We met each other in high school, but only started dating after graduating. When we both graduated from university, we went on a 6-month trip through Asia.
We always loved going on smaller trips together, but our trip through Asia really sparked our love of travel. Since then, we’ve been to so many amazing places as a travel couple.
We were very happy to experience the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Korea. The Netherlands usually performs very well at ice-skating and it was amazing to see our athletes win. The entire atmosphere during the Olympics was great too!
Another experience that we remember very well was the kindness of the Japanese people. We went snowboarding in the mountains of Japan and took a local bus from the train station to the village our hotel was in.
When we got off the bus with our luggage and were trying to figure out where we were and which direction we needed to go to, a man drove past us and probably saw us struggling.
He couldn’t speak English but he insisted on bringing us to our hotel (which we showed on the map) so we wouldn’t have to walk in the snow. The snow came to our knees so we were actually glad we didn’t have to walk. Never had we experienced such kindness before!
Our Favourite Destinations as a Travel Couple
Our favourite country is Spain. There are so many beautiful cities in Spain, which makes it a great country for exploring. Madrid has a special place in our hearts. Joop studied there for a semester, and every two to three weeks we would spend a long weekend together in Madrid.
Since then, we try to return every year. We just love wandering the streets of Madrid and enjoying the Spanish sun and food. We always make sure to walk around Retiro Park and we never leave without visiting our favourite restaurants: Lateral and La Musa.
Our favorite memory as a travel couple is not just one experience but an entire destination we visited. Hong Kong immediately felt familiar to us, even though it was a completely different world from what we were used to. We were amazed by all the skyscrapers, never had we seen so many of them so densely packed.
We loved that the locals spend so much time outdoors, which is not common in Asia due to the hot and humid weather. Most of all, we loved that it is such a bustling city which was also easy to walk around. Ever since leaving Hong Kong, we’ve been thinking about going back!
Travel Highlights in 2019 and Plans for 2020
Our biggest travel highlight of 2019 was our trip to New York and California. We saw so many amazing places and diverse landscapes. From cities like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, to the mountains of Yosemite and the desert in Palm Springs and Joshua Tree.
In 2019, we also visited many European destinations and, even though they were all great, our favourite was definitely Oslo. We really loved the exploration and the diversity of the city.
As there were many mountains nearby we even managed to do a short hike even though we were there for two days. We would love to go back someday to see more of the city and of course to see more of Norway.
For now, we have only booked one trip in 2020, which is to Paris. We’ve both been to Paris before, but never together. We think it is about time we visit the city of love together!
Besides Paris, we’re thinking about doing a road trip through the Bavaria region in Germany and a road trip along the east coast of Australia. Living in Europe makes it easy to go on weekend trips abroad, so we’re most certainly going to go on many more trips in 2020.
Essential Tips for Thriving as a Travel Couple
The biggest surprise is how easy it is to travel together. Most of the time, traveling is fun, but it isn’t always. Things can go wrong as a travel couple (taking a bus to the wrong airport in Osaka, Japan), but we always deal with our travel problems as a team.
We never blame each other when things go wrong, because we are in this together. This way, we never face challenges in our relationship because of traveling. Traveling can be tiring and that can make one of us (or both) cranky, but we always try to cheer each other up with some jokes and that works very well.
When it comes to accommodation, we only stay in nice hotels when it’s relatively cheap for us to do so, for instance in Malaysia. Usually, we opt for a budget hotel or an Airbnb apartment (sometimes a little bit outside of the city centre).
We always read the reviews of the budget hotels as we don’t want to sleep or shower with bugs (we once had an experience like this). If we’re not sure about the cleanliness, we will choose a slightly more expensive option.
In Japan, we travelled a lot by bullet train between our destinations. This was way easier and faster than going there by plane. However, not every country has good railroad connections, so it’s not always possible.
Regarding traveling between destinations, convenience is key for us. We love traveling by train as it’s way more convenient than traveling by plane. Even if there is a security check, it’s always way quicker than at the airport and the train seats are always more comfortable than plane seats.
Why you should Visit the Netherlands (our Home-Country)
We think the Netherlands is a beautiful country with many picturesque cities worth visiting. The old buildings along the canals are unique and a beautiful sight to see. Besides Amsterdam, which can’t be missed when visiting the Netherlands, we love Rotterdam.
In contrast to other cities in the Netherlands, Rotterdam is a modern city with skyscrapers and modern buildings. This is a result of the WWII bombings which almost destroyed Rotterdam, so it had to be rebuilt.
Since Rotterdam is completely different from other cities in the Netherlands, we think it’s a must-visit when you’re in the Netherlands.
A Dutch seasonal favourite for us are the tulip fields. Every year from mid-April to mid-May, the Netherlands is filled with colourful tulip fields.
There are so many of these fields and when you drive across the countryside, you will probably stumble upon a few. We make sure to visit the tulip fields every year during the right season.
Thanks for reading about our life as a travel couple. We hope our adventures inspire you to get out there and explore the world!