Welcome to a new edition of Blogger Spotlight On
We’re very happy to speak with our first female guest, Milene from My Cup Of Travel. She’s world traveler originally from the Netherlands but currently living and working in Buenos Aires, Argentina!
Let’s get to know her a little better.
Could you give us more information about your background?
Well I am Milene van Arendonk, born in 1985 in the beautiful sea-side city of Den Haag. I have worked for several years at travel agencies and have lived in 4 different countries up until now. I have two of the greatest brothers someone can wish for and the most amazing parents ever.
Other than that, I was quite the sporty type but lost that somewhere along the way of getting old. Although I do love to cycle and still do that wherever I may be!
Did you travel as a child? If so where did you go?
I travelled a lot, mainly to neighboring countries such as France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxemburg, England, Ireland and of course also in my own country – the Netherlands. My parents loved a nice summer holiday and as the Dutch summers are quite wet, we mostly chose to go south.
Do you have any favorite countries and cities?
Well actually I love every country because in my opinion every country has its own beauty and own story. However, I do have some favorite cities which are Paris and Rome, mostly because I just love the atmosphere, the culture and of course the histories.
I love myths and legends so also enjoy travelling around Great Britain and well anywhere where there are great stories to be told; Turkey, Greece, Germany, Denmark, Argentina, South Africa and so on. I love them all!
What are your best travel memories?
There are many but most of my best travel memories come from the time I lived in another country.
In Turkey I lived with my best friend Rocinta, 2 lovely Portuguese guys and 1 crazy Macedonian dude. We called our small group of friends the dogs and this was one of the most amazing times I’ve ever had.
Other than that, I lived with my Ugandan family in a room, too small to fit in. I slept on the ground with my three little brothers.
We had to get water at the bore hole and had no electricity. Back to basic! Travelling with my other best friend Robert Jan to Southern Africa also left me with uncountable memories. I’m quite the clumsy, open-minded, rambling person so wherever I go, misadventures will happen!
You volunteered in Uganda. What motivated you to do so and did you learn a lot from that experience?
I have always wanted to volunteer somewhere and I actually chose Uganda because I’m crazy about apes. Uganda is one of the three countries where the mountain gorilla is living thus therefore I chose Uganda. It was a great experience.
I’ve learned too much to tell in a couple of words but mainly to be open-minded, see things positive instead of focusing on the negative things, that life is hard and therefore we should enjoy every moment of it.
I taught and played with kids even though we didn’t understand each other. I learned to cook on firewood and most importantly not compare everything with what I already know. This means; comparing Ugandan culture with the Dutch culture. In the Netherlands beating a kid is child abuse, however in Uganda they are only at the beginning stages of changing this. Trying to see things from different perspectives is very important, there is not one right way, there are many.
You taught young children, how did you prepare for it?
Actually I didn’t. I thought by myself that I couldn’t really prepare for anything because I didn’t know how it would be and I don’t like to travel with expectations. Thus I went to Uganda without having any thoughts on what would be going on over there. It was great. I followed some classes of other teachers and made my own way to teach the pupils English and we even did some rap classes and creative classes!
What do you miss the most when you are traveling?
Well I’m quite the Dutch stereotype; even though I don’t look like one, but what I miss the most is cheese & boerenkool. The Dutch cheese is just too good to be true!
Boerenkool is a Dutch dish that is my favorite of all dishes in the world. I know that a lot of (Dutch) people now frown but yep, it’s my favorite dish and the longer I’m abroad the more I miss it. My mother’s boerenkool I have to say because, well, that’s the best one!
What is the best travel advice you’ve ever received or asked for?
I don’t really ask for any travel advice, I just go with the flow and see whatever happens.
I mostly rely on local people as guides so that I see not only the touristy side of a country but also how the locals see and experience their country. It’s also a great way to meet people and to get an inside in the local culture of the country.
Now you have a new blog, My Cup Of Travel, what does it focus on?
At the moment my blog is mainly focused on living abroad and trying to integrate. I’m writing about my experiences in Buenos Aires – my adventures when finding a job, a house, getting a phone number, getting around town. Etc. everything that I experience and that could be of help to others.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
At this stage I really don’t know. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t really look too much into the future. I hope I’ll be financial stable by that time, maybe having a serious relationship but still having as much fun as I have now. I’ll probably be in another place as well (I’m not much of a stayer) but we’ll see. Life is one big adventure!
How can we contact or follow you online?
You can find me at:
or you can send me an email: email@example.com
It was great speaking with you Milene! Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions.
We sincerely wish you wish you all the very best and happy travels.
Until next time 🙂