Hello and welcome to my cultural travel blog!
My name is Zarina, a 40-year old Dutch expat in the UK. I was born in Amsterdam, grew up in the North of the Netherlands, reached adulthood in the South of the country and got married in London. Currently exploring the world with the UK as my home base, but holding the land of the Clogs forever dear in my heart.
Once upon a time …
there was a little girl who could listen to her mum’s magical stories for hours at end. Stories about the ancient sophisticated civilizations of the Romans, Greeks and Egyptians whose awe-inspiring structures survived for thousands of years.
But she also loved to hear the traditional oral stories about the spider Anansi that were popular in her mum’s home country, Suriname. Or stories from the Arabian One Thousand and One Nights that her grandfather used to read out to her mum.
And as the little girl grew older, her love for those spellbinding stories about cultures, both mythical and real, only kept growing as well.
You might have guessed it by now, but that little girl is me!
This blog is where I collect my stories to share with others in the hope they will feel just as inspired and exhilarated as my younger self. But unlike the myths and legends I was enchanted by at the time, my travel stories are about real people and places. Which doesn’t make them any less magical though.
What makes my cultural travel blog different from other travel blogs?
There are so many travel blogs out there and sometimes I read their inspirational articles with great envy. At times their enthusiasm makes me wish I were a kick-ass solo female traveller or adrenalin junkie. Or that I could be a carefree spirit with only my backpack as company, wandering off the beaten track. But truth be told, I’m a stickler for organisation and comfort.
I’m not one for lazy beach holidays on the world’s most beautiful bounty islands, but neither do I take pleasure in hiking for days or abseiling down mountains.
What I enjoy about travelling?
Instead of ticking off countries off my list for the sake of it or finding the most Instagrammable places in some faraway country, I prefer to immerse myself in local culture. As a born introvert, I’ve grown into a wanderer who observes and absorbs. I love to get a glimpse into what makes a certain city, country or its people unique. And although I do occasionally relish in strolling through tiny picturesque lanes of quaint historical towns, I’m equally content when I can explore a desolate industrial area with obscure derelict buildings to seek out street art.
I step into the world wide-eyed and with an open heart, capturing my experiences in words and images here to share with you. Will you come explore the world’s beauty with me?