As a child my parents always took us on adventurous holidays, from hiking in Austria and Norway, to a self-guided canoeing trip through the rural, remote and wilderness areas of Sweden. During my childhood years I got to see a fair bit of Europe.

My mum is a Kiwi, so I grew up with stories about her homeland New Zealand. Ever since I was young, I have always been intrigued about the Land of the Long White Cloud. So when I was given the opportunity to do my graduation assignment in Christchurch, New Zealand, I grabbed that chance with both hands and made it my first overseas travel experience in 2010. I lived and worked in New Zealand for 6 months and got to see quite a bit of that beautiful country.

During these 6 months I caught the ‘travel bug’. I felt the urge to travel the world and explore new places, but not alone this time, but with my boyfriend Remy. We got to see some beautiful places in the years that followed, and made more and more travels each year.

It was the Summer of 2012 when we were planning our five week New Zealand and Australia trip for early 2013, when we got the crazy idea to get married in New Zealand during that trip. That crazy idea turned into plans, and while travelling through New Zealand, in between sightseeing the North Island, we got married at one of the most beautiful beaches of the Coromandel.

From seeing the Northern Lights in Tromsø to celebrating New Year’s Eve in Dubai and Berlin, from snorkeling both the Great Barrier Reef and the Ningaloo Reef to doing the Cage of Death in Darwin, from the Big Buddha in Hong Kong to the Table Mountain in Cape Town, and from the most beautiful nature and spotting orca’s in Western Canada to the city that never sleeps New York, we have been very lucky these past few years, but still have a never ending bucketlist to go through.

I joined team Traveltomtom in July 2018. The international focus of Traveltomtom is what got me excited. By joining Traveltomtom my articles with our experiences and tips would reach a large and international audience. I get really enthusiastic about travelling and with over 8 years of travel experience I think I can help other travelers by answering questions they may have and create their dream trip.

Curious to what destinations and travels we have lined up for the year ahead? Keep following our travels through this website or via my own Instagram Travelashie.

Feel free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions!

Find below Ashley's latest articles for Traveltomtom

Winter & Christmas Time in Zuid Limburg

 

After a wonderful Summer, where travel restrictions were lifted and travelling was possible again (within Europe for most of us), Autumn and Winter kicked in with lockdowns pretty much everywhere again. After visiting all the amazing places in the Netherlands, traveling to Rotterdam and finding out the best things to do in Heerlen and staying in a crane hotel earlier this year, we decided to focus on our own country again this Autumn and Winter. Once more looking for the most beautiful and special places the Netherlands has to offer.

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De Bossche Kraan | Hotel Exceptionnel

Opening a brand new hotel in the middle of a worldwide crisis? Sounds too crazy to be true right? Well, two entrepreneurs from ’s Hertogenbosch did just that. And as we’re always looking for unique and special places to stay, this former crane was right up our alley and we couldn’t be more excited.

The crane officially opened late September 2020, as the official opening was postponed due to Corona. However in the months before the official opening they were running a very busy Hotel Exceptionnel. Booking after booking came in, they haven’t really suffered from the Corona crisis.

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Hilton Molino Stucky Venice | Waterfront with Amazing Venice Views

 

Italy was our first destination ever since Corona had put the world on hold. From our Dutch government there are many travel restrictions in place, which leaves very few destinations, all within Europe, open for us to travel to. Early September, Italy was one of the few places we could freely travel to. That plus the fact that we had never properly explored Italy before, made us decide to choose Italy as next destination.

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Hotel Winkler Sport & Spa Resort | Dolomites Wellness Haven

I have said it before, travelling the Dolomites and South Tyrol in particular, it often feels like you’re travelling through Austria. It’s the mountains combined with the traditional alpine chalets, and red geraniums hanging from the balconies.

Arriving at Hotel Winkler Sport & Spa Resort we were slightly confused. It was again a classic alpine chalet we arrived at. We had checked the hotel online, and photos showed a very luxurious and modern hotel. Walking up to the entrance of the hotel, we honestly thought we were at the wrong Winkler Hotel. But then, walking through the entrance it’s like going through a time machine, from traditional alpine to extremely modern and luxurious. Absolutely fantastic!

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Nature & Active Hotel Rogen | Oasis of Peace & Tranquility

 

When we travelled the Dolomites early September 2020, we picked several stops to cover most of the Dolomites from west to east. So after starting the trip in Merano, we made our way east, having our next stop north of Merano.

A beautiful family-run hotel near the town of Mühlbach, about 50km north of Bolzano and 30km north of the amazing St. Magdalena. We made Nature & Active Hotel Rogen our next stop, which turned out to be a pretty sweet decision.

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La Maiena Meran Resort | The Top of Meran

 

After 6 months of staying at home and exploring only our own Netherlands, it was finally time to cross borders again and have our first trip abroad since the Corona pandemic. With still many travel restrictions in place, our destinations were limited. But nevertheless, we managed to pick an awesome destination for this first trip after Corona.

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Van der Valk Amsterdam Zuidas | Luxury Views Of Amsterdam

Traveling to Amsterdam is always a good idea, especially when you get to experience the city in a brand new hotel. Valk Exclusief has been building on their newest, luxury hotel in Amsterdam for the past few years. In the summer of 2020 this new and modern hotel opened its doors to the public. It was pretty special to be one of the very first guests of a recently opened hotel. Everything still smells new, looks brand new, and probably also due to the Covid-19 situation, it was very quiet.

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8 Awesome Things To Do In Rotterdam

 

Back in 2016 Rotterdam was named as one of the top 10 cities in the world to visit by Lonely Planet’s ‘Best in Travel’. The city owes its place on the coveted list to its futuristic architecture, inspiring city initiatives and a growing range of art, culture, restaurants and entertainment venues.

Rotterdam, the city of reconstruction, was also mentioned by the New York Times and Rough Guide. Both recommended the Maasstad (Rotterdam’s nickname) as one of the best cities to visit in the world.

Looking for more places to visit in the Netherlands? Click on the link for 24 other suggestions like: Giethoorn, Volendam, Parkstad Limburg and much more.

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26 Best Places to Visit in The Netherlands

 

It’s not a surprise that the worldwide Corona crisis has put a stop to all our travels we had lined up. Some awesome trips got cancelled and have to be rescheduled when it's safe again to do so.

With some borders being closed, and a negative travel advice for most of the outside world, we started looking into sightseeing in The Netherlands. We found out that Holland, our small little country has so much to offer. For some reason we rather travel as far away as possible. But the Corona crisis made us reconsider to visit some Netherlands tourist attractions.

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11 Things To Do in Heerlen – Mural Capital of the Netherlands

 

We always like to travel for as long and as far away as possible, for some reason we think the best things are always found abroad. And of course we have found many beautiful spots all over our world during our travels the past few years. But with the current restrictions we felt more comfortable looking a bit closer to home to spend our holiday.

And sometimes that means you literally don’t even have to go that far. Who knew that Heerlen, only a short 5 minute drive from our place, is the Mural capital of the Netherlands?
Obviously I noticed some pretty cool murals in the past, but I never knew that Heerlen actually was the street art capital of the Netherlands.

Related: List of 24 cool and unique places to visit in Netherlands!

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