Hi, I’m Els! (voor een Nederlandse versie klik hier)

In my ‘ordinairy’ daily life I am postdoc in Cell Biology at the Max Planck Institute in Frankfurt am Main (Germany). In my life outside science I love to go out and photograph, travel, explore, write, and enjoy nature. I love to photograph birds and wildlife and love to educate people on them too!




I started this blog when I went on my first long solo trip outside Europe, in 2013. I took the train of the TransMongolian Express, one of my all time big dreams. After five weeks in Russia, Mongolia, and China I spent three weeks in Japan and another two in Indonesia, Bali. It was really a memorable trip. Writing my blog was a way to share my travel adventures with everyone at home, in words and photos. Ever since, I have an insatiable wanderlust.

Rugged landscapes and how we live with the vagaries of nature, thrown back to basics, is what I love most about travelling. In my blog you will find my own experiences, my observations of my surroundings and people around me, how I wonder about us as people, our behaviour, and the crazy things you can find anywhere around the world.

Travel has influenced me in ways I didn’t expect. That first trip was a challenge for me to step out of my comfort zone but during that trip I also realized that the world is at your feet if you want it to be. I feel more free, wanderlust occasionally takes hold of me and at that moment I want nothing more than to just travel: feeling like a traveller, free, without a fixed place, unbound, meeting new people, experiencing new cultures, and absorb nature. I want to renew, refind, and reinvent myself. Travel does that to me as well, I want to go going off my beaten path to discover a new part of myself.

Meanwhile, I am writing  my blog as a diary for myself, but increasingly trying to use it to write for larger audiences. I am trying to show everybody you can be a normal woman with a normal job and still go on (life) adventures. The blog is written in my native language Dutch, but I am thinking of setting up an English version of my blog as well. I try new things in terms of writing, photographs, and a little bit of video (I have more than enough ideas, but shooting film is a whole different ball game 😉 ).

Since I started my blog, I also actively resumed photography. Photography was a bit cast aside when I started studying biology, even though I graduated in 2006 as a photographer from art school and had worked some years as a teacher and freelance portrait and wedding photographer. Being a photographer, scientist, and a traveller all in one, gives me a different view of the world: I am curiously soaking in experiences while travelling, but I am also looking through my lens as an observer. In my pictures you see mostly landscapes, but also small, everyday events, and unguarded moments.

Next to all this, I am just a normal, 39-year-old, tax-paying citizen in society, working as a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute in Frankfurt, doing research on nuclear pore complexes: complexes in the cell that are crucial for our cells to stay healthy, in disease and also as we age age (although going on a world trip is still on my life-bucketlist). Maybe you want to know even a little more about me? I am as Dutch as they come: pragmatic, punctual, curious, and direct. Mostly I am a solo traveler, meeting people along the way, I am multilingual (I speak English, Dutch, German, a bit of Spanish, trying a bit of Russian, and I can curse in Greek).

I like trying things I have never done before, being active, expanding my boundaries, I love books, maps, and postcards, I’m a little bit of a nerd (in my profession it’s almost impossible not to be). I have a random taste in music, I am a vegetarian, feminist, hardworking, I think peanut butter and chocolate sprinkles sandwiches is a good combination, I am 181 centimeters tall, and without travel I am not a complete human being. Therefore, I will be travelling frequently in the coming years. With my blog I want you to come with me on these journeys! Have lots of fun reading and enjoy the photos!