Welcome to my blog

Early in our travels, we decided to start our Follow the Adventure blog to document our experiences, share how we get the most out of life, broaden our horizons, open our hearts, and have fun!

How I got to co-organise an HR Conference in Mostar

April 19 2024

I never expected that I would be organising the very first HR Conference in Mostar! Yet here we are…. May 10 is the day!

The art of letting go

February 14 2024

While 2023 turned to 2024, I learned a lesson about acceptance and letting go.

Back in the game

December 08 2023

I cannot predict the future – no one can. But it’s always nice when, based on previous experience, you can predict what’s to come. And then it does.

At the base of the pyramid

August 04 2023

Moving to a new country is exciting, daunting, energizing, and can be scary as hell.

Leaving home, coming home

June 20 2023

Some say the charm of holiday is in coming back home. Think about it: what’s a holiday without a home to get back to?

East and West of the River Neretva

May 30 2023

There is probably never a good time to write about the war that took place here during 1992 and 1995. But as a foreigner who is observing life here, it’s also hard to ignore and not write about it.

10 Funniest things about Mostar

March 24 2023

We have now entered our 8th month here, so it’s time to start writing down some of these observations. Before you know it, they have become “our new normal”.

All Seasons

February 17 2023

We know it takes at least 4 seasons to really “get to know” your new environment. And while it already seems much longer, we have only been in Mostar for 6 months now. So, what do we really know?

Flying home for Christmas

January 06 2023

“Driving home for Christmas” sings Chris Rea warmly every year on the Christmas playlist. I always had a hard time to relate to the song: ever since we live abroad I have been flying home for...

Kiss me please..

December 02 2022

It was probably one of my first encounters with differences in culture; the difference in how we greet each other. In some cultures, like my own, it is common to kiss someone on the cheek..

The Expat Interview

November 13 2022

Recently, I featured in an interview with Spend Life Traveling, about living the expat life in Mostar.

Who wants to be my friend?

October 14 2022

How to settle and build friendships in new places... With Bosnia & Hercegovina being the third country we moved to, we notice we kind of “know the drill” by now. Here are 5 tips that work well for us!

Smile....you are being Vanity Scammed!

September 09 2022

So picture this…… you are a stand-alone coach. You just moved to a new country. You are working from home every day and for one reason or another you are feeling some kind of self-doubt and loneliness

Celebration time!

August 19 2022

Celebrating my successes and accomplishments is something I find difficult to do. Why? I guess there is a fear somewhere of being seen as bragging about it. Or maybe I just do not think it is..

The adventure continues

August 06 2022

When the travel section of the biggest bookstore in Utrecht, the Netherlands, does not have a single travel guide about the country you are about the relocate to, it makes you wonder...

Made in China

May 12 2022

Occasionally, when something relatively new breaks down, we jokingly say to each other: “yeah…made in China…”

My Pendulum Swing

April 15 2022

As a young kid I was truly fascinated by a pendulum with 7 balls hanging in a row side by side. Letting them tick-tock against each other endlessly....

Adapting to the flow of the river

March 27 2022

Of course, China would not be China if there was not a lesson to learn in our final months here.

Happy New Year or Happy Mid Year?

January 03 2022

Living with a teacher for over 25 years, I know that teachers tend to think different when it comes to the concept of a “year”.


November 18 2021

Distance is relative. Even though the 8.798 km’s between Changshu and Utrecht never change, some days the distance feels bigger than other days.

Up, up, up the stairs we go!

October 23 2021

During the recent Golden Week break we learned again a few important lessons about life in China.

FollowtheAdventure is live!

September 05 2021

The new FollowtheAdventure website is live! There is a Dutch song called “I dance, so I exist”. Today I feel more like “I have a website, so I exist”

Roadblock ahead

August 24 2021

Follow the Adventure is actually a great metaphor for life. When you follow an adventure you are in for surprises. For unexpected vistas that suddenly appear around a corner.

Released! From quarantine into isolation

July 31 2021

The two weeks hotel based quarantine have finally come to an end. Today we were released and...

Half Way!

July 25 2021

They say that time flies when you are having fun. Well, I can’t say time is flying right now exactly, but little by little it did pass and here we are: 7 day’s done, 7 day’s to go.

Seaview please…

July 20 2021

n our last blog I wrote how uncomfortable it can be not to know where you are taken to for quarantine. It made me almost wish that we could simply return to the same room from last year..

From quarantine to quarantine

June 12 2021

It has not yet been a full year since we were released from our Chinese quarantine in Nanjing, it’s been just over 9 months. But with the first school-year coming to an end, it actually feels like...

To be decided…

May 23 2021

Now that I have reached the milestone of becoming a certified coach, I wonder: is playtime over? Surely I have to get out “there” now. Find customers. Get more practice. Start my business… brrrr.

Celebrating a milestone

April 20 2021

Every journey has it’s milestones. Early 2009 we did a road-trip in Argentina and drove from Buenos Aires all the way south to Ushuaia, to the “end of the world”.

What’s in a name?

March 15 2021

Anyone who has ever worked with Chinese people in an international setting might recognize the habit of Chinese taking on an international name.

Happy Ox Year!

February 18 2021

Chinese New Year is well known all over the world. But what is it really about? We celebrated our first CNY in China and got to experience it ourselves.

Living below the Yangtze

February 03 2021

It’s one thing to live out of a suitcase filled with summer clothes when winter is coming. It’s another thing to find out early morning that your classroom does not have a heating system.

Happy New Year…“Pffjss”

January 01 2021

At the end of 2020, how I would love to be able to say: “The End”. “The End” to a year unlike any other. “The End” to a global pandemic which is still impacting so many lives today.

Funniest Home Deliveries

December 09 2020

Visiting the supermarket can be somewhat of an ordeal here in Changshu. Mainly because most of them are very local oriented. While we slowly manoeuvre our shopping cart

Serious Business

November 23 2020

After many months of taking it easy, enjoying life in the Netherlands and preparing for China we are now getting fully back on track. It’s time for serious business – back to work!

Cultural differences in the classroom

October 29 2020

Who would have ever thought that I would get back into a classroom? After my internship at my previous High School back in 2000, I kind of swore I would never do that again.

Back to our roots

October 14 2020

When Hendrik Willem got the job offer for UWC Changshu last November (which seems like ages ago!) we soon realized that Changshu is not a big international city like Shanghai. So the question I got...

Out and about

October 07 2020

Last Tuesday we were finally released from the long period of quarantine and home isolation. After 21 days in “confinement” and 4 negative Covid tests , we got the green light on a very sunny..

Finally home (well, almost…!)

September 30 2020

After 14 days in quarantine in a dark hotelroom in Nanjing, we finally arrived at the campus of UWC in Changshu! Our new home!

Quarantine in China: 14 days on 30 sqm …..Will we finally be released??

September 28 2020

Today at 10.30 our quarantine will end. Finally!! Yesterday I spent my Sunday as usual, with one big difference: I packed my bags! And this morning I was so full of energy that I got up early and..

Quarantine in China: Day #11, #12 & #13

September 26 2020

Because… We are really getting bored with the view I would really like to sit on a normal chair for a change HW is running out of series to watch..

Quarantine in China Day #08, #09 & #10

September 24 2020

Whoever thinks that the Chinese are very strict and not into anything should maybe spent some time around them. Even without really understanding each other, they are fun,

Quarantine in China day #06 & #07

September 20 2020

Yes! We past the first week! One more week left in solitary quarantine in a Chinese hotel room… It better be a once-in-a-lifetime-experience!

Quarantine in China Day #04 & #05

September 19 2020

Hang on Little Tomato…That is the name of a sweet and comforting song from Pink Martini, which my sister shared with me.

Quarantine in China Day #02 & #03

September 16 2020

Waking up from a deep, deep sleep by someone who is yelling at your door that there is breakfast…. Welcome in quarantine!

Quarantine in China Day#01 (14/09)

September 15 2020

After a so called uneventful trip we arrived yesterday morning in Nanjing, China. The airport was empty apart from our arrival and the process of getting documents cleared out..

Here we go!

September 13 2020

A long time ago we tried to travel to China. It must have been somewhere in May 1999 and we were backpacking through South East Asia. Our plan was to travel from Vietnam into China and take...

Save the date

September 02 2020

While I am not superstitious I am somewhat in doubt if I should write this post or not. For sure, our friends are all eager to hear any update about our upcoming move to China…

Living the Slow Life

August 12 2020

It’s been a while! Reason being that there is not so much exciting to report. We wanted to follow the adventure and ended up living the slow life.


June 02 2020

Every now and then a thought pops into my head. It happens at those moments when I feel down and troubled. When I am tired of the nothingness and insecurity of our situation.

The Reflection Episode

May 12 2020

If this had indeed been a Netflix series we would have lost many viewers after the climax of season 1. For the simple reason that season 2 is horribly boring so far. We are indulging in nothingness..

Winding down Episode

April 11 2020

A little over 1 week ago we left Dubai in a whirlwind of stress, anxiety and insecurity. It was not a farewell we anticipated, but many people have found themselves in similar situations recently.

Leaving Dubai Episode

April 01 2020

In the Old World we would drive to Sharjah tomorrow, to catch the ferry to Iran and drive our way home from there with our FJ. In the Old World our last days in Dubai would have been filled...