Bram and Manon (@flipflopwanderers) are a travel inspiration for all of us at WearMe Pro. Not only do they take beautiful photos, you can sense their positive energy and love for each other in every photo. We are beyond grateful for the opportunity to interview them!
Back in 2011, Manon did an internship at Curaçao in the Dutch Caribbean. After a few months Bram followed her, and when the internship was finished we went on a road trip through the US together. This was the first long trip we did, and it tasted like more!
After Manon finished her study and we saved up a lot, we went on our first world trip a few years later. For over 1,5 years we travelled to Hong Kong, Thailand, Australia (where we also worked during the year we lived the van life over there), New Zealand, Fiji, and via LA and Las Vegas we went back to Curaçao to work for a while before returning home. After such an amazing time it was hard to just settle back home again, living the 'normal' live while knowing there is so much more out there. So 2,5 years ago we packed up again and we have been travelling ever since.
How would you describe your style of travel and your travel blogging content?
I think you can describe us best as a long-term, slow travel couple with a passion to find hidden treasures and go off the beaten track. And that's what you can find on our blog as well. We have extensive travel guides in which we share everything you need to know about visiting a certain place all based on our own experience, but also many more articles with travel tips, itineraries, hidden treasures and much more. Another passion of ours is photography. So during our travels we are always searching for the best photography spots, preferably on our flip flops. Because another thing we do prefer is tropical destinations!
What destination is most memorable for you?
Over the years we created so many good memories, it is really hard to pick one, but there are 2 destinations that really stood out. Firstly our first destination together: Curaçao. This tropical island has a special place in our hearts and feels like a second home. The beautiful beaches and the laidback lifestyle was something we really loved about living there.
Secondly: New Zealand. During this second world trip, we went back to New Zealand. The first time we went for 6 weeks, but this time we stayed for a full year. We converted a van into a campervan and travelled all around this amazing country, while we worked in several places as well. If you love nature and adventure then New Zealand is the place to be. We have been surprised by the beautiful scenery time after time.
Do you ever want to settle down in one area? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
We really love this nomad lifestyle, and we are not stopping any time soon. And where we will be in ten years? We have no clue! We want to continue like this, but we like to have a base to travel from and we also want to have kids someday. Where this will be is still a question we can't answer. To be honest, we don't see ourselves settling back home in the Netherlands again. And although we loved New Zealand and Australia it is too far away from the rest of the world. So we still have to work that part out.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learnt about yourself since you started traveling?
We learned so much during our travels. Every new destination, other culture or history form a destination teaches you a lot. And also the people we met. I think the biggest thing we learned is to follow your own heart and live the life you want to live, and not someone else's life. People have opinions about everything, but these opinions often don't matter. And the same the other way around, why would you worry about other peoples choices that have no influence on you at all, like what they wear or do or such. It's a waste of time which you better use for positive thoughts.
What is the worst bit of travel advice you have received?
'Don't go there'. Many times we have been told that a place wouldn't be worth it, or it would be 'dangerous'. Often this 'dangerous' place wasn't dangerous at all. For example in New Zealand, they told us that the East Cape was dangerous, only because they had some bad stories. But New Zealand is one of the safest countries we have ever been to. The area was completely safe, but some stories scared a few people over time. You better get information from official agencies to check if there is negative travel advice than from random people.
What is still on your bucket list?
Where shall we start… Somehow the list even grows faster than we can thick off the boxes, haha. All the destinations we have seen make us curious for another one. Some countries that didn't really interest us first are now at the top of our bucket list. A major bucket list item is visiting Central America at the end of this year. We have been to a couple of countries there already and it was so amazing. It might be our favourite part of the world and we would really like to travel around there for an unlimited time.
What is the craziest situation you have gotten yourself into while traveling? Did it change your travel behavior?
When we travelled around Australia in a van, we visited Kakadu National Park in the tropical north. There was a river crossing which looked so cool that we wanted to drive through there. While we did that, we looked out of the window and saw several crocodiles in the water. On the other side, we had to turn around to go back. Because we wanted some good photos and video Manon got out at a viewpoint while Bram crossed the river again. When he was back on the good side of the river again our van stopped because there was some water in the engine. We had been so lucky that this happened only after the crossing and not midway. Otherwise, we would have been stuck there in between the dangerous, human-eating crocs on a fast-flowing river! This made us think twice in similar situations, haha.