This journey started back in the 2005/2006. You could say that without the things happening back then we wouldn’t have fallen in love with Africa the way we did.
2006 Was the year where the 20th Winter Olympics were being held in Turin, where the Dutch football team lost the ‘war’ against Portugal in the semis of EURO2006 and when Saddam Hussein was executed.
This was quite a year. It’s not that I’m going to compare the start of our adventure with the above mentioned events (had to do a bit of ‘Wikipediaing’ I admit) but it was an interesting year for me as well. But first let’s start in 2005.
2005: The journey starts here!
‘But how?’ you might wonder? I’m not a big fan of the so called butterfly effect or the not so great movie with Ashton Kutcher. However the start of this journey came due to a number of unexpected events happening. After high school in Zoetermeer, a town near The Hague in the Netherlands, I went to the University of Amsterdam (Vrije Universiteit). I was supposed to get my Master’s degree in four years time and would then work at a big corporate. That turned out to be a bit different…
Eight weeks had passed since the introduction week at the University. This is when I started to question my choice of studying Business Administration. It wasn’t really about the level of education but more about the way it was educated. I scored decent 7’s and 8’s (out of 10) but didn’t really enjoy being there. I was (and am) not really someone to give up easily so it was quite a decision. Everyone expects that you’ll just finish it and then start working on a (corporate) career. However I did eventually quit.
You all know that feeling: the first day of a holiday. You’ve got weeks ahead of you, got all these big plans and this really is going to be the best holiday ever. This was kind of the feeling I got after just quitting University. There was one big difference. No one else was off at that time and I didn’t have a clue of what I was going to do next. In this weird period I ended up working for a weird call center to try and sell energy. I quickly learned that this wasn’t for me. After a rather short analysis of other possibilities I was going to start in Januari 2006 at Hogeschool TIO and study Hotel- and Eventmanagement.
Let’s fast forward to the summer of 2007. The first 1,5 year at TIO went by really fast. After an internship in Spain in 2006 this was the moment that changed everything. In June 2007 Jolene and I were going to South Africa for 10 weeks!
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Without really knowing what to expect I was going to do an internship at Raggy Charters, a whale watching company. Jolene would do an internship in an orphanage in Port Elizabeth. We stayed with the owner of Raggy Charters in Sea View (village nearby Port Elizabeth) in a house overlooking the Indian Ocean. This is where our passion for traveling started. Because we couldn’t get enough of Africa we came back the next year for 6 months. Then we wanted to see the rest of the world as well!
And now what?
The funny thing is that although we deviated from the standard path of high school – higher vocational education/university – career a bit, we still ended up going to university and started working for a large corporate (Lennart) and a healthcare organisation (Jolene). But probably not for long. We will take you on a trip through all of our past travels and the one big journey to Africa that we’re about to take!