About Me

I was assured an easy life, any education I wanted, every opportunity. I would never have to eat rationed food or obey curfews, or watch riots from my rooftop, or stay away from windows to prevent being shot’ Part of ‘Interpreter of Maladies’

I was born in the Netherlands, 1972, chose two artistic educations with which I was very unlikely to earn much money, if any at all. With changing the truth a bit I got a job as a food photographer in which after three years I knew enough: working to live your life is not my idea of living. This had to change, drastically.

done2008, KKH

Curiously, never having been the type to be afraid of the unknown, overly careful nor watching television I set off to India; where I had to obey curfews, being for 5 months in the civil war of Kashmir, caught between anti prying walls in an old-fashioned Muslim household.

done

2018-14-01-15-44-20

2018-14-01-15-28-23

2018-12-01-18-39-55

2018-12-01-18-21-57

2018-12-01-18-14-43

2018-10-01-17-29-14

2008

2010 Zanskar, after releasing myself from civil war and a wrong situation, I ended up skinny but happy. Not long and I discovered I wanted to travel by bicycle.

2007 Bumboret

2008 Islamabad, the Hyatt has been blown up, war planes fly over, mom and dad's return flight is cancelled. All we want is drink chai in a quiet park.

1-DSC_0605

2008 Rishikesh, celebrating Holi outside of the ashram meant we needed to be prepared to have growing hands around us. We did so with plastic bottles filled with colored powder and wate

2007 Saroyan Narovar

2007 Bikaner, to enter a temple covered in rats is not easy. I had to get over my disgust, fear and reasoning. I imagined it little rabbits, then it was easy.

Pakistan; where I lost many kilograms as a result of a poor diet and a steady dysentery, living 8 months in a valley high up North, and meeting with a self appointed one, who single-handed hunted a certain sir Laden, brought me a cast iron stove that kept me warm in winter.

2018-12-01-18-38-02

2018-12-01-18-33-54

2018-11-01-16-51-02

2018-11-01-16-58-25

2018-10-01-17-51-46

2018-10-01-17-44-32

2018-10-01-17-33-47

1-DSC_0184-002

Yemen; where I traveled for a few months between regular suicide attacks on touristic groups, had me sneak on a bus traveling to the forbidden east, resulting in an unwanted armed guard on the way back.

2018-14-01-15-25-54

2018-11-01-17-01-20

2007 Shibam, where I was not allowed to travel to as there were too many risks of getting kidnapped. The route through the lonely desert is known for these political reactions.

2018-10-01-17-42-16

2018-14-01-15-18-54

Afghanistan; where I was told not to sit in front of windows, as this would make me an easy target, worked on my nerves, so I got a visa at the Indian embassy, which was blown up a few days later.

2018-12-01-18-31-11

2007 Kabul, early winter while the buildings bear evidences of long war, and without running water in the only hotel I was able to sleep, it was rather uncomfortable.

2007 Herat, a tailor who made me the most beautiful drawstring kameez ever, the border set in handcarved mirrors.

2018-09-01-21-42-27

2018-09-01-21-49-58

Having backpacked for 5 years in series of 3 trips over about 10 years I came to conclusion that I needed a challenge. Getting secretly into Tibet was adventurous. A month after the tsunami I was in Sri Lanka, another sort of reality hit me. Walking nearly two months on the steep wintry trails towards Mount Everest base camp was hard yet enchanting. Riding nerve-breaking broken coaches with mom and dad along the mud brown Indus, sleeping in a room next to Taliban gentlemen, having a spiritual talk with a mujaheddin cum sorcerer, learned how to shoot, fight and be smart, meeting several famous (or notorious) guru’s in India, witnessing and experiencing spirit exorcised by aged fakirs, having secrets with my animist lady friend, having worked for months voluntarily at places I would otherwise never visit, tiresome rides through a dusty burning desert in a crammed windowless bus, and seeking refuge at far-flung places difficult to reach; that was all absolutely unforgettable. But I knew: I need to be differently challenged in between all of this.

I saw the beauty in her eyes, a child still but for how long.

Eid, all children dressed in new

2018-14-01-15-31-21

2018-14-01-15-19-36

2018-11-01-18-28-07

2018-11-01-18-25-49

2018-11-01-18-24-21

2018-10-01-17-45-43

2018-10-01-17-35-37

Then the bicycle came to mind, as this would allow me to go around those towns where buses stop, where the locals might be influenced by greed, where everything is centered to accommodate. For me, traveling must be more than going from one town to another. I, never done any sport, decided I needed to cycle in order to get my daily dosage of incentives, to reach not a destination was where I would head to, and everything in between.

2007 Yemen,

2007 Sudan

2007 Pondicherry, a few days after I needed to seek the hospital after I stroked a wild animal, which gave me a strong allergic reaction.

2007 Yemen, also in my room I cover up as I do not want to suggest anything improper. Being in any other country I think one must acceptthe moral codes and behave accordingly.

2007 Teheran

2008

5 years later, endless desert rides, camping at high altitude, long stretches without settlements, pushing through, extending sources by simpler living, meet with the forces of nature, being in climates not sensible to cycle in, witnessing the strength of mind, the power of thoughts, the incredible fact of being able to sleep anywhere, a muscled body, building fires, creating fun, feeling part of nature solely by the sounds of it, the delight of solitary life where no limits nor regulations exist, noticing a fox accompanying your camp, unknown people who want to spoil you, the sea as your bath tub, the millions of stars as your ceiling, the map of the world your playground, taking photo’s of yourself as if being a child, is all pure joy. I have found out what is in between those towns. And where those towns first where my destinations, they now function only as places to resupply.

2013 Iraq

2014 Bundi, summer in India, heat of 50 degrees had me a fort all to myself.

2018-09-01-21-48-28

2018-10-01-17-43-18

2018-14-01-15-24-54

The absence of clutter when there is no outside fuss, when you are dependent on your sense of organization, on your trust in the world, knowing that fear is a made up story, on the openness of the landscape and people, on the sense of why you are living; when you can close your eyes, view the clarity in your brain, trust on the unknown and loosen the strong grip of media and cultural references, the world is quiet and safe.

2018-09-01-21-43-40

2018-14-01-16-01-44

Traveling has become a way of life. It takes practice, and worries and fear will interrupt, your balance greatly destroyed at times, but try to live a different live and see how that feels!

2018-14-01-15-50-56

2018-14-01-15-49-02

2018-11-01-18-27-06

2018-11-01-16-41-23

2018-14-01-15-37-41

2010, Kuala Lumpur, I can enter mosques solely for Muslims, no tourists around.

I am happy to hear I can inspire you, to start what you dream off, to let go of your fears, to jump around and play, to learn and be open, to have fun and to put yourself in the middle of it all, and then make a photo of it!

You can contact me or leave a comment (below the contact form).

2017-08-8--19-40-53

One of the better camp spots. I have food and water enough to stay 2 nights and still make it to the next vilage. Atacama desert, Chile 2017

 

2 responses to “About Me

I'm curious to your view, leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s