Your travel designer for tailor-made slow travel experiences

For the journey of a lifetime to America, Canada, Japan or Singapore

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.   

Besides, 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? 

When you don’t have time or don’t know what to consider when planning your well-deserved holiday, I’ve got you covered.

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. Nowadays, it’s incredibly easy to book a flight and a hotel online. However, planning an unforgettable journey requires serious expertise. So, let me help you make your next trip exceptional and one to remember for a lifetime.

Your new adventure starts here

Travel planning can be overwhelming and time-consuming. 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.

I create a tailor-made itinerary for you, filled with cultural experiences off the beaten track. You’ll travel to places not only on your bucket list, but also to parts unknown, and try new activities that you never imagined you’d enjoy. 

What to expect on a holiday that I design for you:

  • hidden gems and well-known highlights
  • inspiring meetings with the locals
  • indigenous dishes and customs
  • breathtaking locations
  • fascinating stories and historic tours

 

You’ll 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.  

Unforgettable encounters and sensory experiences

Cultural activities that stimulate your senses

Have you ever left a place knowing you’ve “done” all the attractions in the guidebooks but feeling like you know no more about it than before you visited?

One way to make your travels more memorable is to absorb the local culture of each destination, rather than simply observing it. By seeking out local people, places, and cultural activities, you put yourself out there to come across exciting discoveries.  

As your travel designer, I’ve got the right connections with local partners to turn your trip into an extraordinary experience. For the ultimate travel experience, I hand-pick locally-run small-scale accommodations, meaningful encounters with locals and offbeat activities so you can connect more deeply with the local environment and culture of your travel destination.  

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

Celebrating Canadian First Nations culture, Pow Wow are 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.

Eat 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 traditional 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.

Memorable experiences like these are what you’ll get when I design your trip.

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.

Anthony Bourdain

Trips to Canada, Japan, Singapore and the United States

Travel the world with SparkLing One

My name is Ling Chan. With SparkLing One, I specialise in creating one-of-a-kind travel experiences to America, Canada, Japan and Singapore.

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 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!

Being a destination expert, I take part in continuous training programmes, meet up with my local partners and travel to these countries on a regular basis. 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 and meaningful trips for you.

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!

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 the 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 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!

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. 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 pre-packaged trip, not the customised 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 very different experience for myself and like-minded travellers. Custom-made travel takes more than just slapping together a transport, accommodations and attractions plan. The secret is in collaborating with a caring expert who can put herself in your shoes, takes the stress out of planning and advises which awe-enhancing activities to include in your trip.

As a culturally curious traveller and a travel designer, I have the years of experience to help you embark on your perfect trip, discover the world in its authenticity, transform regular trips into once-in-a-lifetime journeys. You will travel to places you may not have known about and experience things that you’ve never imagined you would love. You’re unique, so should be your trips too.

Let’s put the awe back in awesome!

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’ll be a good match. 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.

I look forward to creating immersive travel experiences for you. 

Sit back, relax and let me turn your trip into an awesome, long-lasting memory. An unforgettable holiday that you’ll cherish forever.

During our virtual meeting, we’ll deep dive into your travel desires and bucket-list dreams. Your travel style and interests drive the itinerary, while my destination knowledge and insider tips help to polish it off. I make sure you can squeeze every last drop of enjoyment out of your travels.

When the trip design is ready, I present your plan detailing which destinations and experiences resonate across all members of your travel company and estimated costs you can factor into your financial planning. For all destinations, I partner up with local experts to create curated memorable travel experiences for you.

We go through the plan together and fine-tune it to your liking. When the travel plan is finalised and after full payment, the plan will be sent to you by email. This plan includes detailed information on all parts of your trip from start to finish.
You can book your journey using the links I provide or you might prefer to have me book the trip of a lifetime for you. Booking service is only available for clients based in the Netherlands.

What you get:
– 2 x 1 hour sessions via Zoom
– a unique travel plan

The starting fee for creating a 21-day travel itinerary for 2 persons is Euro 425. 

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, guiding you every step of the way before and during your trip.

Preparation
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, 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 for clients who have booked their trip via me).

This session is perfect when you want to plan and book your trip yourself but you require some professional guidance, insider tips or travel hacks, without spending hours on research. I’m happy to show you the shortcuts and share my insider tips with you.

1. You’re planning to travel to Canada, Japan, Singapore or the USA, but you’ve no idea where to start.

For instance:

  • 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 when you want to have a local experience?
  • Which region of the United States is best to experience cowboy culture?

 

2. You’ve created a detailed travel plan on your own, but you’re uncertain whether you’re making the most of your travels.

3. You’ve already booked your trip but you’re looking for tips on hidden gems, unusual travel experiences or local guides.

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 250.

  • 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.

Travelling is seeing in Japan

Take an Evening Walk in Gion, Kyoto, where a local guide shows you that extra bit more. This traditional neighbourhood in Kyoto reveals the ever-mysterious and still lively world of the geikos (geishas). You listen to stories about their strict upbringing and why they choose to follow that lifestyle. When you’re lucky, an actual geiko or maiko (a geiko-in-training) will glide past you in her colourful kimono on her way to an appointment in an ochaya (teahouse). An unusual sighting that gives you a glimpse into a culture that is typically closed off to outsiders.

Tip

Ever watched the movie Memoirs of a Geisha? On your walking tour of Kyoto you’ll see those same locations: the Gion district, Fushimi-Inari Shrine, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Kiyomizudera temple and Heian-Jingu shrine.