Twippers of the Week: Roel and Eugénie from Take Us Anywhere.
Current city: Groningen, Netherlands. This is where we have been living for the past 30 years.
Age: Eugénie just turned 47 and Roel is 50.
Total countries visited: About 76.
What makes you interesting: It’s not something we’ve ever given any thought to. We’re rather unpretentious people, so others should be the judge of that. What we hear from other people is that they’re amazed by how many countries we’ve visited despite having full time jobs. We try different styles of travel (we even went on a cruise) and are not solely sticking to the beaten path but always mix in some surprising, less visited places. We just started our own blog Take Us Anywhere in January to share our travel stories and pictures which many seem to enjoy.
What brands do you love: We choose what appeals to us, and what fits our needs and tastes which change over the years. The best purchases in the past year have been our Sony A7 camera, GoPro 4 silver and Samsung S6, all giving a boost to documenting our trips.
What’s your Travanality: The culturist probably describes us both most, but with many of the other Travanality types mixed in to certain degrees. We like our trips to be about seeing the incredible things human hands have created over many centuries, but also enjoy being amazed by wonders of nature, relax at tropical beaches, street art or visit a local sports venue. Roel definitely is somewhat of a victor and maverick too, much to the dismay of Eugénie sometimes.
If you wash up on a deserted island with your luggage in hand, what’s the one thing you’re thanking God you packed:
Eugénie: prescription sunglasses because without them I would not be able to see Roel and I would be squinting all the time because of the sun (we’re talking about a sunny island, right?).
Roel: sun block because I burn easily (I’m on the same sunny island as Eugénie, right?).
What is the furthest northern, southern, eastern, and western point you have traveled: Furthest north would be Iceland, on a short stopover on the way to New York. We’re not really into colder climates. Furthest south is Santiago de Chile. Strangely enough in over 20 years of traveling together we only crossed the equator two times, in 2013 and last year. Furthest east is Japan. Southeast Asia is our favorite part of the world. Furthest west is Oahu, Hawaii. Furthest away from it all is Easter Island.
What is the best part about having a travel partner: To always have a like-minded person with you to share travel experiences and to be able to lean on each other when things aren’t going as planned (who takes care of you when you get sick, for example). This only gets better when this travel partner is a significant other. Being on the road you have the opportunity to grow even closer. We can’t imagine a life traveling without each other. On a more practical note, things get cheaper when you travel together.
What do you enjoy doing the most during your travels: First and foremost we travel because our world is such an amazing and diverse place. We love to experience countries as a whole – cities, nature, people, food culture, music et cetera – and try to immerse ourselves as much as possible. For us this means traveling by public transport if we can (nothing beats the microcosmos of an Indian train), eating street food at road side diners, walking through local villages, staying at local guesthouses and watching people going about their daily lives.
Where and when were you the most culture shocked: We’re not easily shocked. During our travels we’ve seen a lot of poverty and seen things that through western eyes may seem atrocious. We always travel with an open mind and try to see it through local eyes. What often surprises us is how much happier people in poorer countries often seem to be compared to our western world where consumerism is king. We’ve experienced most of what many people consider shocking: Filthy pit toilets, people spitting food on the floor in a train, lewd grabbing hands, livestock being butchered at markets, open air cremations, beggars covered in rags, following a blood trail to find treatment at a flyblown hospital and obscenely huge meals in the U.S., to name just a few. Our most absurd memory was the hotels in Tibet refusing to wash our socks and underwear.
Next travel destination: Berlin in July, Edinburgh in September and 4.5 weeks to South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho in October-November.