Hi everyone & welcome back on my blog!
I saw this TAG going around and I thought why not do the same for my birthday, the 2nd of August I will become 26 years old.
*this is me freaking out for a second* *26!!* *Can I stay 22 for ever?* *NO* *life goes on*
All questions are related to how my 25th was and what is yet to come.
1.What was your favorite trip?
This must be our stay at the Warere beach hotel in Nungwi Zanzibar. Mike and I were so ready for a mini holiday during our stay in Zanzibar after all the working we did. This hotel was a dream and it felt like a mini honeymoon. We walked along the beach, we drunk to many Amarula with ice and had a long but good road trip through Zanzibar as well coming there.
2. What was your favorite book?
I did not read that many books this year, but since we now live in the desert in Morocco I started reading again to have something to do in my spare time. My favorite books and author from the last year were from JoJo Moyes, I absolutely love her writing. My favorite book which I have read already two times from her is the last letter from your lover. I highly recommend to read this book if you are a sucker for love letters like I am. I you don’t like to read I have a good alternative and I don’t mean listen to an audiobook, I mean listen to podcasts. I am recently loving podcasts a lot and I can’t wait until I have my own home again with good WiFi & a pair of wireless headphones to stroll around listening to podcasts. Currently loving the -At Home With- range from Lily Pebbles and Anna Newton.
3. Your best fashion buy?
I have a thing for dungarees. When I was younger I was always wearing them even though other people may found it weird. Dungarees are probably the most man repellent clothes a girl or women can wear. But who cares, wear what you want to wear! My favorite pair of dungarees I bought this year are from H&M and they have short legs. I wear them all the time and because it is denim pair it fits with almost everything
4. Best decision work wise?
Work wise a lot has changed the last year. I stopped working at Nationale Nederlanden the 1th of November 2016. I Stopped working at my second job at the Zuiderstrand Theatre the 1th of December. At the beginning of our trip in December Mike and I managed a Kitesurfcentre in Zanzibar for four months & now Mike and I take care of the KiteWorldWide camp in Dakhla Morocco and we are kitesurf instructors. Probably the best decision work wise this year was to make sure that we do not work more than we need to. In Zanzibar we had to work such long days and 6 days a week that we decided to, if we are on a world trip we should not work more hours than we did at home. That said we quit the job after four months and went for a more relax job in Morocco!
5. Best interior buy?
This year we did not have our own house. But for travelling we bought some home bits and bops. The best thing we bought was a string of fairy lights! It made our rooms where we stayed in in Zanzibar & Morocco both very romantic at night. It was only 2 euro at IKEA!
6. Best dish you ate?
Pastille in Morocco. It is kind of a pie filled with chicken *but can be fish or something else* with nuts and powder sugar and cinnamon on top! Best dish ever!
7. The best advise you got?
I did not get a lot of advice this year. We did meet a lot of people but only for a very short time, we did not discuss much advise stories with them. But the best advice I gave myself and I give to you guys is: ’’Do not waste your twenties thinking about careers, money & you have to do this and that’’. Go out there and explore. Life is short and you can only grab some opportunities once. I met so many people who said they wanted to travel but they said they can’t because of work for example. Then you are just living somebody else’s life but not your own. It was very sad for me to see that so many people are stuck in what society calls life. Of course everybody has different dreams and mine was travelling the world. But do not waste your time on stuff or jobs you don’t like, you are too young!
8. Nicest photo?
9. The best moment of last year?
Wow, there are so many, I will list a few down below.
Saying goodbye to my colleagues at my old job and knowing that I had a great time there.
My farewell party with all my friends & when they sang a song for me
The feeling of freedom the first two weeks on Zanzibar with our friends Frank & Janneke
Starting our trip and going to Zanzibar on its own.
Enjoying Zanzibar with my parents & my friends!
Dancing with our feet in the sand in Jambo Beach bar in Zanzibar
Coming home in March & seeing all our friends
Same story in May when I saw my friend Rudy which I had not seen in a year.
Visiting the wedding of friends
Kitesurfing in Dakhla with Mike & the guests
Seeing our Danish Friends again in Morocco
Booking my world ticket
The feeling when we got the house we wanted which will be finished in 2018
And most of all being with Mike everyday & meeting tons of other lovely people!
10. Most listened to album?
Harry Styles – Harry Styles & Hozier – Hozier, apparently I liked albums named after the artist.. Oh and of course Ed Sheeran – Divide & Adele – 25 (favorite album of Adele so far and she was 25 as well!)
11. Best series you watched?
Reign & Game of Thrones
12. Favorite instagram account?
Ohh dear, I follow a lot of people. Not only on my own Instagram account @irinavannamen but also on our couple account @sun.sea.spirit!
I follow a lot of influencers & travel people & kitesurfpeople.
I will pick a favorite in each of the following categories.
Fashion – @asos
Actor – @vindiesel I love his captions, he is so sweet!
Singer – I do not follow many singers…
Book/Poem @rupikaur_ or @atticuspoetry
Influencer – @vivianhoorn @yara_michels @theannaedit
Travel – @natgeotravel @saltinourhair @theblondeabroad and many many more.
Decor/ home – @festamsterdam @sofacompanynl @westelmuk @urbanoutfitters
13. What did not happen, failure in your 25th?
I did not became a millionaire, no joking I do not know an answer to that now.
14. If you could change anything from the last year?
I would have done the same thing over and over again. Just because I learned so much about myself and my skills and which skills I don’t have. Oh and I have learned that all people are different & my friends and family are the best people in the world. Not that I did not already know, but if you meet hundreds of other people it just shows extra that sometimes you are lucky you have met the greatest people already.
15. Best movie?
Me before you & Bridget Jones Baby
16. Favorite beauty product?
Clinique chubby sticks, bronzer & highlight
17. Favorite scent?
Zanzibar blend, * a mix made by locals & smelled delicious * & Black Opium from YSL
18. Crazy habit?
I have many! Some of you may know I have Misophonia. Crazy habits coming with Misophonia are running away in trains from people who make certain noises or repetitive movements like shaking legs & tipping on the table, not only in trains though. If you want to learn more about it visit this website.
19. Most painful physically?
When I had dengue fever in Zanzibar. It is also called the bone-breaker disease. It lasted a few days and I thought I was ran over by a truck. I could literally not lift a spoon.
20. Favorite color?
All shades of Pink & Blue
21. Most proud?
I cannot point a finger to everyone, because many of the people I know have had to go through some big life changes this year. Most proud I am of my Aunt, she overcame breast cancer this year. Not that she could do anything about that, but the way she stood tall & strong through the whole process. I love her!
22. Best laugh?
Probably with our friends Anders & Laura in Zanzibar, we were just laughing a lot!
23. Most expensive purchase?
My 10 meter 2017 North Dice Kite (900 Euro) & my world ticket (1850 Euro). But both give me all the joy in the world so it is all worth it
24. The best family moment?
As I was not home that much last year I do not have many moments with my family. But my farewell party was very nice moment with them!
My parents also came and visited me and Mike in Zanzibar, it was very special for me to share this experience with them.
When we where home we went bowling with my parents, my brother and sister in law and me and Mike this was also just a normal but very nice moment.
Cherish the little moments! Seeing my family again after a few months is always the best! I already know that the best family moment when I come home will be meeting my new niece Fenna, can not wait to meet the little girl.
25. The best drink of the last year?
Definitely AMARULA! I have drunken way to many bottles on Zanzibar. Amarula with ice & sharing it with friends is the best!
This was definitely one of my pinch me moments when Robin & Hannah and me were having a nice dinner with Amarula on Zanzibar.
26. Something I am looking forward to in my 26th year..
Seeing my friends & family again the end of August, the weddings of a couple of our friends, my travels with my cousin & mike and travelling on my own through New-Zealand and last but not least decorating our new house and settling down next summer in the Netherlands!
Love you all, & see you soon!