My name is Cécile but in order to prevent confusion I always use Cecilia in international situations (like the internet). I am in my early forties, born and raised in the Netherlands. I love ever-changing and multi-facetted Amsterdam which has been my home ever since 1998. (See my personal tips for visiting Amsterdam.)

Traveling is a passion of mine. The world has so much to offer and to learn from. I have an especially weak spot for developing countries and somehow Latin America is close to my heart... it's so diverse, rough and challenging. But I am rediscovering Europe and all its diversity, culture, history and nature as well, and also want to see more of Africa and Asia.

Other than travelling I love photography, writing, beach volleyball, cycling, hanging out with friends, dancing, movies and documentaries, listening to music, British and Scandinavian humor, etc.

I lived in France (Bordeaux) for 5 months when I was 20, as part of a student exchange program, and in the UK (Birmingham) for 5 months when I was 21, where I did practice for my college education. I then lived in Rotterdam while finishing my studies (economics and languages at a Business Colege) and working.

After that I spent a year living in crappy hotel rooms, other people's houses, and a school building while I was trotting the globe (see Travel section). Shorter holidays in recent years took me to Malawi, Zambia, Portugal, Kenya, Tanzania, the Netherlands by bike, Brazil, Peru, Iceland, Laos, Thailand, Nicaragua, Spain, Colombia, Germany... I also love to play tourist in the Netherlands.

Favorite places: Amsterdam, Rotterdam (Netherlands), Berlin (Germany), Seville (Spain), Porto (Portugal), León (Nicaragua), Stone Town (Zanzibar, Tanzania).

I have been active in the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree forum for over fifteen years, helping people with questions about the Netherlands and other countries I've been to, and about traveling in general.

This website started out merely as a list of travel tips (still to be found on this site) and has gradually developed into what it is now. Hopefully it inspires and encourages people to take the plunge and to venture out into the world and discover new places and new people. And thus rediscover home as well.


If you don't see the buttons on top (Travel, Photos etc), click here for my full homepage.

Happy trails! Please let me know you were here by signing my guestbook.


School picture from 1977
Me at age 3 and something

With guesthouse owner Saysamone in Laos
Me at age 30 and something
On the dunes of Lençois Maranhences, Brazil