In this Celebrity Travel Addicts Q&A we meet travel blogger Milou van Roon the Explorista. Learn how she inspires female millennials to live more adventurously, in their careers and in their travels. Meet Milou and check out her Top 5 List for Java Indonesia and where she’s jet headed to next!
How did your passion for travel get started?
I’m not sure, I’ve had a passion for travel for as long as I can remember. I count myself very lucky that my parents would always take my sister and I camping in the summer (usually in France). After coming back home, I’d be the first to ask where our next vacation was off to. Sometimes as early as in September, haha. My favorite subjects in school were history and geography, though the latter unfortunately covered the contents of clay much more than I care to remember.
How many days/weeks are you traveling in any given year? What are the types of places do you like to visit?
I’m abroad about 1/3 of the year, give or take. Those are usually divided into one-week and weekend trips. I’ve actually never traveled for more than three weeks at a time, now that I think of it. I tend to do a lot of short breaks in Europe, since it’s so easy to get around here. If I leave my house right now, I can be in Poland in five hours. But I also really like the Middle East and North America. Really… I kind of like everything. My most recent trips have been to cold(ish) destinations though, so I really need some sunshine soon, or else I will literally be see trough.
What is it that you want audiences to gain/ learn from your work?
I have developed this deep passion and joy for my life and living in general, and that comes from following my passion. Through my blog I’m hoping to inspire other young women to chase that same happiness. Wether you get that from traveling, being an entrepreneur or let’s say… knitting… I really don’t care. If I can make one reader reflect on their life and realize that -actually, they’d like to do different things in their life, and then take the risks and go do them, my job is done in this world.
Name your top three destinations you’ve traveled?
This list will vary any time you ask me, but for now… Indonesia, United States and Finland. I absolutely loved the Balkan too though…
Give us your ‘Top 5’ list for one of these destinations, like a mini-guide or to-do list of sorts
I’ve only traveled Java in Indonesia, but if I had to give you five places to go in Java it would be
1: Jakarta (for one day to experience the Dutch colonial history),
2: Prambanan temple (biggest hindu temple in Indonesia)
3: Yogyakarta (really enjoyed the vibe and LOVED the surrounding nature)
4: Borobudur (spectacular even if it means rising at an ungodly hour)
5: Gedong Songo temple complex. The last one was my favorite, as I rode a horse trough it, over the hills with spectacular views.
How many countries have you visited so far?
My goal is to reach 38 this year!
Your top three favorite cuisines?
Italian, Mexican and Indian.
Favorite restaurant in the world?
I don’t have one. Should I?
Your favorite travel movie?
Midnight in Paris is in my top three movies of all time. I also loved the Darjeeling Limited and am not ashamed I really enjoyed Eat, Pray, Love and Sex and the City 2 too (How fabulous does that desert camp look?).
Favorite international airport?
Schiphol in Amsterdam. Sorry, but I have to go local with this one. Never been to a better airport anywhere! (But then I haven’t been to Singapore…)
City with the friendliest people?
I can’t choose a city, but I’ll choose a country: Croatia! In 2015 I did a road trip trough six countries in three weeks, and had a good comparison. The Croatian people were crazy friendly, I loved them. Also adore the Irish.
Your favorite traveling companion?
My boyfriend. (aww)
Best way you kill time while traveling?
Reading a book. I think one of the reasons I love travel so much is because I love stories. I’m trying to read 25 books this year, but I’ve only finished four books so far, so I’m falling behind!
What is the most exotic place your career has taken you?
Indonesia, I think. And though it wasn’t ”exotic”, getting to explore the Austrian Alps and the town of Kitzbühel for work felt really darn special. There’s something about snowcapped mountains that can’t be topped.
Your best bit of travel advice for someone who is about to embark on a life of travel?
Work on finding a good balance for yourself. Wether you intend to work while you travel (online or locally), or just travel: balance is essential. It will keep you from burning yourself out, missing out or burning trough your budget too quickly.
What are 4 things you could never travel without?
My phone. A book. Ear plugs. Sleep mask. My laptop is my lifeline as I work for my company while I travel, but I could do without for a vacation. The rest are vital! Those earplugs helped me fall back asleep after the loudest call the prayer in the universe woke me up in Yogyakarta.
What is your ultimate dream destination?
That changes every day. Probably a safari in Tanzania right now!
Your favorite travel quote?
Not necessarily a travel quote, but one of my personal favorites: “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all” by Oscar Wilde. It’s 100% how I try to live my life. Making sure I’m trying alive and making the most of it, rather than just existing.
You recently visited Finland for NBE, can you tell us a little bit about it?
I was invited to Finland by NBE (which is a part of the Finnish travel fair Matka) as a speaker and a blogger. I got to speak during the NBE Bloglab with Kash and Elena, about how to make a career from your blog. I spoke a bit about how I used my blog to start a marketing agency where I get to work with some really big travel brands. I was so nervous (hello imposter syndrome!), but I think it went well. Before and after the event there were amazing press trips. I went to the Åland Islands beforehand, which was absolutely spectacular in terms of nature and food, and got to explore Tallinn afterwards, which is just the most charming city ever.
Where to next?
My boyfriend just surprised me with a trip to Prague last week, so I’m saying put for a few weeks to catch up on work and to breathe. One of my goals this year is to focus on growing as a person outside of work and travel too, so I’m trying to focus on my hobbies a lot more too. Having said that: I’m going to London at the end of next month for Traverse17. I have another week after that that is wide open. Knowing me I’ll probably escape to somewhere before then though! My travel plans are usually very last minute. I guess you’ll have to follow me to see if I can stay put for that long 🙂
Milou blogs at Explorista, where she aims to inspire female millennials to live more adventurously – wether in their careers or their travels. She juggles her busy travel schedule and her blogs with being the CEO of her own marketing agency for travel brands called Explorista Media.