Ik pas / I’ll pass – my March no alcohol challenge


my stack of dinner drink replacements

The first month of autumn seems like the perfect month to do the challenge I’ve been wanting to do for a while. No glass of wine at dinner, no drink at work to celebrate Friday’s.. Nope, I’m passing in March and want to see if it makes a difference.

March is wedged nicely in between the beautiful summer days where beers and bbq are almost unavoidable and the colder winter evenings where woodfires and red wine beckon. I dont drink a lot but I dont think I’ve had 1 full month without alcohol since, well since I started drinking it probably. So it’s about time to give my body time to remember what it feels like!

I’ve joined the popular Dutch campaign ‘ikpas.nl’ as sharing the experience with others always makes it easier. And I’ll be blogging here to have an outlet for my cravings and surprises, for getting through another challenge.

If you’re doing this or another health challenge in March I’d love to hear from you!


Modern day Bangkok traditions


Bangkok, city of contrasts. Super sleek shiny highrises tower around age old shrines where locals dressed in business suits and traditional dress kneel side by side and pray for good fortune.

Malls full of top fashion brands and the latests electronic gadgets are surrounded by hawkers selling their traditionally cut fruit and woodfired grilled meat skewers.


The Thai-Chinese wedding surprised me. Just like Bangkok still does when you find another little tucked away temple surrounded by shiny glass windows.

The day on one hand is full of age old traditions as the chinese tea ceremony, which feels like an intimate, generations old custom.  And ka-nom-ee, where bride and groom have to eat a whole egg from a spoon but have to leave 4 perfect pieces for good health, fortune and happiness.

On the other hand there was the modern glamour of dresses, red velvet wedding cake, wine, cocktails, amazing seafood and macaroons. And photographers for formal shots and loads of selfies.

I shouldnt have been surprised. It was just like Bangkok, a perfect modern day tradition.

Argentina, local experience seekers paradise

Eventhough Argentina isn’t as high up on most people’s place to visit list, the way the country presents itself is very much a mature very service minded tourism industry. They have got the relatively new trend of offering ‘authentic local experiences’ pretty much nailed.

Some of the places we stayed should be the role model for anybody who tries to achieve this.

The Palo Santo hotel in Buenos Aires

Just read their stories and you will be convinced: “We are eclectic, we are passionate about diversity and detail. We are contemporary, we are nomads, we are a new generation.”

Next time, i will stay even longer!

Yacutinga lodge in the Iguazu Rainforest

Although it was noticeable that the lodge had seen better days, the principles behind it are still incredibly convincing.” We are a company made up of local people who want to keep one of the few remaining Misionesra in forest that exist in an excellent state of conservation.For this purpose we decided to create the Yacutinga Project characterized by a cutting-edge hotel concept, adhered to strict criteria of sustainability in tourism.”

Yes , my kind of stay!

La Aldea de la Selva lodge in Puerto Iguazu

A beautiful hotel, consisting of individual units again placed in the rainforest.

“We aim to be recognized as a company that promotes sustainability actions in the community by contributing our effort and commitment towards making Puerto Iguazú a Green Iguazú”.

Legado Mitico in Salta

When you walk in, you get welcomed as if they know you. You’re arriving at a friends place. A friend with a very nice house!! It’s a historic house with a real B&B feel, conserving all old features. The service fits the place, and is as if they’ve known you forever.

“We would like to invite you to our emblematic hotel in the City of Salta, where an exclusive experience awaits you. You will be welcomed with old-time cordiality filled with the love for our nation, and in every room you will discover both mythical figures and the native people of this region, ever so rich in natural beauty.”

And that’s just a taste of the places we stayed.

At a restaurant in Salta where we came for the second time, they remembered our wineorder, and that we really liked the complimentary vegetarian ‘snacks’, so they gave us extra. At a little museum we went to the host noticed our interest in stones and minerals, so he gave us a non-polished one as a gift ” regalo de papa Santa” .

You get the gist. They’ve got the service industry nailed!