Your travel designer for tailor-made slow travel experiences
Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown - Anthony Bourdain
Have you ever left a place knowing you’ve “done” all the attractions in the guidebooks but you feel like you hardly know more about it than before you visited? When you’re busy rushing from highlight A to highlight B, you can easily miss the purpose of travel.
By stepping off the tourist trail, you tap into the local way of life, cuisine, and culture of a destination. You put yourself out there to come across exciting discoveries. This results in a much more enjoyable and rewarding experience.
Discovering the world through a new lens
Cultural activities that stimulate your senses
Quirky museums in America
A local guide can turn an ordinary visit to a place – like the buzzing French Quarter in New Orleans – into an unexpected adventure. During a historic walking tour, you’ll hear local tales about former residents and discover hidden museums such as the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum. Keep your eyes open for an array of voodoo potions, including the famous ‘Love Potion No. 9’. No culture seeker’s visit is complete without these kinds of encounters.
Experience the power of Pow Wow in Canada
Celebrate Canadian First Nations culture. Pow Wow is ceremonial indigenous gatherings when you find multiple generations coming together to enjoy food, honour traditions, forge a sense of community and practice spiritual healing. Bask in the joyful reclamation of traditional dances and songs, and sense the palpable pride of Indigenous dancers, drummers, and singers as they embody the power of Pow Wow. Attending one of these dynamic events is such a great way to learn more about the traditional and modern Aboriginal life and culture.
Pick tea leaves in Japan’s countryside
Experience a homestay with farming families in the countryside of Japan. During your stay on a farm, you get familiar with the tea plants by picking tea leaves in the picturesque tea fields together with the tea farmer. When you’ve gathered enough leaves, you’ll learn the best ways to brew delicious tea, according to the famous Japanese tea tradition, while sharing meals with your host family.
Have dinner with the locals in Singapore
Share a homecooked Peranakan meal with a Singaporean family at their home and see how people go about their lives in a typical social HDB flat. Taste delicious Nonya dishes, made especially for you. You’ll learn more about Singapore’s rich culture and heritage through its cuisine. Besides receiving insider tips about the city, you’ll make new friends for life.
Culturally immersive experiences like these are what you’ll get when I design your trip.
Sustainable choices and slow travel
An essential part of your travel experience
Travelling brings us closer to the most stunning natural wonders and connects us with cultures around the globe. What a privilege it’s to be able to see this amazing world. By choosing to travel responsibly, we reduce our impact on the environment. Besides, when we immerse and connect with a new place, we’re more likely to care and give something back to the communities we visit. I help you with making sustainably conscious choices. Whenever I can, I work with local partners who are passionate about the service they provide and place great importance on local well-being. Your money goes right back into the community. And you get personal attention and memories that last a lifetime.
In addition to all the adventures, I encourage you to slow down and enjoy the luxury of time. The joy is not in arriving at your destination but in the journey. By slowing down, you take the time to connect to the place, taste the local food or discover the culture and nature. Imagine having these experiences as opposed to ploughing through crowded tourist attractions at rapid speed or rushing through a checklist of experiences in a blurred flurry. This way, you’ll have room for pleasant surprises and authenticity, you’ll have time for yourself to enjoy and remember all you’ve encountered. What a joy such a trip will be!
Discover street art cities: hidden artworks around every corner
A world full of images, a language without rules. That’s how I see street art! I am a huge fan of it, and I’ve visited many cities famous for street art, such as Bristol, London, New York City, Atlanta, Reykjavik, Berlin, Lisbon, Singapore and more. Every city I go to, I engage a local guide – even better, when a local street artist is my guide – to take me to places where I can take in graffiti, murals and other forms of street art.
Let me help you discover these street art cities too!
Your new adventure starts here
Ready to travel better?
You’ve a wish list filled with travel goals. Amazing places around the globe that you dream to visit – that one perfect day – when the puzzle of life falls into place. But when life gets in the way, it’s tough to figure out exactly when, where, and how to successfully plan and book your trip.
There’s so much information on the internet. How can you tell if the information you’ve found is coming from a reliable source? How to make a choice when you don’t know what to choose?
Nowadays, it’s incredibly easy to book a flight or hotel plan online. However, planning a road trip can be a big task and requires expertise. It’s easy to get excited and try to fit lots of sightseeing and driving time into a day. Leaving you hardly any spontaneity on your driving path.
Travel planning can be overwhelming and time-consuming. On average, it takes a person over 20 hours to research and book a multi-destination trip, without even knowing for sure if it actually will be good or worth your money. Let me take the hours of research and the logistics of the entire trip off your hands, so you can focus on being excited for your upcoming journey without being concerned you may miss out on something truly special.
With a balanced and offbeat travel plan, you’ll go to places not only on your bucket list, but also to parts unknown, and try new activities that you never imagined you’d enjoy. And submerge in another world and experience the difference between ‘being’ somewhere and merely ‘visiting’. This extra touch ensures this trip will live on in both your memory and your heart for years to come.
Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world, you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life and travel will leave marks on you.
For the journey of a lifetime to America, Canada, Japan or Singapore
Taking you beyond the guidebook
As a child, I lived in Singapore and Japan. These places still hold a very special place in my heart. I first set foot in North America in 2010. From the moment of my arrival, it was love at first sight. Even after numerous road trips, America and Canada continue to fascinate me. If you want epic, this is the continent to be. Here you’ll find mythical journeys, mind-boggling scenery, and – beyond those headline-grabbing, culture-dominating cities – raw wilderness. You can literally hit the mountains, beaches, and desert all in one trip!
My intention to you, as your travel designer, is to understand what you want to get out of your holiday and then work with you to create that experience. Whether it be to stay on a Dude Ranch in Texas, explore the pristine wilderness of Yukon, relax and soak the day away in a Japanese onsen or eat at the cheapest Michelin Starred restaurant in the world in Singapore, I’m committed to getting you to the right places with the right people to make that happen.
Being a destination specialist, I take part in continuous training programmes, meet up with my local partners and Tourism Boards, and travel to these countries regularly. This enables me to deepen my understanding and interest in these countries, their people and culture. And to embed this new knowledge in creating unique trips for you.
Let’s put the person back in personal!
I used to be baffled by how hard it was to plan my road trips, mostly due to the overwhelming choices and limited time I had to spend on research as I had a hectic job. Booking my trips through a travel agency wasn’t a solution either. I often ended up with an entirely different experience from what I originally wanted. I got a cookie-cutter and fast-paced tour package, not the bespoke trip I had asked for. I just knew there had to be a better way.
Inspired by this disappointment, I set out to create a more enjoyable experience for myself and other introverts like me. Taking more time to explore and re-energise. For me, slow travel is real travel. Staying in one place for a longer period, getting to know it, not just its sites. but the people, way of life, and stories. To dig deeper, wider, further.
A custom-made travel itinerary takes more than just slapping together a transport, accommodations, and attractions plan. The secret is in collaborating with a caring fellow traveller who can put herself in your shoes, takes the stress out of planning, and advises which travel experiences to include in your trip. You will travel to places you may not have known about and experience things that you’ve never imagined you would love, at a slower pace.
You’re unique, so should be your trips too.
SparkLing One services
How it works
To create a curated trip for you, let’s start by having a chat. I can learn more about your past travels and what you’re looking for in your upcoming holiday. This is also an excellent opportunity to find out if we are a right fit. I specialise in crafting itineraries that get to the very essence of a place for couples with a passion for discovery.
Once we decide to work together, we’ll take a deep dive into your travel wishes. To get the most out of your next trip, I’ll introduce you to the art of slow travel. Instead of dashing from one must-see site to another, you’ll go deeper by exploring the cultural aspects and nature of a destination through specific themes. You’ll feel inspired, enriched, and well-rested after your travel experience.
I look forward to creating immersive travel experiences for you and bringing your travel dreams to life.
The details are not the details. They make the design.
During our first virtual meeting, I start by discovering more about you and understanding your purpose and intention for your next adventure. The more information you share with me, the better I’m able to customise your travel experience.
Your travel desires, goals and interests drive the itinerary, while my destination knowledge and insider tips help to polish it off. For all destinations, I partner up with local experts to create curated memorable travel experiences for you.
When the trip design is ready, we go over your outline plan and the estimated costs you can factor into your financial planning. I’ll work with you to refine your itinerary until it’s the perfect fit.
When the travel plan is finalised and after full payment, the detailed plan with information on all parts of your trip from start to finish, will be sent to you per email. You can book your journey using the links I provide or you might prefer to have me book it for you. Booking service is only available for clients based in the Netherlands.
What you get:
– 3 x 1-hour sessions via Zoom
– a curated travel plan
The starting trip planning fee for creating a 14-day travel itinerary for 2 persons is Euro 375.
The pandemic has raised concerns about travelling. When leisure travel slowly resumes around the world, you might want some extra support. I’ve created this package so you can travel with peace of mind. I’m here for you, accompanying you throughout your travel experience, supporting you every step of the way before and during your trip.
Booking your trip
Once you’ve decided to have your trip booked by me, I’ll start locking in all of the components – while you sit back and relax. All bookings are placed with United Travel.
Travelling abroad requires preparation, which is why I provide additional information and advice about:
– entry requirements and other procedures
– travel and cancellation insurance
– travel vaccination
– travel packing tips
– private transfers and airport parking services
During your trip
When you require assistance during your trip, my local partner or I’ll be your safety net on speed dial. After all, I’ve designed and booked your trip and know your travel plan inside out. I can help you sort out any travel hiccups and ensure your entire trip is smooth sailing. You can stay confident and relaxed during your travels.
What you get:
– 1-hour pre-trip session via Zoom, recorded so you can refer to them later as needed
– guidance and support via email, telephone and WhatsApp before and during your trip
The fee for the SparkLing Traveller Care Package is Euro 275 (only available for clients based in the Netherlands). Instalment payments of a booking are made directly to United Travel.
This session is perfect when you want to plan and book your trip yourself but you require some guidance, insider tips, or travel hacks, without spending hours on research.
1. You’re planning to travel to Canada, Japan, Singapore or the USA, and you want to bounce some ideas off me before you start building your trip itinerary.
- Is Telegraph Cove the best place to see orcas on Vancouver Island (Canada)?
- What time of the year is best to travel to Hokkaido (Japan)?
- Where is the best area to stay in Singapore to soak up the Peranakan culture?
- Which region of the United States is best to experience cowboy culture?
2. You’ve created your travel itinerary but you’re uncertain whether you’re making the most of your travels. Together we’ll flesh out your plan.
3. You’ve already booked your trip. Yeah! Right now you’re looking for tips on hidden gems, unusual travel experiences, local guides or simply practical tips.
What you get:
– 1.5-hour session via Zoom, recorded so you can refer to it later
Please send me your questions beforehand so we can identify the main areas where you need my support. This ensures we get the most out of our time and that I can answer whatever questions you’ve.
The fee for the SparkLing Shortcuts Session is Euro 225.
- I’m affiliated with United Travel, a Dutch franchise organisation for independent travel consultants. You are assured of excellent quality and guarantees (ANVR, SGR and Calamiteitenfonds). I place all bookings with United Travel (ANVR 5471 and SGR 3642). Instalment payments of a booking are made directly to United Travel (Dutch Chamber of Commerce 59901152).
- New York City’s subway, train and bus systems are pretty convenient. However, sometimes you simply want to escape to nature for a few days, the easiest option is to rent a car. Sunny Cars is your carefree rental company. All necessary insurances are covered and included in your rental price. So buckle up and book your ticket to ultimate travel freedom.
- Walking into one of the izakayas (Japanese pubs) can be a little intimadating, especially if it’s your first time in Japan. With the help of a local foodie guide, the world of izakayas will open up to you in no time. Book your activities via Get Your Guide and Viator. Enjoy the must-try dishes and drinks – itadakimasu and kanpai!
- Sometimes you need to unplug from the hustle and bustle life and reconnect with nature. Start your escape today by finding your secluded cabin in the woods, idyllic cottages by the water or sustainable tiny house on Natuurhuisje. Using this link you’ll receive Euro 10 discount on your booking.
- When you’re planning to travel outside the Netherlands, you may need to be vaccinated against some of the serious diseases found in other parts of the world. For all your travel vaccinations, please contact Thuisvaccinatie for an appointment between four to six weeks before departure. Vaccinations will be administered by a specialist in the comfort of your home.
- For international payments I recommend to use Wise instead of a bank or PayPal to avoid unnecessary high transfer and conversion fees.
When you use one of the curated affiliate links, I receive a referral commission without any extra cost for you.
Forests, the lungs of the earth
Forests contain the overwhelming majority of life on Earth, including a staggering 80% of the planet’s terrestrial species. We depend on forests for our survival but tend to take forests for granted. To help things get better for woodlands, planting new trees is good. Saving existing and mature forests is better and a crucial part of our planet’s long-term health.
Travelling is an essential part of my life. The trips I’ve taken, have helped to shape me into the person I’m today. As a huge supporter of sustainable tourism and nature conservation I want to do my part in protecting the planet while still seeing the world.
Besides travelling more environmentally conscious, I offset my carbon footprint through forest conservation. For each trip booked and for each expat guided I donate Euro 15 to The Forest Project. I can’t wait to adopt a plot of forest in the Netherlands by the end of 2021. Every tree counts. Together we contribute to a better climate, more biodiversity and better living conditions.