* Pictures on this blog are all mine unless stated otherwise. No copying allowed.
“Suzanne is not here” is a bit of an ironic name. Clearly, I have to be somewhere, quite awesome places at that usually. It is more of a reference to family and friends, to whom I am “not here”, most of the year. “Here” in this case is the Netherlands, my lovely, rainy, down-to-earth, tiny country (the one next to even rainy-er England, across the sea). I love that I have the opportunity to combine study and passion with travel. So the name is just to remind where I come from, without getting too nationalistic 😉 . It’s about where home is, my family and friends, while also implying the world is larger than just my own country (which, funny enough, can hardly be seen on the world map).
About this website
This website is not one of those travel blogs that gives you 10 tips to travel under €30 a day, or the 5 best coffee shops in Rome. That is not who I am. I do not earn any money with this blog and I am not always up to date. I am a messy person. But I am also an honest person. I will tell you that it is not just one big party. That you are sometimes stuck with infections or diseases. That it can be lonely and estranging to travel so much at times. That going to developing countries does not just mean smiling school kids. That poverty is not there merely to help me reflect on my privileged life. That flying airplanes kinda destroys the planet and enlarges your eco-footprint ridiculously. But it also means that simply a smiling face after travelling with heavy backpacks through the rain or over bumpy roads can make my day. That just a fantastic view on top of a mountain alone can make me forget everything.
As you will see as I am growing, not only as a traveller but also as a writer, I will become more critical and more honest in the stories I tell. Does critical equal negative? Not at all! I am usually super enthusiastic through the stories I write. It simply means I will try to reflect a bit more in the stories on what my experiences mean, and not only show the positive experiences. It also means I will give a bit more background to what I do and to the local culture.
It means as well that I do not use pictures of children, unless with specific permission or when they were in public performances, etc. Further, I try to be respectful about the diversity in cultures, living circumstances, habits and values. Travelling, volunteering, working in developing countries (which is one of the things I do) can be a great experience for personal growth. However, it is always difficult to assess what to show on social media and what not, trying to honestly reflect a situation without exoticizing poverty or making people (children especially) tokens for your self-glorification. So I invite you to critically engage on any of my posts (not just those in developing countries) and let me know what you think, and also mention it if you feel I should do something differently or better! 🙂
So, then who am I? 🙂
My name is Suzanne, I am a Dutch girl halfway her twenties starting her journey to explore the world (to see where I’ve been so far, click here). I have a weak spot for dancing and supposedly my laugh sounds like a guinnea pig. Aside from all the fun stuff I am pretty serious about issues such as human rights, climate change and more (as you may have guessed from the above). The typical I’m-a-vegetarian-and-I-only-buy-fairtrade kinda hipster idealist. I graduated from my Bachelor Global Project and Change Management last year and now do my Masters Development Studies at the Institute for Development Studies. The good part about these fields of study: I get to travel. A lot. On top of that, I get to do meaningful projects, that (hopefully) impact livelihoods locally. About that you can read throughout the different posts.
As far as this blog concerns, feel free to like, share and comment. Enjoy! 🙂