After living for six years in the Netherlands, I am blessed with many incredible memories and friendships. Moreover, travel has always been a large part of my life. Before I moved in February 2011, I visited Europe three times. England was my first European experience and that was the trip that actually sparked my desire to move abroad. When I moved to Amsterdam, though, naturally I wanted to keep exploring. I felt geographically closer, and my thirst to experience the world – my wanderlust – continued to blossom and grow. Plus the Dutch capita provides the perfect gateway to explore the rest of Europe. Read about the adventures I embarked on while living overseas.
Friday evening I attended a memorial service for Peter Waltz, one of the owners featured in my book, Flavors of Life. Peter passed away on September 15, 2016. Peter had been courageously battling cancer for the last two-plus years. I know he is now at peace and free from pain, but it is incredibly sad when someone is taken from this world at such a young age. 44 years old. My heart goes out to Blaine and Peter’s family; my sincerest condolences.
I didn’t know Peter that long, but I felt like we knew each other forever. I had this special connection with them; they welcomed me with open arms. I feel so incredibly honored I was able to tell Peter and Blaine’s story. I consider myself lucky to have met this kind and caring man. Peter touched so many lives, in countless ways, and he has impacted mine, as well. Peter, you will always be remembered, and you will always be with us. Rest in peace.
Unfortunately, one of the owners featured in my book, Nikos Tsiaxiras, passed away suddenly on April 14, 2016. My heart broke at hearing this news. Too young, too soon. At the memorial on Sunday, May 15, we had a chance to say goodbye. I heard many stories, about who he was as a husband, father, businessman, and friend… He touched so many lives, whether through his warm smile, delicious food, or beautiful music.
I feel so incredibly honored that I was able to tell Nikos’ story. I consider myself lucky to have met this kind and caring man. He touched so many lives, and he has impacted mine, as well. Nikos, you will always be remembered. Rest in peace.
On Thursday, August 6th I had the opportunity to meet the founder of #CultureTrav and my co-host Nicolette Orlemans of Culture With Travel in person. The two of us talk via social media almost daily, so it was special to meet up (finally!) in Amsterdam. Maaike van Kuijk of Travellous World, a regular #CultureTrav chatter whom I had met prior, was able to join us, as well.
We had ideal weather and a day filled with meaningful discussions – about travel, culture and friendship. We ended the gathering with #CultureTrav, an online travel-related Twitter chat that takes place every Thursday at 2:30 p.m. EST (8:30 p.m. CET). This week in particular was extra special, as we planned to discuss the topic “Memories.” The chat brought back some fond memories. The timing was also fitting as I just returned from the United States, where I was visiting family and going through old photo albums and pictures. All of these activities combined made me nostalgic, and I would like to share some of these wonderful travel and childhood memories with you.
Thank you so much to Elizabeth and Dale from E&D Abroad and Nicolette Orlemans of Culture With Travel for the Liebster Award nomination. I am truly honored by the gesture. I really enjoyed answering your thoughtful questions and am excited to share them with you today.
Four years. That is precisely how long I have been living in the Netherlands. My days are pretty routine, just like any other day in any other country. I wake up, spend majority of the day working, exercise, eat and sleep. Sometimes I mix in social engagements or other leisure activities. Every so often it feels as if I’m in this dream-like state, where any moment I’m going to wake up in my childhood bed in Detroit. I’m not where I grew up, though. I am not in the United States. I am in Holland.