John and Debbie

Life I believe is about having adventures and new experiences. In 2014 I left my job and we made a decision to take a gap year and travel around the world. I was born in New Zealand and grew up in Manurewa a suburb of Auckland. My father was Dutch and my mother a New Zealander. I left school at 15 and worked for two years in a factory and then decided I wanted to meet my relatives, especially my grandmother and grandfather in Holland. In 1979 I boarded a plane in Auckland and via Singapore arrived to a large crowd of family at Schiphol airport and guess who did not know a word of Dutch. It was an eventful year, I saw snow for the first time, learnt a bit of the Limburg dialect, introduced to herring, frikandel and Carnival. 18 months later I returned to New Zealand and stayed until 1988 where again I went overseas. Before that I spend several months undertaking the major and not so major tramping tracks in New Zealand including the Tongariro Crossing, Heaphy Track, Wangapeka Track, Nelson Lakes, Milford track, Routeburn, Abel Tasman, Stewart Island to name a few. I eventually ended up working at London’s Holland House Youth Hostel in Holland Park as a receptionist. That was a fun year. In between getting to England I travelled in Thailand, Hong Kong and China for a couple of months. It also was the time before the internet so it was an adventure every day.

After a couple of in the UK I returned to New Zealand. Eventually I decided at the grand old age of 29 to go to university and ended up at Lincoln University for five years graduating with two degrees in environmental policy and science. In 1997 I travelled to Hong Kong, China, Pakistan and Malta before ending up in England once again. A year later I returned to New Zealand to work at a company in Wellington. I remained there until 2003. I then returned to work in Holland for two years and lived in Amsterdam. During that period I met my future wife on a blind date in Brighton and relocated to England. We married on a cliff top on the Greek Island of Zakyanthos in 2006.

Since July 2014 we have travelled around the world and blogging our adventures and experiences. The trip began in Holland in July and then we returned to England. In August we flew to Vancouver where we spent six months travelling around Canada and the USA with my lovely in-laws Joe and Inga in their 38 foot RV. We then went to Australia and New Zealand for a few months. A highlight was visiting Tasmania and Melbourne for a few weeks. We are now in Cambodia having visited Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

My wife Debbie is Canadian and UK citizen. She is a trained opera singer and actress. She also has created her own blog called 52 weeks on wordpress In this blog she has gone old school and is writing a letter per week to people all over the world from exotic locations.


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