The search for the perfect honeymoon (part 3)

In earlier posts about my upcoming wedding and honeymoon, I have written about looking for a destination. After a thorough brainstorm and research we landed on Australia as the perfect place to spend some quality time together after our wedding. But, 2021 wouldn’t be 2021 if covid wouldn’t interfere. Australia is closed off to tourists and we’re afraid the country won’t open in time. Also, a honeymoon should be, in our opinion, a time to rest and spend time together, and not a constant worry about having to quarantine and wondering if we will be able to get in or out of the country.

So sadly, the Australia trip is yet another one we have to postpone. I was really looking forward to it, but the stress of it all is just not worth it. Planning a wedding in covid times is stressful enough as it is.

But what then?

We started googling honeymoons – again, and though we would love to find a destination far away, it’s just not smart at this time. So we wanted something closer to home, but still something that we wouldn’t ordinarily do for a regular vacation. It needed to be something special. Something exclusive. And we found something that is absolutely perfect…

We’re going on a cruise!

If you want to do something exclusive and luxurious, a cruise is perfect, if you ask me. I’ve never done something like this before (which is very understandable if you find out what this costs…). But it’s perfect. You have the thrill of traveling to different places, without the downside of public transportation and carrying your luggage around. You just take your bed, bath and restaurants with you!

It sounds amazing. The ship has several restaurants and bars with live music, a spa, a casino and a swimming pool (a swimming pool on a boat is something that my brain can’t quite capture…). If anything is luxurious, it’s this.

I for one, can’t wait. Have you ever done a cruise before?

The Yoga Retreat

There are some things you keep coming across, be it on the internet or somewhere else. For me, one of those things is a yoga retreat. I saw pictures of it everywhere, of extremely flexible people doing yoga on sunny beaches, in the middle of a forest or other amazing looking places. A retreat sounded heavenly to me; being on an exotic location, having time for yourself, doing yoga, eating healthy, and especially since reading Eat, Pray, Love, I knew this was something I wanted to do.

Flying to the other side of the planet, on my own, to do something I think I liked but wasn’t really too sure about, was too big a step for me. I figured, why not try it first in my own country? If I don’t like it, I can just go home, and if I do, I can always go further away in non-covid times. When I read in a magazine about Happy Soul Travel, I was in, and it didn’t take long for me to book the yoga retreat.

The perfect location

Happy Soul Travel location, farm house in forest

I had booked a weekend in January, as a fresh start to a new year, but thanks to covid it got postponed again and again. Until June, when we were finally allowed to go. So I went. Butterflies and a little bit of predetox-hunger in my stomach, I went on my way.

The location was the Hoorneboeg in Hilversum, a city between Amsterdam and Utrecht, only 45 minutes from my house. It was an old farm located in the middle of a forest and it was absolutely beautiful.

It was the perfect place to relax, with comfy couches and a beautiful garden filled with wildflowers. The purpose of the weekend was yoga/detox and taking time for yourself. To heal, to rest, to relax, whatever you felt like. Taking a break from daily life and focusing on whatever you wanted. The location was perfect for it. Besides meals and yoga, there was free time to read, you could take a walk in the forest, there was a sauna and they offered massages.


happy soul travel interior yoga studio

We started our mornings in silence, which was amazing. You could just take your time, get something to drink and do what you wanted before it was time for yoga. No obligatory chatter or meaningless conversation, just silence and time to wake up. I spent this time mostly drinking tea and journaling, others wanted to stay in bed for a little longer or went for a run. Like I said, you could do whatever you felt like.

Then it was time for meditation and yoga. Our yoga teacher Thirza started the day in silent meditation and then we did yoga. I’m used to doing yoga for half an hour, watching videos at home by Yoga with Adriene but here the sessions (meditation and yoga) took an hour and a half! It was something else, but it was really nice and a great way to start the day, wake up your mind and your body and be ready for whatever comes your way. I really liked Thirza’s teaching and she had such a nice voice. If I’m gonna book another yoga retreat, I’m sure to look for one where she’s the teacher again.

happy soul travel yoga studio with a view of the forest

The yoga studio was this big, well-lit room thanks to it’s big windows that looked into the garden. I would love having such a room in my own house!

We did yoga twice a day, in the morning to wake up and then another hour and a half at night we did Yin Yoga, which was new. We also did Yoga Nidra one night which was absolutely wonderful. It was a sort of guided meditation and it made me feel all woolly and happy and I went to bed immediately after and have never slept so good.


My primary focus this weekend was yoga and spending some time with myself. There was, however, another element and that was food. The people around me know I am a very picky eater and I’m like an opposite foodie. So this was the part I struggled most with. But I wanted to commit myself to the entire weekend and try new things. So I did.

We did a predetox before the weekend started, cutting back on meat, alcohol, sugar, coffee and such. For me it mostly meant cutting back on cheese (the horror!) I had a piece of fruit for breakfast, soup/salad for lunch and a light meal of steamed vegetables for dinner. Nothing too weird, just eating healthy. I’ve gotta admit that it went better than I thought. Some meals I tried were really gross (broccoli soup, yuck!) but I liked having fruit for breakfast and felt that eating so much veggies helped me being more energetic. Who knew!

In the weekend we continued this and the mealplanning looked the same each day. A glass of warm water with lemon when you woke up to spice up your digestion (it kinda tasted like cleaning agent so I skipped it after the first day), a breakfast smoothie after yoga (which was also not really my thing, it had celery, ginger, cucumber, parsley, pineapple and lemon), a piece of fruit in between, then soup and salad for lunch (which were good!) another smoothie in between and then another soup for dinner. It wasn’t a lot of food but somehow it was enough for me. I had brought some apples myself for if I got hungry but I didn’t need them.

We also had some ‘detox talks’ where they talked to us about what kind of food is good for you and what is bad. They also pointed out that this weekend was a detox and that they were not advocating us eating like this every day. It was just to clean the body, but after the retreat we should do a ‘retox’ to start eating carbs and proteins again.

The detox wasn’t really my thing. I learned a lot, and also lost 1,5 kg in a week, so that was nice, but it wasn’t for me. I’m glad I tried it, because I felt more energetic and healthier, but I found that I was also obsessing over junkfood. We had some conversations where we had to think about what we wanted in life, sort of like Lucifer ‘what is your biggest desire’ and all I could think about was pizza. Needless to say, I immediately ordered a pizza when I got home (and chicken wings, and a cookie and a milkshake, but who’s counting calories?).

Overall I had a great weekend. I’m certainly glad I did this and I might even book another yoga retreat in the future. The waking up in silence, the meditating and yoga but also being able to do whatever you felt like, was really nice. I had a walk in the forest, went to the sauna, did some reading and a lot of thinking. The detox part wasn’t really for me but I did learn a few things. And there is no way to appreciate a good pizza better if you haven’t had cheese, sugar or carbs in a week!

girl walking through forest

Six things I wanna do in my own country

As traveling still isn’t an option, I’ve been exploring my own country. I have to say that I’m surprised at my findings. There’s a lot of places I didn’t know existed and loads of things you can do in the Netherlands, that I hadn’t heard of. Time to make another list: Six things I wanna do in my own country.

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The Search for the perfect honeymoon

For those of you who don’t follow me on instagram (you should!), or who just missed it: I have some big news:


Remember our weekend away to Twente where we slept under the stars that were covered by clouds? Boyfriend had planned to propose to me there. Unfortunately, because of the clouds, it wasn’t as romantic as he’d hoped, so instead he did it when we were home. It was the cutest thing and the ring is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. It’s gonna be tough to find a matching wedding band that I love just as much 😀

Anyways, butterflies aside for a moment, we’re currently really busy planning our wedding. We have more than a year, but because of covid, three wedding seasons (who knew there was such a thing as a wedding season?) are to be squeezed into one: the summer of 2022. So some things have to be booked fast. Or at least, that is what I tell myself and everyone around me, but I’m actually just really excited by all of it that I can’t stop planning 🙂

We have a date, a location, some photographers that we like and we are talking to a band that we really love. There is so much more to do and one of those things is of course: The Honeymoon! What wanderluster would I be if i didn’t start early with thinking/dreaming/planning about our honeymoon?

And that’s the thing. I have no idea where I wanna go, and Boyfriend Fiancé doesn’t have any plans either. What we want is a combination of culture and nature, which is what we always want, and I would really love to spend some time on a beach. Also, we don’t want to have a location that is too cliché, so at least it won’t be:

  • Paris. Been there, done that and this is waaaaay too cliché
  • Bali. I’d love to go there someday, boyfriend’s already been, but I’m pretty sure at least 95% of the couples celebrates their honeymoon here.
  • Hawaii. Same story as Bali.
  • Taking a cruise. Maybe fun for some day, but not really for a honeymoon

I’m thinking maybe New Zealand or Canada. or Australia. I have the feeling that this should be a special place where you wouldn’t go very soon, or at least some place you haven’t been before. I always love Italy and Greece also seems amazing, but I think I wanna do something special. Or at least be able to check off some items of my bucketlist.

The search continues! I’ll keep you posted 🙂

Where would your ultimate honeymoon take place?

Top Three Bucketlist Goals

Bucketlists are great. Mine seems to be never-ending. I want to go everywhere, do crazy new things, try different foods and live a full life in every city there is to explore. Everytime I come across something awesome I want to experience for myself, I’ll add it to my bucketlist: a list of things I want to do before I kick the bucket. Luckily, I’m still young and chances are that I can cross off a lot of them. Of course, right now it’s getting harder and harder to fulfill those bucketlist needs, but what we can do, is take a closer look at our lists and prioritize what goals should be crossed off first, and to look back at which ones we already completed!

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Top 3 places I wanna go when quarantine is over

Hey! How is everyone doing? Things are starting to turn back to normal, though they are calling it ‘the new normal‘ in my country. We’re going to have to keep working from home and keep a meter and a half distance between ourselves. The phrase ‘the new normal’ is a way of saying: just get used to it.

But things are looking up. Schools and libraries are open, as well as dentists and hairdressers. This week museums and restaurants will open up as well and every few weeks we’ll get some new liberties. Traveling outside of your own country, however, is still on hold, though I have heard some desperate cries from countries that offer to pay you back a part of your travel costs if you’re visiting this year, so they can get income from tourism. Maybe there’s hope after all.

So maybe it’s time to start dreaming again. Here’s my top three places I want to visit when I’m allowed again!

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how to learn a new language

Hey guys, how are you doing? I’m still cooped up in my home due to the corona virus, and aside from working, I’ve been searching for things to do. The following weeks I will give you some tips for the stuck-at-home traveler. Booksseries and movies and games that fellow wanderlusters might enjoy, because they will transport you to the places you can’t actually visit right now.

When you’re feeling like you’ve read all the books, seen everything there is to see on Netflix and finished playing every game, you might get the feeling: I want to do something productive! Lots of peoples bucketlists are not just endless lists of places they want to visit, but they also include topics such as learning a new skill – or a new language. And what would be a better time to start learning a new language, than when you’re locked up in your own home, bored out of your mind? Time for some tips!

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After we had spent some time in both York and Leeds, it was time for a change of scenery. This day, we would go to Newcastle. I hadn’t planned much to in this city, except from a daytour I really have been dreaming about: a trip to Hogwarts!

Durham castle with lightpost and trees

We woke up early on our final morning in York to be able to catch the train to Newcastle, for another Harry Potter Day. We grabbed some breakfast at the station and ate it on the hour and a half trainride to Newcastle. Traveling by train always makes me tired, but luckily our hotel (on Neville street!) was nearby. Our room wasn’t ready yet, but luckily, we could leave our suitcases at the front desk. Then we decided to not waste any time, so we got on a bus that would take us to Durham, to go visit Durham Castle.

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A gondola ride and the most beautiful bookshop in the world

For our four year anniversary, we decided on a romantic getaway weekend to Venice. We went for a short trip and unlike other trips, we hadn’t planned a lot. There were only two things that we really wanted to do, and that was take a gondola ride and go to ‘the most beautiful bookshop in the world’…

After we did some sightseeing and had lunch, we decided to go for the gondola tour. There are a lot of place were you can go aboard, most famously of course the Grand Canal. Most people start there, so if you’re visiting Venice in the high season, make sure to find another spot so you don’t have to wait (too long) in line. You can find the boarding points easily, because you can recognize them by the red and white striped poles at the sides of the canals.

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