Diary blog: update on a lovely summer in The Netherlands

Oops, it is mid-August and I realized that the last diary blog was written more than two months ago! Strange actually, back in the Netherlands, time seems to go much faster than being on the road and discovering new places. Days are more alike and so the weeks fly by! And yet a lot has happened in the past two months, so it’s time for a catch-up!


Starting a new job after one full year of traveling

On June 2th my first day at my new job started. I am back at my old firm, however, in a different exciting position.  And so everything suddenly comes together. Exactly a year ago I had my last working day as a Customer Experience Marketeer at ABN AMRO and exactly one year later I started as a Business Developer. It’s a completely different role than the one I had before. I learn a lot and fortunately, it has a great focus on customers!

However, this doesn’t mean that Charlotte Plans a Trip is on hold. On the contrary, I deliberately started working for four days and work for the site every Wednesday, Saturday, and sometimes Sunday. Ries does work for 5 days (poor guy) again so he is now a bit busier in the evenings and weekends with photography, partnerships, creating new itineraries, and writing blogs.Home office Homestyle and fitness Charlotte Plans a Trip

Less traveling means less content but nevertheless we keep working on improving our website

It is true that because we travel less, we have less new content. And so we have currently reduced the number of blogs to two (one Dutch article and one English article) per week. And that immediately gives us more room to focus even more on things like SEO (Search Engine Optimization), updating articles, and working on Pinterest. Strange times like these give us time the rethink our strategy and reflect. Times are changing and adaption is needed to stay relevant as a travel blogger. One of the initiatives to stay relevant is to focus more on Pinterest.

Focusing more on Pinterest

After a very inspiring training from Milou Smit, I started working hard with our Pinterest account. Every day there are now 5 new pins online that we make ourselves. Pinterest was still new to me and it gives me so much energy to get into it and learn all about it. I had the same feeling a few months ago with SEO and before that with building the website. Curious about our Pinterest account? Click here!Pinterest Charlotte Plans a Trip

A tough challenge – staying motived to work on our brand while the number of visitors dropped

Something we did not really tell you, but what has not always been motivating in recent months was the low number of visitors to the site. Very logical, because of corona almost no one can travel anymore, and therefore far fewer blogs are read about traveling. Quite sour, after working hard the first months of the year to make our website easier to find, the website visit figures dropped completely in mid-March.

Now, a few months later, we are already seeing that many more people read our blogs and dream about beautiful trips. Staycations and workcations are getting more and more popular. We also see that people are looking into exotic destinations again. This gives us hope as well. Hopefully, 2021 will be a much better year. In any case, we see it positively and have already completed our first trip!


Off to France: a visit to our wedding venue

Yes, our first trip outside the Netherlands is already a fact. In early July we drove a long weekend to the champagne region to visit our wedding location. IT WAS FANTASTIC! We had been in contact with the owners of this location since January. Through Facetime and email, we had a good click and a good feeling. But it was still important for us to see the location in real life before booking it for our wedding weekend.Champagne region near Troyes Charlotte Plans a Trip Vinyards


Are you considering getting married abroad? Read this blog we wrote about how we found our wedding venue!


Well, luckily it exceeded even our wildest expectations! And that, in combination with the warm owners Tim and Resi, ensures that we are now really busy with the wedding preparations!

Saying yes to the dress….

And one of the things that are part of the wedding preparations is the search for a wedding dress. Of course, I do that together with my mother. We have been very close since childhood and I still speak to my mother every day today. I generally buy new clothes together with her (whether or not remotely by means of poorly lit fitting room photos). And so she is indispensable in the search for my wedding dress.

Beforehand, I had no idea what type of dress I would like to wear or what would look nice on me. All I knew is that too much lace, rhinestones, or frosting might not be my cup of tea. Now, a few shops further, I already have an idea of ​​what kind of dress I like! We are not there yet but I am hopeful that I will find “my dress” soon.

Champagne tour in the vinyards Charlotte Plans a Trip


Curious about the region where we are getting married? This is the Aube en Champagne, the southern champagne region. Read all about this place here!


Corona and our wedding weekend …

So everything seems to be going in the right direction, not only have the witnesses and masters of ceremonies been asked, but our marriage is also starting to take shape with a DJ, caterer, and wedding script. Even the wedding website is already online and our municipal wedding is planned (if you marry abroad, you still have to get married in the Netherlands for the law).

And yet… everything is still quite uncertain. With all these nice things there is a small voice in the back of my mind that says “this may not happen”. Because well, as with almost everything at the moment, corona can very well make sure that our wedding next June cannot take place at all. Sure, it’s still 10 months away, but then again, there is no vaccine yet, there is no solution for Covid19 yet. And well 10 months is also very close.

At the moment we try not to think too much about it.wild flowers in France Charlotte Plans a Trip


Summer in the Netherlands!

In the meantime, we fully enjoy the summer in the Netherlands. We hang out (mostly in the open air) with friends. Amsterdam in the summer is great, with long evenings, the sweltering heat, and the many parks as an escape from the heat. I take daily walks, with Ries, with girlfriend Fay or on my own with a nice podcast on.

Weekends are often packed. We see my brother’s new house, have family meals, and go sailing with our niece and her parents (Ries’s brother and sister-in-law). During the worst heat, we flee to Bilthoven, where the Ries his family has a lovely house with plenty of cooling. Dining in the garden until midnight and playing games with friends who come to visit. The Dutch summer isn’t that bad yet! And how cozy is the baby boom in our circle of friends! Small eyes of the parents but so much love for those babies born in this crazy time!


Glamping in the Achterhoek

Outside France, we also have short holidays in the Netherlands. For example, we go camping for a weekend at beautiful glamping in Gelderland. We were invited to this cool and creative initiative of temporary pop-up camping in style! It’s a sunny weekend too. We explore the area, cycle through the countryside of the Achterhoek, and even visit Dutch vineyards.

We almost only work from home, going to the office is something that only happens every now and then. Not bad at all, because we spend a lot of time together, just like when traveling, and we can organize our days as we like it ourselves.


Future travels …

We are not really planning any new trips yet. There is still a nice weekend with friends to the champagne region planned, but beyond that our travel agendas are surprisingly empty. We hope to spend another week of sunshine in Italy, Greece or Portugal in the autumn. But we are still a bit in doubt if we should fly. Therefore we decided to wait a bit and see if this is responsible and safe.

Next year, hopefully, we can celebrate our wedding with our beloved ones. After the wedding, we immediately go on our honeymoon. The destination for this honeymoon is much closer to home than we would have thought last year. Our honeymoon will be a road trip to the gems of France and Italy! We are already looking forward to it since we hear great stories about both France and Italy. In case, you know a great place to visit in France or Italy please let us know.  Honeymoon preparations Charlotte Plans a Trip


And thus, while we are in the middle of a heatwave, the weeks fly by and a summer in the Netherlands turns out not to be bad at all! I wonder if autumn will still be so hot!

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