“Home Sweet Home” Questionnaire #8: Roy Van Den Bos.
1.) Tell us a little bit about yourself and how your passion for travelling started.
Me, better known as The Riding Dutchman, has been riding a long time! I grew up in The Netherlands in Europe and had many countries to my disposal. When I was younger my parents would always roadtrip to France with us, a country I think now I know best after my home country. When I was in college I had the opportunity to work and live in Malaysia for five months. This is where my true passion showed itself. I’ve travel around Asia so much it feels more like home than the many crossable borders on my home continent. It was after this I realized I wanted to make travel my life goal, learning about other cultures and being inspired by the rest of the world!
2.) Where is home?
I live in the suburbs of Rotterdam, The Netherlands right now. Always trying to travel as much as possible, for which Rotterdam is a pretty central location. Though I would love to move to a metropolis someday!
3.) How did you get there? Have you lived there all your life, moved there because of College or just fell in love with the city/town on one of your trips?
I grew up in the city area of Rotterdam until I was 15 years old. Increased crime rates and bigger housing dreams caused my parents to move out. Naturally, I followed. Age 22, I still live with my parents for a while, until I can travel somewhere my heart grows fond of!
4.) What does your living situation look like? Give us a brief description (city or countryside, apartment or house, messy or neat-freak, roomies, pets, plants etc.)
I’m currently living in the suburbs. A quiet and peaceful area near a small but beautiful lake, the wonder of the surroundings making up for a lack of activities. When I’m walking outside, sometimes I get the ghost town creeps from the abandoned streets, but there is always an amazing photo shot or story to find!
5.) What’s your favorite spot in your apartment or house & why?
The kitchen is where all the favorites are at, so that makes it the favorite spot! I’m a big food-fan and I love cooking. Pretty good at Asian dishes if I may say!
6.) Do you prefer books or movies (plus what’s your favorite one)?
Movies! Although I’m a big reader myself too. My favorite movie is Fight Club. I love the aspect of how everybody is on an Ikea-run to get their home to feel like home but in reality, all we need is to be stimulated to feel alive! In this case by a fight club, I just love to travel. That definitely makes you feel adventurous and alive!
7.) Where & how do you write your blog articles? Do you start with a rough draft or get right to it?
I always drink a cup of tea before I write an article! Then, I sit in my room, consider what I want to write and write it. I keep using photos to recreate that memory of how a certain place made me feel. Recreating the inspiration is really important to put a good feel into my posts!
8.) What does a perfect day in your hometown look like? What season is it? Are you inside or outdoors? Do you hang out with friends or family?
A perfect day in my hometown is in the hot summer. Everybody is outside grabbing a beer on the many outside terraces. People are happy and since our municipality has a Rotterdam Green Program, there is a lot of nature to be found in right in the concrete jungle.
Winter is nice too for the beauty of it, but very cold!
9.) Name three spots in your hometown, which you’d probably not find in a guidebook but you could recommend to travellers. Tell us what’s special about them.
1.) Southside Rotterdam (Vreewijk & Beijerlandselaan): This area might be a little dodgy but during the day you’ll be perfectly fine. It’s home to great multicultural food and architecture, some older houses and peaceful neighborhoods along water filled trenches.
2.) The Maersk Building: Featured in Jackie Chan’s Who Am I, this piece of architecture is world famous. You can’t slide off of it like Chan did but the boulevard is home to every flag of every nation on the world.
3.) Noordereiland: Called the Roosevelt Island of Rotterdam it looks very much the same. Except it’s one of the oldest areas that survived the WWII bombings. Great pubs are everywhere and people have a friendly island mentality that is unique for this city!
10.) What’s your favorite local dish (if you have one in your country/town, please tell us which one)? Can you cook it & what are the main ingredients?
Kapsalon! This dish was invented in my hometown by a Turkish kebab place. They were making kebab and fries for a hairdresser (in Dutch: kapsalon), and the hairdresser would mix the kebab with the fries and eat it like that. After a while the restaurant decided to put it on the menu and now every kebab house in Rotterdam has the kebab with fries, salads and cheese Hairdresser!
11.) How much does 1 liter (or one gallon) of milk and petrol cost today?
1 liter of petrol costs € 1,76. Milk is around € 0,80, depending on the place you buy it at.
12.) Where are you right now, on which device to you answer this questionnaire and what shoes are you wearing (if possible please add a picture)?
No shoes but socks! Unfortunately my camera is in my car, but I am writing on my laptop in the very definition of suburbia. Quiet, peaceful, all I hear is the sound of my heater blowing warm air in these cold days when nobody is outside. How I can’t wait for the summer!
13.) Last but not least: What does “home” mean to you?
Home is where you can be yourself! Home is the place where you hold your heart close to, where you can do the things you want to do in the freedom you require. I never called these suburbs my home. The busy streets of Kuala Lumpur, or the dodgy neighborhoods of a lesser known Rotterdam. That’s what I call home, because that’s where I am who I am, without pretending. That’s where people accept who you are, without pretending. To me, that’s the very definition of home.
Want to be a part of this series?
If you want to be a part of our series, just go to the “Home Sweet Home” article and download the appropriate questionnaire. We’d really like to read your stories :)
Participants so far:
#1: Ulli Maier
#2: Nisa Maier
#3: Shvyia Nath
#4: Rika Huang
#5: Yvonne Zagermann
#6: Dario Endara
#7: Frankie Thompson
#8: Roy van den Bos
#9: Monica Stott
#10: Doris Neubauer
#11: Amanda Slavinsky
#13: Casper Oppenhuis de Jong
#14: Ashley Abroad
#15: Inma Gregorio