This week’s guest post comes from Maaike, travel blogger behind Travel a Lut. She explains ‘I was born in Leiden, Holland and I’m a real city girl. My goal is to move to Amsterdam and own a canal house. I work in the travel industry, so I’m ALWAYS busy thinking about traveling and I love nature. My travel bucket list changes every day and the only continent that I haven’t visited yet is South America, but I really would love to go there. I’ve visited 28 countries so far, so there’s still plenty more to explore. I love to go camping and taking road trips and I love to dream BIG.’
1. What is your name and where do you come from?
My name is Maaike Lut and I’m from Holland. I’m a real city girl and I’ve always lived in cities. But I’d love to live somewhere else for a while, outside of Europe. Maybe somewhere close to the jungle or in a city with a lot of culture that’s not similar to the one I’m used to.
2. What sort of traveller are you? Full time / part time / business / backpacker etc?
I’m a part time traveler and a backpacker. I’m actually a flashpacker: a backpacker but I don’t sleep in dorms. I love to travel as cheap as I can but I don’t mind spending some money on cool activities and on private rooms. To give an example: when I was in Mexico, I traveled with my backpack and I slept in cheap accommodations. But I didn’t sleep in the cheapest one because I’m not a fan of sharing my room and for me, it’s very important to sleep in an accommodation which is close to all the sights. But I’m okay with sharing a bathroom and I don’t mind sleeping in hostels. And I won’t skip great excursions because you never know if you’ll ever be there again. Note: I always travel with my partner so if I would travel solo, I would consider sleeping in dorms to meet more people. And it’s way cheaper of course.
3. How do you fund your travelling?
I’m working full time as an online marketeer and innovator in the travel industry, so that’s the way I fund my travels. I also buy the cheapest flights so that saves me a lot of money.
4. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?
That’s a difficult one. All the countries I’ve been to are so different. I really loved Thailand, because that was the first country I’ve ever been to outside of Europe. But I also loved Mexico and Caye Caulker on Belize. Morocco surprised me a lot and I loved the nature in New Zealand. And Italy always feels like a real holiday. I can’t choose!
5. Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?
Mm I’ve been to a few places that I didn’t like, but I have two examples for Malaysia. When I was traveling there 7 years ago, I went to one city and one village where no tourists had been for years. The city was a bit scary with a lot of police men, soldiers and people who stared at us like crazy. I was a bit afraid to walk down the streets so that’s not a great feeling. The other village was not a vibrant place AT ALL, so I didn’t like staying there.
6. Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it?
Yes, I do have a bucket list, but that one changes every day. The only continent I haven’t visited yet is South America so I really wanna go there. I think Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia are on the top of my bucket list. But that could be different tomorrow, haha.
7. What 3 things (apart from the essentials – food/water etc) do you always travel with?
I can’t live without my phone. Not because I’m addicted to social networks, but Google Maps is my greatest friend and I make all the pics with my mobile phone.
The other thing I always take with me is my notebook so I can write down the tips during my travels so I can share them on my blog.
Last but not least: I always take my day backpack with me. I’m a girl but I don’t like handbags and I don’t leave the house without my small backpack, haha. So I’ll never forget this one!
8. What makes you happy and why?
Anything that has to do with travel makes me happy. It starts at the beginning: looking for cheap flights. I can spend days, weeks or even months looking for cheap flights. Note: I don’t decide to go to a destination and look for flights. No, I look for flights and then I decide where to go. So that means I can search for a very long time haha, the whole world is possible. Then, when I’ve booked the ticket, I read a lot of articles, books, and magazines about that destination, looking for cool spots and hidden gems. I also love to watch video’s, pictures and documentaries about the destination. I actually read a lot of articles, so even when I don’t go to a certain destination I like to read it. And I love the trip itself of course, including the months after that trip.
I also loooove to write, but only when the subject is travel. And drinking wine, going to festivals, food, explore new cities, hiking through nature and be active also make me a very happy person.
9. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I’ve my own blog since June 2017 so that’s a very short period, but I blog for years now: during my internships and work, and for fun of course.
I started my blog because so many friends and family were asking for my travel tips. I always needed to tell the same stories over and over again. But I wanted to start a blog anyway, I just love to write about it. And I have a passion for online marketing so that’s a good combination! I have the need to inspire others, that’s all.
10. What makes your blog unique and why should people read it?
Well, first of all: I write in two languages. My own language, Dutch, and English. And I do go to destinations where not many people are going, like Taiwan, Nicaragua, and Belize. I always share hidden gems, because I don’t like going to all the highlights of a country. The other aspect that makes my blog unique is the fact that I always get the cheapest flights and the best accommodations, so I know where to search. My friends and family always ask me to look for flights because they know I can find the best ones! On my blog, I want to share my tips. Last but not least: I’ve noticed that not many travel bloggers are that honest (excuse me if I’m wrong) about some destinations. Or if they didn’t like a destination, they won’t write about it. I think it’s very important to show everything: the good and the bad. So if I really didn’t like a place, I will write about it. And it’s also very important to show the readers that traveling is not ALWAYS the best thing ever, it can be hard sometimes. So I really wanna show the good AND the bad on my website.
From ESLT – thank you Maaike for taking the time to answer our questions. Safe Travels 🙂