Let's find a beautiful place to get lost...

Hi, I'm Lotte, born and raised in the Netherlands, happily married to Frank and mother of our little boy D. I'm trying to combine a full-time job, family life and exploring as much of the world as possible! Up until now I lived in Barcelona, London and Amsterdam and visited 40+ countries.

I have always loved travel, but in 2015 a lifelong dream came true: a 5-month trip around the world! This unforgettable trip inspired me to start Phenomenal Globe Travel Blog, a place where I document and share my travel experiences.

What I love about travel?

Wonderful Lake Wakatipu on the South Island of New Zealand
I absolutely love the feeling of ultimate freedom traveling (for months) gives me. No plans, no responsibilities, just freedom.

I relish the uncomplicated life of being able to fit everything I own into a backpack and move to the next exciting place.

Eating a delicious vietnamese Banh Mi on in tiny street restaurant
I love meeting new people from different cultures and eating delicious food from tiny street stalls.

Sensational sunset on Langkawi Malaysia
When I travel, I feel thoroughly happy with the little things in life, like a beautiful sunset or a walk on the beach.

Gokyo Lake viewpoint including Mount Everest

I created Phenomenal Globe Travel blog not only as a place to write about my travels, but I hope my blog will...

Inspire you to travel and help you plan your trips!

Organized as I am (my friends and family would say this is an understatement☺), I write down every nitty-gritty detail about my travels. And I love sharing my stories and advice on this blog!

Traveling the world...

This blog started as a hobby and for almost 2 years I combined a full-time job in finance with traveling the world and writing about my adventures. I made amazing trips to Cuba, Japan, Thailand and several countries in Europe.

But I couldn't help wanting more... I wanted to travel as much as possible because there are so many beautiful and exciting places in the world! That's why my husband Frank and I both handed in our resignation at work in January 2017 and started our second long-term trip, without a return ticket…

We ended up traveling the world for a year and visited 11 countries (10 new): the U.A.E.Sri LankaOmanNepalMalaysiaTaiwanCanada, the U.S.A., IndonesiaAustralia and Iceland. We are now back in the Netherlands and both work full-time jobs again. However, we still love to travel and have a very long list of 'Places We Would Love To Visit' so who knows where we will end up going in the future...

Of course I'll continue sharing our adventures with you, you can read about them on the blog or follow me on Facebook and Instagram!

Some more random facts about me

I love…

… my husband Frank, we have been happily married for eight years. He is my high school sweetheart and we have been together since I was 15 years old.
... my baby boy D., he makes me smile every day.
… good coffee, fresh smoothies and eating my way around the globe (Japanese, Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, you name it;-).
… hiking, skiing and diving. In general, I love being outside and being physically active.

I have…

… the sweetest parents in the world who took me and my sisters on awesome holidays from a very young age.
… three younger sisters (with lovely husbands), they are the best!
… my driver’s license more than 11 years and never owned a car in the Netherlands. Instead, I bought my first car ever in Canada, for our road trip around North America.

Where to start on Phenomenal Globe Travel Blog?

In the Phenomenal Globe Travel Planning Library you can find all my travel planning resources, tips and advice, where to go, how to get around, budget breakdown infographics, travel itineraries, my packing list and other convenient & downloadable information.

If you are looking for accommodations around the world or my favorite travel gear, check out the Travel Resource Page. On the Destinations page you can see which countries I've visited and see my travel timeline. All my posts can be found on the Blog page or in the Archives. And if you want to get in touch, feel free to send me a message, I'd love to hear from you!

Travel advice

Accommodation - Phenomenal Globe Travel BlogBudget breakdown - Phenomenal Globe Travel Blog
Itineraries - Phenomenal Globe Travel BlogPacking lists - Phenomenal Globe Travel Blog

Travel experiences

Diving - Phenomenal GlobeHiking - Phenomenal Globe
Road trips - Phenomenal GlobeSkiing - Phenomenal Globe

I sincerely hope this information will help you plan your travels!

And know that when it comes to travel, there is no right or wrong. Traveling further and longer isn’t better than making a short trip or even explore something new close to home! But I do encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and travel, because there is a Phenomenal Globe out there, waiting to be explored!


  1. Kfir
    July 16, 2016 / 11:25 am

    Hi Lotte,

    My name is Kfir and I’ve just finished reading your summary about Laos.
    It seems like you had so much fun and I can’t wait to be there too.

    I was wondering if I’ll stay in prestigious places only, how much more expensive it would be ? (when I say prestigious I mean the same level of the guesthouse in Vang Vieng)

    • Lotte
      July 17, 2016 / 7:58 pm

      Dear Kfir, I am happy to hear you liked my Laos itinerary. Prices always vary depending on the season and on how busy it is in town. However, I am pretty confident you should be able to find some nice places for €20-€25 per night in Laos, which is still a lot of money for accommodation in that region. Have a great trip!

  2. February 16, 2017 / 1:12 pm

    Hi Lotte and Frank, we wish you a happy stay in Sri Lanka. From Sheyamalie, Ella Alpine Resort.

    • Lotte
      February 17, 2017 / 11:46 am

      Hi Sheyamalie, thank you very much! We are absolutely loving our time in Sri Lanka?. xx Frank & Lotte

  3. Andrés Barros
    August 2, 2017 / 11:47 pm

    Well, if both of you guys worked as bankers it would make sense you can afford to travel the world. How does one make an actual living out of traveling though? You posted “until we run out of money”. Is it even possible to live just traveling?
    Thanks for the 1 month in Japan post. Very helpful. That´s how I found your site.

    • Lotte
      August 6, 2017 / 2:09 am

      Hi Andrés,

      Thank you for reading and for your comment. My job at the bank was in process optimization, I wasn’t an investment banker. Nevertheless, I’ll be the first to admit my bank salary helped a lot in saving for our trip. As did the choices my husband and I made, like living in a small and cheap apartment, not buying a car and carefully watching our spending.

      You ask if it’s possible to live just traveling. If you check the internet you’ll come across hundreds of examples of people who have been traveling for 10+ years, it’s definitely possible! As for me and my husband, I make virtually no money from this site, so for us it’s until the money runs out. We saved enough for approximately 1 year of travel, but we’ll see how it goes…

      Again, thanks for reading and enjoy your visit to Japan!

  4. Shin
    August 24, 2017 / 1:22 am

    Lotte I read your hiking in Kamikochi, were there any bears and how did you prepare for any possible bear encounters?

    • Lotte
      August 24, 2017 / 7:16 pm

      Hello Shin,

      Thanks for reading my Kamikochi post! I didn’t see any bears but there are black bears in the Japanese Alps. I recommend carrying a bear bell and bear spray with you. Hope this helps, enjoy your trip:-)


  5. Eimear Jones
    October 4, 2017 / 7:18 pm

    Hi Lotte,

    I have loved reading your blog and it has really helped with planning my 6 month travels! I just have 2 questions. Firstly regarding the campsite you stayed at in Miyajima, did you book in advance or just turn up? I am keen to stay there but would need to rent a tent as I will not have my own.

    Secondly, I am keen to do a similar trek in Banaue in the Philippines to you. I am wondering did you get the Japanese Encephalitis jab?

    • Lotte
      October 5, 2017 / 12:55 am

      Hi Eimear,

      Thank you so much, I’m happy to hear that:-). About your questions:
      1. We just turned up in Miyajima and were practically the only ones there! If I remember correct, there are a couple of rental tents. Perhaps you can check their website or send an email for more information?
      2. I got a lot of vaccines before leaving (DTP, typhoid, yellow fever, Hep. A+B and even rabies) but not Japanese Encephalitis. But it’s always good to be well-prepared so it’s up to you to decide if you want to get that shot!

      Hope this helps! Which countries are you planning to visit besides the Philippines and Japan?

      • Eimear
        October 9, 2017 / 6:18 pm

        Thanks so much! Yes I’ve had all the other vaccines, I just wasn’t sure whether or not to get that one as we will be around the rice terraces (but its very expensive!!)
        We are starting in Tanzania and climbing Kilimanjaro, then go across to Zanzibar! We then go to New Zealand for 5 weeks, then the Philippines, Japan, South Korea and then we are hoping to go to Malaysia and Indonesia for the final 2 months! All very exciting, just trying to get the right balance between being organised but not planning too much!!
        Eimear 🙂

        • Lotte
          October 10, 2017 / 1:54 am

          Yeah the vaccines are expensive… Our rabies shot was very pricey too and all it does is buy you 12 more hours to get to a hospital for the actual cure. But better save than sorry!

          Your travel plans sound amazing! I would live to climb Kilimanjaro… I’ve never been to Africa (only Morocco) and am so curious to explore this continent. You’ll love New Zealand, it’s my favorite country in the world (though Japan is a close second!). Good luck finding a balance between planning and going with the flow, I know the struggle;-). Though the more I travel, the more I am able to let go and just see where we end up. Anyway, have a wonderful trip and let me know if you have any other questions!


  6. Hadijah
    October 23, 2017 / 2:11 am

    Hi Lotte
    I just came back from Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Thanks to your itinerary , I did much of the same thing!

    • Lotte
      October 23, 2017 / 11:41 am

      Hello Hadijah,

      Thank you for reading my post, happy it helped you plan your Dubai and Abu Dhabi itinerary:-) I hope you had a great trip!


  7. paul treble
    March 24, 2018 / 8:33 pm

    Great site, thanks! I am planning a five week trip to NZ with our new arrival, so it was great to see your travel diary. I’ve been a few times but never for so long. You have given me a number of ideas and tips so again thanks. Planning to visit Japan the year after so I will be back!

    Kind regards,

    • Lotte
      March 28, 2018 / 10:15 pm

      Hi Paul,

      You are most welcome, I’m glad you like my NZ itinerary! Have a great trip, both to New Zealand as well as Japan next year:-)


  8. David Turley
    April 15, 2018 / 12:07 pm

    Hi Lotte,

    I love reading your website and all of your itineraries. It is really helping me with planning some of my trips. My girlfriend, Leanne, is going traveling in October for a year but unfortunately I am not going with her. However, I will be going out a various half terms to go and see her. I have already used your website to help us plan Malaysia in December, so I am ready and excited for that! Your website has helped give me an idea of how much we would spend per day and good places to go. We are doing it a slightly different way round, going from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi. I booked the Lantern Hotel based on your recommendation and I can’t wait to spend 3 nights there. Is transport in Malaysia expensive at all?

    In terms of Bali, I am looking to go out there for 2 weeks next Easter. Which places would you definitely recommend? And also, how much was that villa you stayed in for your honeymoon? It looked amazing!

    Then next summer we are looking to do 6 weeks in the Philippines. This is another one I am really excited about. Is there any spots you think we 100% cannot miss? This would really help us again.



    • Lotte
      April 15, 2018 / 5:51 pm

      Hi David,

      Thank you for reading my blog and I’m happy to hear my posts are helping you plan your travels:-). You’ll be traveling to some great places, Malaysia has beautiful coral, the Philippines has the most amazing beaches and Bali is so relaxed…

      Transport in Malaysia is not expensive, flights are cheap (we flew to Langkawi for €15 per person) and buses are cheap too (Mersing to KL is around €10-12). You can book online and check in with a digital ticket.

      About Bali, you can find my 2 week itinerary here: https://www.phenomenalglobe.com/bali-2-week-itinerary-first-visit/. I would definitely visit Nusa Penisa, go diving and get a little off the beaten track (north of Ubud). I was lucky enough to work with Jamahal Resort and received free accommodation. You can find prices here: http://jamahal.net/reservation/#content.

      For the Philippines you can check out my itinerary here: https://www.phenomenalglobe.com/a-complete-itinerary-for-a-three-week-trip-to-the-philippines-luzon-palawan-and-bohol/. I can highly recommend each of the places we visited, if you have 6 weeks I would add Siargao island and Malapascua to your places to visit list. I haven’t been here myself but these places were recommended by friends of mine.

      I hope this helps! Enjoy your travels:-).

  9. Job van der Wardt
    May 5, 2018 / 10:46 am

    Dag Lotte,

    Ik zag je post over een auto kopen in Canada. In september ga ik zelf op reis naar de Amerikas en vanaf Vancouver wil ik met 2 vrienden in de auto naar Panama rijden. In jouw artikel zag ik dat je nog contacten had in Vancouver voor goede autos. Zou jij die met mij kunnen delen?



    • Lotte
      May 5, 2018 / 2:12 pm

      Dag Job,

      Wat een supergave plannen! Hoelang hebben jullie de tijd?

      Uiteraard wil ik mijn contacten met je delen maar vanwege de aangescherpte GDPR regels mag ik je e-mailadres niet gebruiken om deze toe te sturen. Zou je via mijn Contact Me pagina een berichtje kunnen sturen zodat ik daarop kan reageren?

      Groet Lotte

  10. Frank
    July 27, 2018 / 4:00 am

    Dear Lotte,

    When I was planning my trip to new Zealand I found your blog about your trip to this country in 2015. The blog is very helpful and I made my itinerary very similar to yours.

    Then I contacted the Rental Car Village. I made a reservation for a Campervan and made the full payment in April. One week ago I wanted to make a minor change to the reservation. Since then I have sent them several emails and call them almost every day (I got email address and phone number from their website ), yet have never got any response from them. This makes me very worried. As the last resort, I seek your help to see if you know there is any other way to get in contact with them. Thanks a lot.


    • Lotte
      August 1, 2018 / 1:29 pm

      Hi Frank,

      Thank you for reading my blog and I’m happy to hear my New Zealand itinerary helped you plan your trip. I’m very sorry to hear about your difficulties getting in touch with Rental Car Village. Unfortunately I don’t have any contact information other than the details listed on their website. I do know the family often goes traveling in NZ low season (May-September) so perhaps that is why it takes them a little longer to reply to your query. I hope you have gotten a reply by now! Let me know… I wish you a wonderful road trip!


  11. Ioana Enany
    September 8, 2018 / 7:52 pm

    Hi Lotte,

    How did you book the 3 day hike to the Banaue Rice terraces? Did you book it in advance of your arrival in Banaue?

    Many thanks,

    • Lotte
      September 19, 2018 / 10:26 am

      Dear Ioana,

      We arranged the 3 day hiking tour (including the guide and accommodation) when we arrived in Banaue with the night bus. If you travel from Manila to Banaue by night bus there will be plenty other travelers around, so talk to people on the bus and find out about their (and your) travel plans to see if they overlap. When you arrive in Banaue you can find a guide together with people who also want to go hiking and split the costs (for the guide, jeepney, etc). You can also find hiking packages online which you can book in advance but I don’t have any personal experience with any of those.

      Enjoy your trip!

  12. Raghul
    December 13, 2018 / 1:49 pm

    Hi Lotte,

    I am very impressed with your blog, as it has pretty much everything required to make a travel plan and execute it well. My eyes are on Sri Lanka now.
    You should definitely plan visiting INDIA, i would be really glad to help you on it.
    Have a great journey ahead.

    • Lotte
      December 15, 2018 / 11:28 am

      Dear Raghul,

      Thank you very much for your kind words! I’m happy to hear you find my blog useful in planning your Sri Lanka trip:-) I would love to visit India one day and will definitely reach out for tips.

      Thanks again and enjoy your trip!

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