Judith and Merijn Heijnen

JudithMerijn

Judith and Merijn Heijnen

Every voyage of thousands of miles starts with one single step.

Our first step was taking the decision to take the plunge, quit jobs and housing, sell our stuff, do our own Brexit in February 2017 and travel for a very long time to countries we have not visited yet, to meet the beautiful people of the world, to learn new things and to experience life.



Asia » India » Goa » Patnem May 10th 2020

Who would have thought our desire to spend more time in one place and not travel around all the time would be fulfilled so soon … ? ;-) Halfway 2019, after 2,5 years of travelling, we had been thinking and talking about slowing down, maybe stop travelling for some time, find a nice place to stay and maybe try to find fun people to work with in 2020. In Raja Ampat we came up with an idea to help someone out with his tourism business but then at the end of 2019 we were approached by another person with the question: “would you be interested to work in Maldives and manage a guesthouse?” These were all very preliminary ideas and first we would end 2019 and start 2020 in the Philippines with a fun holiday with ... read more
Happy being on an Indian train again
Tuk tuk/rickshaw
Tuk Tuk/rickshaw

Asia » Philippines » Palawan » Port Barton January 23rd 2020

We ended a full year of travelling with a fun holiday with friends in the Philippines. We were already in Puerto Princesa where Riemke and Mariska were able to fly to despite another typhoon landing in the country disrupting some flights. It was great to see the girls and continue where we left the year before catching up and drinking cold beers then in South India now in the Philippines. Together we travel with a shared van to Port Barton, an amazing, relaxed, beautiful, still not too busy nor touristy, beach town on Palawan island. Here we meet with Joyce, Maarten and their 1,5 year old son Duuk and with the whole bunch we spend a few days and nights touring islands, snorkelling, lazying on the beach, and partying the year away into 2020 at NYE ... read more
Port Barton
Port Barton
Port Barton

Asia » Philippines » Palawan » Puerto Princesa December 26th 2019

We spent exactly the 60 days in Indonesia that our visa allowed us, yet still we feel we have only scratched the surface of this huge country and we could have stayed and travelled to so many other islands for at least another few months. So we will just have to come back sometime. After spending a wonderful short week at Bunaken island where the diving and snorkelling were great, we hopped on a short flight from Manado across the Celebes Sea to Davao City in Mindanao, Philippines, because this was the closest country we could get to and we had planned to spend Christmas and New Year at the Philippines anyway. Philippines is again a huge country with more than 7000 islands and we hope to visit at least a few of the best ones. ... read more
Manila
Manila
Sagada

Asia » Indonesia » West Papua » Sorong November 17th 2019

The past few months have been ‘busy’. We did quite a lot of travelling, trying but often failing to travel slowly and most of it not in any way efficiently. Since our last blog post we have travelled from Alor to West-Timor (the Indonesian part of the island Timor) and then to Timor Leste (an independent country). From there with a lot of boats, busses and some planes via Nusa Penida, Bali, Singapore, Berlin and Brussels to The Netherlands. Here we have spent four weeks with our family and friends, trying to catch up with their lives and just spending quality time with the people we miss during our travelling. We then flew back to Indonesia, via KL and Jakarta to Ambon, from where we travelled across part of Maluku, visiting the Banda Islands and Kei ... read more
Kupang Night Market
Crossing the border into Timor Leste
Timor Leste

Asia » Indonesia » Timor August 5th 2019

A lot of the people reading this blog know we love islands. We love island life and island time. We adopt the often simple living that comes with islands and we easily make ourselves at home in a basic bamboo cabin. Islands are kind of our natural habitat ;-) Island hopping, flying and ferrying have occupied us the past month. From Tioman (Malaysia) we hopped to Singapore (which is an island), from Singapore via Bali to Sumbawa, and then Flores, Lembata and finally Alor where we are now and from where we will hop over to Timor tomorrow. We left Malaysia via the huge and efficient border post at Johor Bahru in a local bus crossing the river into Singapore. We both had not been in Singapore for a very long time and it was both ... read more
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore

Asia » Malaysia » Pahang » Pulau Tioman July 2nd 2019

The past month has been a fun, a bit food focused and social month for us. We traveled overland from Myanmar to Thailand where we would meet two friends for 48hrs in Bangkok and then we would fly to Kuala Lumpur to meet two other friends with whom we would spend almost three weeks exploring Malaysia. We had a great laugh, some tears were shed, we had plenty of drinks and enjoyed a lot of the best food ranging from Michelin star dumplings to the best Laksa of the world (according to the locals that is…). From the border we first went to Kanchanaburi, a pleasant town in Thailand, where we could get used to this part of the world, being very touristy, modern and everything available in abundance. We adjusted quite well, we had great ... read more
Kanchanaburi and River Khwae
Kanchanaburi and River Khwae
Kanchanaburi and River Khwae

Asia » Burma » Southern Burma » Dawei July 1st 2019

With a bit a sad feeling we already have to leave Myanmar. It has been truly wonderful. Things have changed for Myanmar and especially for travellers over the past few years. It’s now very easy to visit, we arranged a 28 day visa online for Myanmar. We only left the country at the ultimate day, which was hardly enough. We feel we have only scratched the surface of this beautiful and welcoming country with the gorgeous and warm, fun, friendly and cheerful people. We really have only visited the highlights and we already know we have to come back one day. Entering Myanmar from Manipur, one of the Northeastern states of India, somehow felt like a relief, after having travelled for about half a year through countries like Iran, Nepal, Bangladesh and India. Not to say ... read more
Welcome to Myanmar, have some insects ... ;-)
Myanmar beer lover
Myanmar

Asia » India » Manipur May 1st 2019

Walking across a border usually feels a bit nostalgic. Sometimes it’s one big annoying time wasting bureaucratic experience. Most of the time it’s a little bit like in a time machine going from one timezone to another with just one step. Walking through the India Bangladesh friendship gate entering Meghalaya state in northeast India was easy, the border police and immigration officers on both sides were friendly, and although the actual time difference is only 30 minutes, it felt like going back to the future, with one step we immediately saw and felt the difference between the two countries. Meghalaya was the first of the four northeastern states, called the Seven Sisters, we would visit. Immediately we could not only see the difference with Bangladesh, but also with the rest of India. Meghalaya is predominately Christian, ... read more
Shillong
Shillong
Shillong

Asia » Bangladesh » Sylhet April 17th 2019

With no real expectations based on other peoples stories because we don’t know anybody who has ever visited nor any proper research we entered Bangladesh and were immediately engulfed by its chaos and the sheer numbers of people living in Dhaka, in what apparently is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries of the region and we have seen some of the worst living conditions. But we have also seen that Bangladesh is an extremely green and fertile country it being one big delta of 700 rivers with rice paddies, tea plantations, rubber plantations, pineapple gardens, a lot of bananas and an unbelievable number of watermelons. A lot of Bangladeshi live under the poverty line and especially in the rural places too many people cannot read ... read more
Rickshaw art
Rickshaw art
Rickshaw art

Asia » India » Sikkim » West Sikkim March 30th 2019

From Nepal we walked across the bridge that is the border into West Bengal, India. Already in the eastern part of Nepal we could see a lot of tea plantations, but now travelling to tea capital Darjeeling there is tea everywhere. With two shared jeeps we end up in Darjeeling, positioned on a high ridge and therefore again quite cold. We were surprised how lively the town is and especially Indian domestic tourists know how to find this place and spend some time during their holidays. We walked around the town, visited the Happy Valley Tea Estate and drank a lot of cups of nice tea, because obviously this is what you do in a place called Darjeeling. We got to experience a somewhat nostalgic government bureaucracy, when we applied for a local permit; first at ... read more
Walking across the border bridge from Nepal to India
Shared Jeep to Darjeeling
Darjeeling




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