- Our very first home-grown radish! It was delicious!
- I took some pictures of our friends house for AirBnB. Click here to check it out, if you’re ever in Haarlem or Amsterdam I recommend staying here!
- My favorite picture of us. I’m thinking of framing it.
- One of our dreams is to one day publish our own cookbook. Slowly we’re collecting recipes. As part of our research we rarely eat the same meal twice and we try to cook something new at least 4 times a week. This week we made this roasted parsnip and apple soup. Surprisingly tasty.
- Every sunday a bunch of food trucks gather near our house and cook up delicious things. This sunday was curry, ravioli and quesadilla’s
- Nick and the ravioli.
- What do you call a food truck that serves drinks? A drink truck? A beer truck?
- Nick never fails to make me laugh, even when I’m in the middle of a big gulp of beer.
- Angie makes really cool stuff
- This oversized wintercoat has been keeping me warm
- We took some pictures for our friend who owns a vintage furniture shop
- This store is great. Good food, awesome branding.
- Somehow this bread took four hours in the oven before it was done.
- Nick taught our dog to walk without a leash. Best thing ever. Hands free dog walking!
- The ceiling of the National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam.
- Amsterdam and the National Maritime Museum.
Last year when we skipped winter because we were traveling in Asia, we missed it. The cold weather, the snow, staying indoors, short days. When winter came around we were incredibly excited, we bought winter coats, hats and gloves and we were ready to take this winter and love the hell out of it.
We waited and waited but no winter came. And now spring is already upon us. I can’t believe this was it! I didn’t even get to wear my gloves and the temperature went below zero on no more than two days. Not a single flake of snow!
And yet, spring feels like an awakening. The days are getting longer and when I ride my bike I hear birds singing their songs all around me. Nick said to me the other day “Babe, you’re like an excited puppy whenever there’s a sunny day” and I guess I am. I can’t wait for spring and summer and I’m already looking forward to next winter. Because who knows, we might get some snow next year.
How was your winter?
- I really want a donkey
- This is a five-minute drive from our house
- Fall forest walks
- My little maniac, running around on the beach and eating seaweed
- That smile
- I love signs like this
- Yes, there is a giant papa smurf in the background
- Our friends came over for a weekend of fun
We’ve been doing a lot of hiking in between work lately. We’re enjoying the amazing nature of the Frisian island of Texel until we move back to the city in a few weeks. We visited the beach, the dunes and the forest this past week, and the calm this island radiates works wonders for our creativity. Texel has a unique ecosystem in the Slufter, a dune valley where sea water comes in on the tides. All kinds of rare plants grow here, including statice and glasswort. If you visit in the right season, you can pick it and eat it right away, or use at home in a salad. Make sure not to stray too far, or you’ll disturb some nesting birds, and get yourself a fine to boot.
We’ve been super productive lately, and one of the reasons for it are these moments of blissful recharge. Also, we just got Basecamp, and it’s awesome. If you do any project-based work we can highly recommended it! (not sponsored by Basecamp, just really loving it).
Have a great weekend, take a walk, eat some plants and enjoy.
- Every time I look at him I still think he is the most handsome man out there
- Farmers market
- Making coconut bread
- I want to live here
- Coffee at Brandmeesters, reconnecting with our friend Mike who runs the place
- Looking at paper samples at the Monsterkamer
- Can you spot him?
- Lunch at our friends house. She has the best kitchen ever
Last night I woke up in the middle of the night with a sore throat. I don’t know what it is about waking up in the middle of the night but somehow everything seems so much worse.
In just a few minutes I convinced myself this was the worst I had ever felt. I started thinking about what could be wrong with me, because these pains could not possibly be just flu. I have had the flu and this was so much worse than the flu. After some Googling I was pretty sure this was a belated Malaria attack that would for sure be the end of me. Needless to say, I did not sleep well after that.
‘Yes I think I might have Malaria and I need you to tell me if I’m right’. On the phone with the doctor my craziness started sinking in a little, but I went through with it anyway. Because what if it IS malaria? I could be slowly dying and I wouldn’t even know. Turns out, it’s just a mild case of the common flu.
One of the reasons I worried so much: we never took any anti-malaria pills while we were traveling and we did visit some high risk areas. I also got a million mosquito bites. So there, I’m not completely crazy for thinking I have malaria. I’m just a little prone to overreaction every once in a while.
So here’s to crazy midnight thoughts and the flu! I hope you all don’t catch the flu the coming fall season!
- Early morning walk with the dogs
- Making an apple & pear crumble. Recipe coming on monday
- You’re never too old to play with a frisbee
- I can’t believe I live here now. So insanely beautiful
- This dog is one of the craziest dogs ever
- Working on the apple & pear crumble
- The place we live is only 5 minutes from the sea
- Our friend came over and brought a local buttercake
Do you ever feel like you do a lot but you don’t get anything done? I’ve felt like this all week.I feel stressed and like I should be working on something. But at the end of the day, I have nothing to really show for. Starting next week, I’m going to work more organised and efficient. I have complete faith in myself. This will work.
I always have lots of plans and ideas. My mind is constantly thinking about how to make things better.
Inspired by Color Overboard‘s Month of Effort, I decided to put my thoughts into action. It started with making a list of 10 things I wanted to achieve this month. Tomorrow is the end of my month of effort and I loved it. It gave me some perspective and direction. I can really recommend you to look into it and give it a try. It makes focussing on what you want to achieve a lot easier.
I get easily distracted and can lose sight of where I want to go. Nick calls this my ‘shiny problem’. According to him every time I see something interesting, I drift off. Like a crow, seeing something shiny (She does! It goes like: ‘Ooooh, shiny!’). Does this make sense? The joys of being in a relationship. You develop your own language and quirks after a while. When we started living here with Nick’s dad and brother we really had to adjust. While on the road we often only had each other to talk to and we almost became that weird couple that no one understands because they have too many insiders jokes.
Normally I have Nick edit posts like this, to make them coherent and so it doesn’t show how easily I derail. I started out with sharing about my Month of Effort. I end up talking about our own relationship language. I’ve got the ability to do this during any activity, at any time. Sometimes I just drift off. Or see something shiny.
What do you think? Are you trying a Month of Effort? Any tips for me to be less distracted all the time?
- We’re so glad to have our bikes back.
- This little owl stole my heart. It’s so fluffy!
- We made our own Pho from scratch and these were some of the spices. Recipe coming soon!
- This gorgeous island with its blue skies
- Fence covered in wool. There are so many sheep here.
- Ice at the local ‘ice cream-farm’.
- A tiny manual sluice.
- All of the ice cream is made from cows milked on site.
This last week, we’ve been riding our bikes around the island, discovering little treasures like the tiny manual sluice (this does sound really Dutch doesn’t it? Who else has a sluice near his house?). These last day of summer are filled with bright days and cold nights. I hope they last forever.
Before we left home to travel, we sold everything we owned. We only kept a few boxes of really important stuff and our bikes.
It’s so weird when you have nothing, no possessions. In a way it is total freedom. There is nothing crowding our rooms and minds. I never have to worry about what I’m going to wear. I only have one pair of shoes. We own nothing except for some clothes, the few souvenirs we bought and some boxes with pictures and such.
It does make it difficult for us to really feel at home. When nothing is yours, it’s hard to make a place feel like home, even though we’re there. We were really looking forward to feeling at home again, something we never really felt while traveling. Don’t be mistaken, there were plenty of places where we felt awesome. But we were always looking for a home, and it seems we’re going to have to stick it out a little while longer. Or at least until we’ve got a place we can give the love and fill with the stuff a life needs.
How are you enjoying your last weeks of summer?
If you are one of the lucky few who has been to Austria, you know. You know how incredibly awesome Austria is. Lots of people don’t even consider Austria while traveling around Europe, because what is there to do except The Sound of Music and skiing? Well, there are cows and sheep and a whole lot of pretty things to be seen.
Austria surprised us. When we first arrived, after eleven months in Asia and 15 hours on a plane, our first impression was terrible. Nobody was paying attention to us, nothing was going on and where was all the noise? After a day or two, we started to see the beauty in the boring. There was nobody that wanted our money or tried to hustle us, no fear of getting run over by a scooter constantly and oh my, the quietness while walking around the city was magnificent. I couldn’t get over how fresh the air is. I think I missed that most, fresh air and cool nights. I never appreciated that as much as I do now.
We traveled around a bit in Austria. We stayed in Vienna for two weeks. Vienna is a very vibrant city, especially in summer time. Everyone is sitting in the parks, drinking g’spritzter (best summer drink ever) and the days just don’t seem to end.
From Vienna we took a train to Salzburg. The train network in Austria is really good and not too expensive, which makes traveling around Austria very easy and equally relaxing. The trains are comfortable and the views from the windows are stunning. Salzburg is a boring little town, not too much going on there. Its economy is based on The Sound of Music-tourism and for us, it lacked personality. We did find a little coffee shop that served one of the best coffees we ever tasted.
In Salzburg, Nick’s dad picked us up and we spent 10 more days in a little bungalow in Wagrain. Here we spent most of our time hiking up mountains, drinking g’spritzter, radler and having a great time sharing our adventures with family. I also climbed my first real mountain there!
However much we love being back in Europe, we miss Asia daily and dearly. We’ve grown to love it, and we can’t wait to revisit pieces we’ve seen and all we haven’t in the future. We’re going to explore the nooks and crannies of our home continent, Europe, now, and we haven’t decided what’s next, but who knows. Sparrow in Space might be coming to a place near you. Stay posted.
Have you ever been to Austria?
A lot of people have asked us why we fell in love with Indonesia. Well, you know those moments when you are where you are supposed to be and everything feels just right? We had that feeling for the whole four weeks we were in Indonesia and for the first time in eleven months, we felt not just great, but truly at home. The moment we arrived in Jakarta we knew. Even though Jakarta is a raw, dirty and grey city, we knew this country was magic.
We left Jakarta as soon as we could, this is not a city where you want to spend too many days. We took a train to Yogyakarta, where we planned to stay for five days, before flying to Bali. Traveling in Indonesia is easy. Everyone speaks a little bit of English and if they don’t, someone else will. And like everywhere, everyone appreciates it if you try to speak at least a little of the local language (I can say hello, thank you and milk (which is the cutest word: susu).
We didn’t know much about Yogyakarta, just that everyone we met told us to go there. Yogyakarta did not disappoint at all. What a great city. We stayed at the city center, close to the main street. This made it easy for us to explore the city on foot but because of the insane heat, we opted to take a becak (a sort of tuktuk) most of the time.
From Yogyakarta we took a plane to Bali. The promised land. Shangri-La. This is where the magic happens. More clichés. And they’re true. Bali and Lembongan Island are amazing places. We spent some time in Ubud, where we drank a lot of healthy juices. In Padangbai we went snorkeling for the first time and loved it. Why didn’t anyone tell us it was this great? We would have done it months ago. In Canggu we spent some time with friends from Holland who live on Bali now, and have an amazing homestay, with the best breakfast in Asia.
We felt sad leaving Indonesia. But not too sad because we know we will be coming back here. As soon as we can.
Have you ever fallen in love with a country?
When you’re traveling, you get so many stimuli, you are influenced by everything that you see, think, do, smell and hear. All of these things can help you grow immensely as a person, but you really need to take some time to reflect upon all of these things, or you’ll just get stuck. Taking some time off the road every once in awhile is important to me, to us. Because it helps me grow as an individual. And as a couple, by giving us time and space to reflect on and process everything we’ve experienced together.
It also gives us the chance to really get to know a place, and love it even more than you would during a usual encounter of a couple of days. Chiang Mai is one of the place where we grew some roots. We had an apartment for a month, just outside of the city near the mountains. It was quiet, sunny and homely, just what we needed for a while. We had such a great time here, there were amazing late night conversations and we learned so much. Chiang Mai is a city forever in our hearts (yes this is a cliché).
- spotted some beautiful buildings while walking around Ipoh, Malaysia
- a few hours later he was gone and the wall was white again
- dipping my toes in the cold Koh Tao waters
- Georgetown, Penang
- Lunch at Daily Dose in Georgetown. One of the best places to have lunch. Mugshot café was another favorite.
- he is so handsome
- wise seagul
Life in Kuala Lumpur is good. We are renting a room with a German lady, a botanist who has lived here for 30+ years. She is very passionate about her garden and has the most fantastic collection of cacti. She grows her own papaya, has successfully harvested her own cloves (apparently not an easy thing to do) and keeps big pots of fresh peppercorns around the house. Her garden is a dream.
I have been wondering for a while now if it is possible to give a typical Asian house more of a European/Scandinavian feeling. It is. Asian houses tend to feel cold and practical with fluorescent lightning and mismatched furniture. One of the reasons I could not see ourselves living in Asia. But she has shown me that it can be done. Her house is zen heaven with a lot of wood and beautiful textiles on the walls, table and floor. She has cupboards filled with ceramics. She has made a lot of those herself. I’m a sucker for homemade ceramics, especially white bowls. I might ask her if I can take some pictures and put them up here.
Now if someone could come and give us an umbrella. It’s raining again!