a guide by your favorite Travel Designer that enjoys your way of traveling and knows the destination with the eyes closed. We’ve actually written a London Guide for Favoroute when the app was just starting their journey. The app is free but you need to pay for the guides. Updates are free. Get it here.

PicMonkey Collage

5. Polarsteps
Explore – Dream – Discover
This app helps you to log and share your journeys in an easy and beautiful way, turning your travel moments into a lifetime memories. It automatically tracks your route and places you’ve visited while traveling. It even logs your route when you have no internet connection and it has a minimal battery impact. The route is plotted on a colorful world map. Not only super handy when you own a travel blog but also when you want tip your friends by sharing this map with them. A new feature is that you can order your travel photo’s online and make it into a photo album. Download it here and check the story below.

Bonus: Want to see how much you have seen from the world? Check out the travel app BEEN. Crazy enough we have only seen around 18% of the world. Wow, we need to get a move on!

So check out these free travel apps of 2017 and enjoy your next travels!

Love,

Wander-Lust

Europe’s best Christmas Markets to visit in December

Whether you’re ready or not, December is here and with that the holiday season. One of the things that I love are Christmas Markets.
So where can you stroll for hours and drink the best gluhwein?

Here are our top 5 Christmas Markets within Europe.

1. Dresden Christmas Market, Germany
When?
 24th November – 24th December 2016

Leading the pack is this German Christmas market that has been around since 1434(!)
Named after a sweet Christmas cake, this market has it all. The highlight is without doubt the largest wooden pyramid with carved wooden figures that stands tall at 40 meters. It has a a romantic feel about it and this is how a Christmas market should be. Watch craftsmen at work or buy pottery, gingerbread, candle holders or other Christmas decorations. Check a video impression here.
www.germany-christmas-market.co.uk

German Christmas Markets are the best
Source: Tim A. Bruening via flickr

2. Tivoli Gardens Christmas Market, Copenhagen
When? 19th of November – 31st of December 2016
With 60 stalls, this is a market full of lights. For children and adults, you shouldn’t miss this one if you’re visiting Copenhagen in Nov-Dec.
There are concerts, decorations, lights and sweets to feast your eyes on. Adults need to pay about 13 euro’s admission, children are free.
www.tivoli.dk

download
The entrance of the Tivoli Christmas (source: Tivoli DK)

“Christmas Markets originated in Germany, Austria, South Tyrol in Northern Italy and the eastern French regions.” 

3.  Berlin Christmas Markets
When? Check here for the different opening dates and times
Not 1 but 60 markets in one city! Berlin is the capital of the German Christmas markets.
Big and smaller, you won’t be bored in and around Berlin if you visit the German capital during the winter months.
The most famous ones are; the Potsdamer Platz Christmas Market for ice-skating, smell the sweet scent of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church Christmas Market and spent hours at the large Spandau Christmas Market.

KaiserWilhelmMemorialChurchChristmasmarket
Gingerbread sweets at the Kaiser WM Church Christmas Market Berlin (source: Mtrip)

4. Old Town Christmas Market, Prague
When? 26th of November – 6th of January 10am-22pm 2016/2017

Find a variety of foods at this market like barbecued pork, Czech muffins, conkers, beer, mull, mead and other typical gastronomical specialties from Old Czech cuisine. If you don’t feel the Christmas spirit, then you will get it when you go here. Christmas carols are sung throughout the day by different performers.
Another market worth checking is Wenceslas Square, which is about a 5 min walking distance from old town square.

8420980480_2c14c181c2_z
(Source: Flickr)

5. Bruges Christmas Market, Belgium
When? 25th of November – 1st of January 11am-10pm 2016/2017
Bruges already looks amazing because of the historic buildings, cobbled streets and medieval sights.

But when it’s Christmas, this town really blooms. The magical shopping streets are lit up with colorful lights and there’s a ice skating ring on the “Grote Markt”.
For a fairy-tail Christmas feeling you’re at the right address. Shop unique findings, eat waffles and drink delicious hot chocolate to top the day.

Ice Skating at one of Bruges Christmas Markets
Ice skating in Bruges, Belgium (source: short-breaks.com)

So which of the above Christmas Markets will you be visiting this year?

Love,

Elke

P.S: If you’re looking for the Christmas Spirit in Amsterdam, you should visit the Sunday market, Pure Market and Neighborhoods Foods Market this December. Also worth mentioning is the Christmas Market in Haarlem which is held on the 10th and 11th of December.

*Featured image source: www.europelandtravel.com

Planning a Winterbreak? These Are Some of the Best Ski Regions in Europe.

Winter is coming. Once the leaves begin to color and fall to the ground and my summer tan is definitely gone (as far as I had one to begin with), so are my desires for crystal clear oceans and coconuts. The winter child in me has awoken. Bring me the snow, the freezing cold and the mountains. But most of all, give me a snowboard to ride them. That’s right, nothing beats that feeling when you breathe in the fresh alpine oxygen, speeding down a perfectly prepped slope surrounded by white mountain peaks as far as your eyesight can reach. I don’t know about you, but those little moments of happiness happen everyday when I find myself in one of the many awesome (and some of the best) ski regions in Europe. And with the snowflakes coming down earlier and thicker than ever, it’s time to book your next ski trip (trust me)! Now, if you’re like me you know picking the right destination is a struggle every year. Which area has the right slopes, has snow certainty and will make you holiday awesome? To make this struggle a little easier on you this time, I’ve listed my five faves for you.

checking-out-the-best-ski-resorts-in-europe
Ready to rumble!

Avoriaz – Portes du Soleil, France
Now don’t go cold on me, but I’m not really the heavy après-ski kinda girl. Every day I get up early as F to try to make it in time for the first lift going up, to snowboard all day and go to bed at 10 PM because I’m to exhausted to function. Doesn’t mean I don’t sip on a few beers or a glühwein whenever the lifts close down, but no radical parties for me. Recognize yourself? Then you MUST go to Avoriaz, a little car-free village which is part of the Portes du Soleil ski area. You can’t really go wrong with a ski area that translates into ‘doors to the sun’, right? With 650 km of slopes, touching the French and Swiss border the true ski/board lover will have a non-stop grin on his or her face. The lifts are modern and very well connected. Avoriaz is quite cute compared to the French ski-village standard. There are some bars, shops and restaurants so you won’t starve. The fact that there are no cars allowed makes it the perfect place to stroll around at night and look up at the amazing sky full of stars above you. Don’t like walking? Well, you can get transported by enormous sledges, powered by actual horses. Oh the pure bliss. Oh and did I mention you can get on the slopes straight from any apartment?

Söll – SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser – Brixental, Austria
Up for a bit more true hospitality on your holiday? Head over to Austria for some alpine coziness in Söll. This is where you find the typical chalets and hotels and a hell of a lot more Schlager music when you enter the bar for that well deserved after-ski beer. With 284 km of slopes you won’t be bored easily. If you want to you can ski to a different village every day while passing numerous huts to indulge in some kaiserschmarrn (who doesn’t love scrambled pancakes) and coffees with cream. The latter is a bit more affordable in Austria then when going to France. Slopes here are wide, well prepped and fit for every kind of experience level. You do get lost quite easily here, but that’s part of the charm.

soll-one-of-the-best-ski-resorts-in-europe
Relaxing in Soll

Valfrejus – Valfrejus, France
With 61 Km of slopes, not a biggie but the area is only 4 hours away from Paris! But it is the perfect place for beginners on a budget. There aren’t that many lifts and the area is super compact, so the issue of losing your friends is non-existent in Valfrejus. The village is small and friendly with some nice little bars, and no cars (always a plus). You easily go up to the top of the mountain, eat a crepe in the sun and then take one of the wide slopes (or forest paths) down to the middle station to meet up with the rest of your friends. Perfect if you have some beginners, taking lessons, with you and want to meet up for lunch or a drink. To rent an apartment here is pretty cheap, same goes for your ski-pass. So don’t let a tight budget hold you down from booking a trip. But I must admit, this area does have some not so snowboard-friendly paths, if that cranks you up: make sure to pick the right tracks (the green slopes here are horrible ;-).

valfrejus of of the best ski resorts in Europe
Only 4 hours away from Paris!

Zell am Zee – Zell am Zee Kaprun, Austria
The Kaprun Glacier ensures white mountains, Zell am Zee village ensures a good time. The perfect place to go if you want to do some other stuff when your done skiing (ice hockey, sledging!). Where the glacier offers you pure white plains, the Zell am Zee area is more ‘ gemütlicher’ with lots of slopes between the threes and mountain cabins to drink hot cocoa. The lifts are modern, big and fast so you never have to spend a lot of time hanging and waiting in the air. With 138 km of slopes and most of them blue (easy), this is the place where you want to learn (it’s what I did) those perfect turns and brakes. Also, après-ski, much much better then in France. This place is full of lights and fun.

Les Arcs – Paradiski, French Alps
Paradiski, the word already says it: paradise. This place is gorgeous and not a surprise that it’s listed as one of the best ski regions in Europe. Well connected lifts, long rides, different scenery, awesome slopes. If it’s busy, you hardly notice it. I don’t think I ever waited longer than 2 minutes to get in the lift (apart from waiting for the big ass gondola’s that take 200 people at once) and there where so many options for day trips (if you have the extended ski-pass you can even head over to the La Plagne area). The total ski area of Paradiski offers 425 KM of slopes, never a dull moment. There are several villages in Les Arcs, of which I think Arc 1800 and Arc 1950 are the nicest with most restaurants and little shops. There are a number of bars, but don’t expect any of them to be really good. But buying some beers in the supermarket and just having fun with you friends in your accommodation is just as good right? Also, most apartments in Les Arcs are next to the slopes or just a couple minutes of walking!

lesarcs, one of the best ski regions in Europe
On top of the world!

lesarcs-at-night
Les Arcs at night

What’s your favorite place to enjoy wintersport? Of course there are so many great options to choose from when you are booking your ski trip. But I hope these little insights from a hardcore snowboard fan just gave you a bit more knowledge. My next trip is booked, how about yours?

Love,

Jill

*Jill is one of our guest bloggers living in Amsterdam (@jillgwendolyn) where she works as a content manager for a digital agency. She’s Crazy about traveling and has spend her studies in New Zealand . You can read a new article from Jill in every 3rd week of the month

Also read; A Winter Secret in Greece:

Vasilitsa

5 Amazing Autumn Destinations

As the leaves start to fall from the trees, it reminds us that Autumn is really here and it’s time to trade those skirts and short trousers for warm coats. During this time, a lot of travelers seek some sunshine. Here are 5 Autumn Destinations that you want to book now.

Lake Placid, New York
As voted by Booking.com and it’s travelers, this region is stunning during the Autumn season. Apart from the beautiful lake, there is a forest with colorful leaves and wild animals. Enjoy the view whilst sipping on a cup of hot chocolate from one of the cabins that you can rent during this time. Check out the Mirror Lake Inn Resort to get the luxurious break from it all.

Autumn Destinations
Stunning views over the lake at the mirror lake inn resort

Montreal, Canada
A friend of mine recently sent me some photo’s of  his trip to Montreal and I couldn’t believe the amount of colors in just one picture. Just wow. Besides the colors, this city gives you the feeling that you’re in Europe. The architecture, street art and food choices make it feel like New York, Berlin and Buenos Aires are added into a blender and poured in your glass. Drink up and enjoy! Flights from Amsterdam are available from around €600.

montreal-as-autumn-destination
Source: www.mtlblog.com

Budapest, Hungary
This city is beautiful during the Fall but there’s also lot’s to do! There are several Autumn festivals going on like the Cafe Budapest Contemporary Art Festival which runs between 7th and 23rd of October. The summer crowds have disappeared so Budapest is a lot comfortable to explore during this time as it can be very busy during high season.  Outdoor temperatures remain mild but if you want to heat up, you should try one of the many bathhouses the city has to offer. When it comes to food, you can totally find your taste as they offer something for the carnivores but also have lot’s of veggie and vegan options available. Flights to Budapest go from as little as 200 euro if you book for this month.

Budapest in Autumn

Black Forest, Germany
Now, I have been here many times because my sister lives here and I can’t get enough of it. During summer, all you see is green and during Autumn is like a field of colors with snowy mountains in the background. My favorite city near the black forest has to be Freiburg. This is a cute student city near the border of Switzerland and France is packed with lot’s of cute German restaurants, shops and market squares. It was actually voted one of the best cities to live in Germany because of the fresh air, lack of danger and good schools. My boyfriend took his motorbike this summer and crossed through part of the forest so you can only imagine how it looks when the colors are there. You can fly to Baden-Baden or Basel with Easyjet for around €100 euro from Europe.

Black forest Germany
The black forest during summer

Prague, Czech Republic
This destination is great if you only have a little to spend but still want to get away. Sarah and I were there during spring time and we also noticed the nature that surrounded this city. Many visitors never set a foot out of old town and although that completely understandable, it’s a shame because just outside the city walls you will find something quiet beautiful. You can do a lot of hiking and enjoy stunning views. 60km outside Prague you will find the Kokořínsko Nature Reserve for example. If you still want to opt for the city itself, you won’t be disappointing. Food is super tasty and so cheap to other European standards! To read our Prague city guide, check here

Old town square Prague

 

Are you going to book any of these last minute Autumn destinations?

Love,

Elke

5 hotspots in Curacao you need to visit

12 days of sun, food and relaxing before my baby is due. I can recommend that to anyone! Curacao isn’t new for me. I actually visit the island every year to see my friends and family. So you could say I’m quite familiar with this small Caribbean island. Every time I’m there I love to check out new places to spend the day or go for a bite. And that’s exactly what I did this time! These are my 5 favorite hotspots in Curacao!

Madero Ocean Club
People who travel to Curacao for quite some years now probably know Mambo Beach. Well, say goodbye to Mambo en welcome Madero Ocean Club. This stylish beach club is part of the renewed Beach Boulevard and very popular among tourists. If we’re talking about hotspots in Curacao, this is it! I love coming here on Sunday afternoon when the DJ is playing my favorite lounge tunes. www.maderooceanclub.com

madero-ocean-club-1

8 The Experience
This place is my number one must-visit when I’m in Curacao ad I recommend it to anyone who is planning on going. 8 The Experience is an exclusive Spa, which opened in early 2015. It’s located on the west side of the island on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Talking about dramatic views! I love to take a massage in the morning and literally spend all day on their comfortable beds next to the meditation pool. Refreshing cocktail anyone? www.8curacao.com

Spa hotspots in Curacao

Karakter
If you take the path down to the beach from 8 The Experience you will arrive at beach club Karakter. If you’ve have ever visited Curacao you know this island has a lot of beach clubs from all different kinds, but Karakter is definitely one of my favorite. Not necessarily to swim but I love that it’s located in a quiet bay. The beach club really has a relaxed vibe and the lunch menu is worth the car ride! www.karaktercuracao.com

karakter hotspots in Curacao

Mosa
My friend took me to this new restaurant and I’m so thankful that she did! Mosa can best be described as intimate, personal and delicious. Mosa is a small shared dining restaurant with an introduction to Bistronomy (bistro + gastronomy). Try the red beet salad with mango and feta cheese or the octopus with chorizo and black olives aioli. Definitely one of the new hotspots in Curacao! Facebook

BijBlauw
Romantic dinner for two? Go to BijBlauw in Willemstad. This restaurant is part of a boutique hotel and a favorite among locals and tourists because of the ambiance and service. Enjoy your dinner on the outside terrace listening to the sound of the ocean hitting the rocks. BijBlauw is actually located in a street with the beautiful colorful houses the island is known for. Make sure you have the time, before or after dinner, to takes some pictures. Believe me, this whole street is Instagram worthy ;) www.bijblauw.com

bijblauw hotspots in Curacao

Love,

Gala

*Gala is one of our guest bloggers from from the Netherlands with Caribbean roots. She knows everything about beachwear and shares her best finds and summer essentials for Wander-Lust this season. Check out her blog mybikinimusthaves.com. You can follow Gala on Instagram for bikini inspiration!

6 great work spots in Amsterdam

As a freelancer I work pretty much everywhere. On Monday I always work from home just because it’s harder to wake up that morning-so-I-might-as-well-chill. On the other days I plan in a few meetings and they could be anywhere throughout my home town. For this reason you can find me and my laptop in several lunch or coffee bars throughout Amsterdam. Somehow I always seem to return to a few where I really like to work. These are my favorites work spots in Amsterdam with free wifi:

Friday Next, Overtoom 31
The overtoom is only one tram ride away for me and if I needed to pick one spot to work, it would be Friday Next. It’s a breakfast, lunch and concept store into one. You can buy cool furniture pieces, accessorizes and eat a good lunch. The cafe is split into 2 sections. You can sit outside or near the entrance or you can opt for a more quieter space in the back where most of the shop is situated. The tables are steady, the service is good but not pushy and I always get tons of work done. I’m not the only one who likes to work there but it’s never overcrowded. I will be there next Friday (or the next) ;-) Website

work spots in Amsterdam
Love this place, Friday Next

Coffee & Toast, Burgemeester Rendorpstraat 11-15
If you live in Amsterdam new west you will like me mentioning this one. It’s a bikershop, lunchroom and barber all into one. They are a rare sight in this neighborhood but stand out in their own right. When I work here I can listen to cool music from sting, the rolling stones and eat a great toasty. It’s also near to the Sloterpark so if you feel like going for a walk to clear your head, it’s the perfect spot. To find out more about Coffee & Toast, check here.

Looiedet Coffee & Toast
Coffee & Toast

The Hoxton, Herengracht 255
Okok, this one has been mentioned soooo many times but I would lie if I said this isn’t one of the best  work spots in Amsterdam. Big chairs, open spaces and tout creative Amsterdam walks in and out, making it a freelance hub where you can network your ass off if you have to. The only point of critic I have, is that they have a problem with making a killer Latte Machiato. They just can’t seem to get that foamy part right. (believe me I’ve tried many times) Despite this minor detail, I always come back for a work session during the week. Website

The Student Hotel, West & East Amsterdam
You may have heard from this one but did you know it’s the perfect place to work? There is plenty of space and the chairs are comfortable to work in when you’re a laptop-on-lap kind of person. They have 2 locations, one in West and one in East Amsterdam so take your pick. Website

Coffee Lounge at B-Amsterdam, Johan Huizingalaan 763a
B’s living room (as they call it), you can work, have meetings, welcome your guests or simply relax after a busy day. They offer a daily lunch buffet, snacks, drinks and fresh coffee throughout the day! More on B-Amsterdam soon! Website

B-Amsterdam coffee lounge
Creative and cool, B-Amsterdam

T’s
Situated in Amsterdam West, this is a pretty special work spot. Instead of coffee, you can drink the best kind of Tea’s. Enough tables,plugs and the tea menu is something I can’t get enough of. Ice tea, popcorn tea, beauteas! To learn more about this amazing work spot in Amsterdam, check my review

Ts Amsterdam

Overrated Work Spots in Amsterdam
There is something a bit daunting about HOTspots. They become so hot, that they burn out a little bit and so did these:
» Coffee & Coconuts, when you arrive it’s running for a table or you need to touch elbows with your freelancer neighbors. Great for those tasty coconuts and coffee but not to work.
» La Place in the Public Library, It’s too noisy. Period. 
» At Home, Yes I work from home every Monday but I seriously get so much less work done than I would do in a different environment. I have 2 bunnies that are just to cute to ignore, plus I do the occasional dancing through the living room if a nice song comes on. Not one of the best work spots in Amsterdam.

Work Work Work Work Work Rihanna said so we might a well do it at a good spot. Enjoy the free wifi and let me know what your favorite work spot is!

Love,

Elke

Top 5 Secret Spots in Amsterdam

I love discovering places in my hometown that are a little under the radar. But then again, I like these places because they are quiet and not over popular. For this reason I had to think twice before writing this article. But we started this blog not to keep the best things for ourselves but to share them with the world so here we go. These are the top 5 secret spots in Amsterdam!

1. De Cantina
Word of mouth or a bicycle ride takes you to this secret spot in Amsterdam West. I live far into west Amsterdam so for me it was only a matter of time before I discovered De Cantina. This place is amazing. They serve coffee, cake, homemade lemonade and sandwiches with ingredients from their own garden or local produce. Nothing major but it’s the location and use of space that makes this secret spot worth mentioning. De Cantina is situated in between the “1800 roerden” an creative area where artists work. De Cantina is also part of “Het Rijk van de Keizer” which is a location that can be used for weddings, parties and dinners. You can lay in the sunshine deck on a fatboy, hammock or chill in an old car wreck. Find a spot in the shade under umbrella’s tucked away in between the trees. Don’t be surprised if you see chickens walking around, this is normal! So grab your bike and head for some peace and quiet!
De Cantina
Joris van Den Berghweg 109, Amsterdam
www.hetrijkvandekeizer.nl

De Cantina Amsterdam
Overlooking the Dutch landscape

De cantina
So peaceful

Chilling in a car at De Cantina
Chillin’ in a car, well.. half a car!

2. Bar Porem
This secret bar is so cool that we have to tell you about it! If you live in Amsterdam, you may have heard of a restaurant called Gheisa. It’s one of the best places for sushi and Asian fusion cuisine. On the way to the toilet was a large space that wasn’t used in the most effective way. A big shame because that space had great potential! When 2 friends from Amsterdam heard this, they didn’t have to think long about what to do with it. Both experienced cocktail shakers, they decided to create a typical Amsterdam Cocktail bar with a menu inspired by some of Amsterdam’s most famous characters such as Johan Cruyf and Andre Hazes. The wall is decorated with framed pictures and classic bottles. The interior is brown yet stylish and there are around 6 tables to sit at. Bar Porem isn’t so easy to find. No, you need to check the door closely and ring the left doorbell for someone to open. and ssst, don’t tell just anybody about this place.
Bar Porem
Geldersekade 17, Amsterdam
www.poremamsterdam.com

Bar Porem Amsterdam
Our cocktails at Bar Porem

3. Hotel de Windketel
This tiny hotel is right in the middle of Amsterdam, yet nobody realizes it’s a place where you can spend the night at. It’s a freestanding octagonal brick tower and was built in 1897 as part of Amsterdam’s water works. Most buildings like that get destroyed but not this one. It now features as a luxury apartment for 2 equipped with a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and living space. The nice part is, that it’s in a really nice quiet area of Amsterdam, but only a 10 minute walk from the Jordaan. It’s not the cheapest option (325 for 2 nights) but certainly the best kept secret when it comes to hotels! Perfect for a romantic getaway..
Hotel de Windketel
Watertorenplein 8c, Amsterdam
www.windketel.nl

Secret spots in Amsterdam, De Windketel
So tiny, you might miss it

Hotel de Windketel Amsterdam secret spots
The living space at Hotel De Windketel

bedroom Hotel De windketel
Bedroom in the Windketel

4. ‘T Nieuwe Diep
If you know your way into East Amsterdam, you may have heard of this secret spot that is hidden in the Flevopark. Nevertheless, it’s always worth a visit. At ‘T Nieuwe Diep, you can feast your taste buds because they have their own distillery and organic produce. Yes, they serve coffee and tea but they are most famous for their cider, gin, liqueur and bitters. (don’t know it? try it!) There is a patio over the water and although the crowd isn’t as hip and happening as in other places, this is perfect for a relaxing moment in Amsterdam. During summer, the’re open from 3pm till 8pm Mon-Sun.
‘T Nieuwe Diep
Flevopark 13, Amsterdam
www.nwediep.nl

"t Nieuwe Diep secret spots in Amsterdam

'T Nieuwe Diep, Amsterdam secret spots
‘T nieuwe diep in Flevopark Amsterdam

5. Theehuis De Aker
This tea house is right next door to where I live. Next to the water where you can make your way up to the Amsterdam Forest or towards the road to Amsterdam’s nearest beach, Zandvoort. It used to be an old waterpump mill that was used to dry the ground back in the 19th century. I love this place because they collaborate with non-profit foundation the Vrije Geer, so people with a disability can work a few hours a day and serve you coffee, tea, cakes and lunch. The Aker mill has been restored a few times and is the only remaining hydraulic engineering work between Halfway and Amstelveen. 
Theehuis De Aker
Zwarte Pad 30, Amsterdam
www.deakermolen.nl

Tea House De Aker
The perfect stop after a bicycle ride

So there you have it, 5 secret spots in Amsterdam that you may not have heard of. Let’s be gentle with these places as they are not your average hotspots where you can take out your laptop and have a conference call. No, these spots are here for you to enjoy some peace and quiet in a hectic city like Amsterdam.

Love,

Elke

5 countries you should add to your bucketlist this year

When you travel as often as I do, the world becomes smaller and you would think my bucketlist becomes shorter right? No way! My list is growing by the year as many countries are opening their doors to tourism, making it easier to travel to.

The Philippines
I’m happy to say that I’ve finally managed to cross this country off my bucketlist because it had been on there for a while. I flew over to Manila in December to continue my way over to Cebu, Bohol and Palawan. So why visit The Philippines this year? Unlike Thailand, this country doesn’t have a lot of tourist, yet. But The Philippines are becoming more popular with couples, friends and backpackers. It’s Asia, so it’s cheap and there are more than 7000 islands for you to enjoy. The people here aren’t ruined by tourism and almost everybody speaks English which makes it much easier to communicate. Planning to go this year? The best time to visit is between november and March when the typhoon season is it’s lowest. For tips about where to go and what to do check out my articles about The Philippines.

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Peace and quiet on Bantayan Island in Cebu

Papua New Guinea
Visitors should note that travelling in PNG is challenging to say the least. Paved roads are rare to traveling is quite bumpy and sometimes you’ll need to cross a few rain-forests and rivers. The weather can be quite unpredictable so it’s difficult to say when it’s the best time to go but May to October would be your best bet. But once you get there you will be rewarded with the most amazing rugged ecological beauty, little known dive sites, stunning peaks and sleep in real rainforest villages where you’ll meet the tribes. The best part of this country has to be the amazing Raja Ampat, located just off the northwest tip of West Papua. Raja Ampat is a cluster of over 1,500 small islands which lay in the province of Indonesia. Get your diving gear ready because Raja Ampat is called the amazone of the ocean. To get there you must fly over to Sorong in West Papua (flight go from Bali for example) after that you’ll have to make your way to Waisai, which is the capital of Raja Ampat.

Bucketlist Raja Ampat.
Stunning Raja Ampat

Hawaii
Although it’s a state of the USA, it belongs on this year’s bucketlist. The country is running out of teachers so they are desperately looking for applicants and you don’t even need a degree in teaching! According to Hawaii News Now, Hawaiian officials expect up to 1,600 vacancies in their schools. Besides this opportunity, Hawaii has some of the most beautiful scenery and polls show that it’s one of the nation’s healthiest and happiest states. Unfortunately the house prices are still high so maybe a move wouldn’t be the best option but why visit New York when you can surf and dance on Hawaii right?

Bucketlist 2016. Hawaii

Burma
Until recently, Burma was off limits to adventure seekers and travelers. But after five decades of military rule and consequent democratic reform, this Asian country has finally opened doors to tourism. Burma offers beautiful temples, real adventure and kind people. No, you won’t find a Mc Donalds or Starbucks anywhere and this is how Asia should be in my mind.

Bucketlist 2016. Burma Photot by Roxanne Desgagnes
Burma is full of beautiful temples.

Nepal
Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their homes in the devastating earthquake back in 2015 but the country is slowly getting restored. This also means that the tourist industry is getting back to business and trekking routes are re-opened. It’s important for Nepal to get it’s tourism back on it’s feet and we are the ones that can make it happen. Choose homestays instead of big hotels to make sure your money ends up in local pockets. Nepal features varied landscapes and local species such as tigers, rhino’s and elephants, making it a wonderful place to visit in 2016. Fly to Kathmandu, Nepal international airport but it get’s busy during late Sept to mid-Nov and late Feb to late March and flight can be booked up for months so plan well ahead.

Bucketlist 2016. Nepal
Getting back on her feet; Nepal

So which of these 5 will you add to your bucketlist this year?

Love,

Elke