Spring is here!

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Or so it seems! Although we officially have to wait until the 21st of March I declare the spring season opened. No more excuses to stay inside, watch TV and not write any blog posts. It is time to get up and go out and about.

It is unbelievable how much I have missed sunshine. Spring days make me long instantly for my life back in the days in Barcelona. Life is so much brighter when sun is shining. People are smiling, terraces are full and beer is flowing like wild rivers.

Not that I have been in full couch potato mode over the past few weeks, but it is true that I haven’t been very active. My work-outs were limited to once every 2 weeks, my social life on low level and my dating activities non-existent.

High lights must have been carnival and HAIM in concert. First of Carnival. The excitement for this event can only be recognised if you were born and raised below the rivers, read the Southern part of the Netherlands. Weeks of preparation in finding the right costume, practicing new songs and repeating the old ones make this event one of my favourite holidays of the year. Carnival origins from a Catholic tradition called the Lent period. Traditionally during Lent (40 days before Easter) no parties or other celebrations were held, and people refrained from eating rich foods, such as meat, dairy, fats and sugar. So in the days before Lent people organized giant parties during which they consumed their luxurious before starting the fasting period. I don’t know anybody who actively participates in the Lent nowadays, but I do know we still celebrate the beginning of this period like crazy. Every year I travel back to my hometown and meet up with my friends for five days of crazy.

HAIMWell four this year to be honest. I traveled back to Amsterdam for the HAIM concert at my favorite place in town; Paradiso. The lovely sisters from California performed a great gig and were much cooler in real-life then on their album. Full-on Rock Chicks that make me believe I have a very boring live. Highly recommendable for those of you who love the combination of good music and pretty ladies.

But with spring in sight it is time to make new plans, discover new places and meet new people. I just realized that basically my New Years starts with the beginning of spring and not on the first of January. Happy and ready to conquer the world! 

List of The lists

With the holidays approaching rapidly and 2014 in sight we are being overloaded by lists to conclude this years successes and failures. Fact is you only need a few of those lists to be prepared for the new year. So here is my selection to survive: 

1.BBC Sound of 2014. 15 promising artists long listed by the BBC. Expected to be next year musicale heroes.  Most of the artists are already on Spotify so start listening and make sure you can sing along by the time that the artists hit the top of the charts. As the BBC boys have been right 6 out of 10 times over the past 10 years you better keep any eye open for Sam Smith; predicted to be elected the winner in January.

2. Forbes 30 under 30. The lists that selects the thirtieth most important innovators and influencers under 30. Which will give me less than 2 years on January 1st to make this list. My favourite person on this short list so far; Brandon Stanton.  The street photographer behind Humans of New York. You can still vote for your favorite. The final 30 will be announced in January 2014. All of them are a great inspirtation for me; I might be able to make it!

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3. Lonely Planet’s best value travel destinations for 2014. To broaden your horizon this list is important. It will give you bright new ideas for holiday destinations that are not only affordable but that will give you the ultimate holiday feeling. My wish list for next year includes a trip to San Francisco, a family trip to Marbella and potentially a next trip to the beautiful continent of Africa.

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4. Vogue’s spring|summer ready-to-wear overview per designer. Get inspired for sunnier seasons! As soon as you don’t have to be covered in hoodies, scarfs, gloves and big winter coats you need to be ready for shirts, shorts and flip flops. Because while you picked your Lonely Planet holiday destination  I am sure you cannot wait to update your summer wardrobe. My trend for 2014; blue.

5. Top 20 Tech Products of 2013.  Probably outdated by the time January ends, but good to know for now that if you have at least one of the gadgets on this list you can consider yourself to be either a high tech nerd or hipster. Either way I can’t wait to see what next year will bring us for cool new gadgets and apps.

So now you have your music, your idols, your holiday destination, your fashion style and your gadgets. The only thing missing are you New Years’ Resolutions and  I’d say you are ready to prepare for 2014.

online adventures

brett at schipholIt has been a while since I blogged something for all kinds of reason, but mainly because I was busy with other things that got my attention. In general I get distractedly easily and even more so when it involves boys.

On the verge of turning 28 and still being single one of my friends thought it was a great idea to invite me to the Inner Circle. Described as a private international network where single professionals with similar backgrounds and interests meet. In other words another ordinary dating site, but somewhat cooler because you need to be invited and get accepted into this circle.

After a very “painful” 2 days – Yes I almost questioned myself if I would be hip enough – I got accepted and the fun could begin. And I mean fun because the scrolling through “hot” boy profiles became an evening filling activity for me and my friends. Profiles basically consist of 1. personal description – the worst to write about yourself 2. your favourite city – Amsterdam, Barcelona, Buenos Aires in my case 3. your favourite place in the city – unanswered 4. your next holiday destination – Rwanda, which is actually not even true because I am going there for work. Oh yes of course the pictures in which you look most favourable and Q&A about your background and body type. You can view peoples profiles and you get a message when yours is being viewed and by who. It a mordern way of “check if he is looking and if you see he is watching pretend you are not”.

r-TINDER-large570The same friend who invited me to the Inner Circle introduced me to Tindera fun way to break the ice – right… The app merely consists of just swiping people pictures into the category hot or not. If one of the boys you swiped into the category hot thinks you are of the same standard your mobile gives you a way to jolly sound and pushes you the wonderful message “you have a new match on Tinder”. You have the ability to chat with your match, but this is usually the point you find out that you cannot judge a book by its cover and that you made a huge mistake by liking this boy. Thank god for the block option.

So, after a two week digital boy hunting adventure I realised it is just more fun to go out and meet them in real life. Because boys in actual boys do set the “bar” for anything 2 dimensional. And as addicted as I am to my mobile phone and online life the online dating is getting a big fat no for me. I am pretty sure I can meet a prince charming on a actual horse!

My love for my iPhone

quote_phone-richard bransonIf you know me, even a just a little bit, you know that I am officially addicted to my mobile phone. My beloved Iphone and I hardly ever part; its practically attached to my left hand or within grabbing distance…yes, even when I take a shower!

But today two virals caught my eye. Firstly, it was sir Richard Branson (founder of Virgin Group) who wisely quoted that I should not become a slave to technology and that I should manage my phone instead of letting it managing me. Sorry Richard, I am guessing that this is a little too late in my case. Nevertheless, it was the second viral that made me rethink my addiction. It was the below youtube video posted by Charlene deGuzman. The video shows what life without a mobile phone looks like nowadays. So take 2 minutes and 10 seconds to watch the video.

If the number of hits would count as evidence we can conclude that the “call” for a life without a mobile phone is getting bigger. The video of deGuzman has been viewed over 8 million times in 4 days. I must admit that I am as horrible as the friends in the video. But the message of the virals is clear; I will have to leave my mobile phone at home more often, or just not look at it every 10 seconds and enjoy my life with family and friends that a within grabbing distance. Challenge accepted!