The ups and downs of traveling through Europe for 4 months

Hi everyone,

roadtrip?Just returned back home after 4 months of traveling Europe and working.

The upside of doing research is that my Start of the roadtimetable is more flexible than most people I know. The downside is that I don’t get a paycheck from it… So I really need to make time for paid work…

Let’s do a little recap and I’ll give you insight into my life for the last 4 months! It all started with giving up my rental home in June to save as much money as I could for 2017. I put all my stuff in storage and loaded up my car…

IMG_4990IMG_5021First up; camping near lake Balaton, Hungary. I decided to drive through Austria and make a stop at the Dachstein Gletscher.

I hiked all the way to the top over narrow paths. It is so weird when you are hiking for hours and suddenly see people in skis passing you by… 🙂

The Gletscher has a panorama bridge on the top, which is supposed to give you an awesome view of the Alps below. Unfortunately on this day the top was cloaked in clouds… So no awesome view, but the experience was still pretty awesome!! Like standing in the middle of the clouds!








Would have loved to spend more time on this gletscher…

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And many miles to go before I sleep
Robert Frost

On to Hungary!







First time of setting up my new Nigor pio pio solo tent, which performed like a champ. Easy and quick to set up, no problems with condensation, wind or rain and even though it is a one-person-tent it is more than enough room for me and my backpack!! Just awesome!!

Two weeks of camping gave me an unique opportunity to test my Jetboil Flash lite cooking system. Time to figure out the amount of calories needed per day and try different meals.






Two weeks in Hungary were great, but after being in one
place for 2 weeks it was time to get moving again!!

A beautiful ride to Croatia followed! Next destination; Plitvice Lakes National Park.

I took a day off to do a serious practice hike. 30 kilometers of trees, beautiful lakes, awesome views and waterfalls. Lots and lots of waterfalls!!











Leaving Croatia behind after an awesome drive through the westlands to visit the Prostojna Caves in Slovenia. A little train ride into the caves to discover the most beautiful and diverse collection of stalactites and stalagmites… Miles of stone sculptures and beautiful formations. It is absolutely mesmerizing how many wonders lay deep beneath the surface…

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So much beauty to discover in these countries… Unfortunately I had to press on to Venice for a Medical Legal Conference to present my medical research to an international crowd. Unfortunately just before the boat ride to Venice, some stuff got stolen out of my car. Suddenly a week of relaxed mind expansion turned into a week of frantic work around the clock…

The conference was great though! Nice to spend a couple of days with my colleagues and do some networking!

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After the conference I had one day for sightseeing before I had to leave. Unfortunately a Saturday in Venice is not a good day to do some quiet sightseeing…


Zig-zagged through the town in a couple of hours. But after standing in line for an hour before an average bridge, I suddenly had enough… Back to the mountains!!


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The long drive back through the Julier pass and the Fuorn pass. Two routes on the list of most beautiful auto routes in Europe. Simply beautiful… Mountain lakes, steep winding roads, stunning sunsets, lots of wild-life… The weather was not that great, but who cares?! I love the mountains!

Last stop was in Aachen to do some hiking to the three-land point with my friend Marc. A 2-hour-hike turned into a day’s walk, tasty food and good conversation! Just precious!!

But now it was time to return home…

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Just a couple of days to rest… Spent the weekend packing parachutes at the Tomscat; a skydive tournament in the Netherlands.

A little sad I was not competing myself, but nice to hang out with friends!







Three days of work on my research aaaaand we’re off again! Onwards to Belgium… This time Jodi could join me! IMG_6545
















As it always is with packing, the week was full of ups and downs. But this week was especially difficult… It reached an absolute low after we got word that a friend died in an accident… Of course the following day was the most warm and busiest day of the week… For the second time of my life I hit a brick wall while packing. A roller coaster of emotions…

Made it through the day with the help of some dear friends, but it was really rough…



IS0A9682-40IS0A9690-48Left to right: Ronald – Lianne – Ellen – Bas – Marc

The following week was a training week for my 4-way-formation skydiving team Bad Habits to get ready for the Belgian Nationals the following weekend. Unfortunately we had a lot of bad weather… In stead of the planned 40 jumps we were only able to make 8 training jumps :/

The weekend was also troubled with bad weather… Though Sunday above all expectation we were able to jump 5 rounds.

This week was a just reflection of the year… Lots of bad weather and some injuries plagued our entire season… But we were very happy we managed to win the Bronze medal with an average of 8.8 points. Considering the slow draw and complicated jumps, we were pretty happy and have shown progress compared to the tournaments from last year!








One night in the beautiful Haarlem, switching stuff aaaaaand we’re off again!!!


IMG_6658On to Spa, Belgium for a week of camping and hiking.

The weather predictions were horrible, so went for a day of hiking in Valkenburg…
Bad luck struck again… My backpack and laptop were stolen from my car :'( …

Learing from last burglary I hiked 20 miles carrying 40 kg worth of stuff… but the minute I get back and put it in the trunk of my car it’s just gone… The worse thing was, I was just 100m away drinking a cup of coffee with some nice people… Car was in full view, but they parked a van in between so I didn’t see a thing… 🙁

Like I said in an earlier post; I was really gutted, but it also made me more determined than I ever was before!!

And I am also grateful, that Jodi was with me!!








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Back to Switzerland!!

One week of packing parachutes at Mountain Gravity

Just beautiful in the middle of the mountains!



 My only regret is that I couldn’t stay longer for hiking…









It has been an incredible journey.IMG_3213..
ups and downs…

But it made me so excited for my Pacific Crest Trail adventure!!

Just cannot wait for 6 months of uninterrupted nature… The beauty, the hardship, the rough, the mesmerizing, the unforgiving, the rewarding qualities of nature…

Hope to see you all at the
BBQ Saturday!


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