US Road Trip 2015: Help me out? Pretty please :)


I know my SPNFamily will love this idea of helping me design my road trip. For all my other friends and family I hope you will participate wherever and whenever you can :)

March and April 2015 I will be in the US for an 8 week road trip and I don’t know exactly what I will do. I know it takes a little while to get to March, but my plan is set and if I want to get enough input I need this time to figure it all out ;) There are a few ideas in my mind, but only the first week is set in stone :) There’s a few places I’d like to visit. The South has always drawn my attention and the words “Mason – Dixon line” sound like magic. Texas is a state I’d like to visit and also Alabama, Kansas, Memphis. I don’t know a lot about these states and if it’s doable to go through these all in the amount of time I’ve set, but they sound great to visit. There’s been a couple of times I’ve been to the states and there will be plenty more, but this is going to be one of my biggest and baddest trips :D


Fun times with the boys VegasCon2014 (Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins & Jensen Ackles)

My starting point will be Las Vegas and that’s all I know. For the SPN family I know they want to know: I’m going to VegasCon for the first time and that’s basically the starting point of my trip! :D I will have 6 weeks after Vegas and I don’t have any other plans except: small towns, maybe some big ones, staying in the towns (not next to the high ways if thats possible). I know for a fact I’ll go to Texas and see where that’ll take me :) My plan is to be guided through my feelings. If I like a town I’ll stay a couple of days, if I don’t like it, I’ll leave the next. It should be an easy road trip and I need to be able to relax as well ;) That’s all I know and that’s all I’m going to plan, well maybe my return ticket, but other than that I don’t have any ideas yet.
I’ve already been to the north and the west, and I’m really drawn to the south so that’s what I want this time.


Elizabethtown Road Trip Scrapbook

So why this blog? Cause I’d really like your help with making this road trip the best trip I’ve been on so far :)

I had this crazy idea about others designing my road trip for me. I would really like to see what people come up with so that’s why I created this blog in the first place. As I don’t know if I will use any of it I don’t want you to invest so much time and energy into this project without knowing if it’ll get used.

If you really want to, you’re more than welcome :D I am dying to see what people come up with (a book, a website, a Pinterest board, a blog, a story, screenplay, a video, mood board, scenario or something completely different). Put in all the creativity you have and make it something amazing. If there is one that I really love I might use it, no guarantees though. If there are pieces of the trips I like very much I might use them in my trip as well. That’s probably the only reward I can give. Except for my eternal gratitude :D and posts about you on Twitter, Facebook and here on my blog. When I’m on the road trip I’ll try to keep feeding my blog so you can keep track.

music         101PlacesToSee

What I really want your help with is to know places to see/ things to do like: restaurants, bars, clubs, venues, sport events, concerts, hotels/ motels/ inns, theatres, specialities to eat/drink and so on. Also I really would like to know what you think is great road trip music and if you have playlists to share with me :) And of course if you have other tips and tricks and know you’ll have a place for me to crash last minute let me know and I’ll shout out if i need it :D Also if you want to meet up or just hang. I’ll try to tweet whenever I can and let you know where I’ll be so you can get in touch with me right away :)

I am going to try and blog when I’m on the trip, I’ll add stories about what I went through and what I’ve experienced so you can keep track of me here. I don’t want to make any promises though, cause this trip is all about what I want to do and when I want to, so I might not blog in days or weeks, but I’ll keep you posted somehow :D

You can send all your ideas and questions to (please put RoadTrip15 in the subject;) ), leave a comment here, follow me on Twitter @ilsesroadtrip2015 or comment on a place on this map where you can add locations (please comment on what you want me to see :) )

Let’s go nuts and I’m looking forward seeing your input!

Have fun, nothing is too crazy and let’s create an awesome trip!


2/365: Drawing: Take TWO

So I just realised I posted the picture of yesterday :O Today was very intense, we have a Covey training with our work and I was positive I’d created that picture today, which I didn’t. Later I added a bit more to this picture and that was the one I posted earlier.

The drawing I created today though was the following :)



And indeed it was very different than yesterday..

1/365: Drawing

First drawing of the project. Summer of 2014 I started picking up drawing again. I bought a colouring book for kids and I had fun with it. I also started to just draw circles and lines and it feels so good to create something. I like circles and to just let my pencil go wherever it wants to go. I usually just use a grey pencil, but I love to use more colour as well.

So this is number one of the project and I’m happy with it :)



One drawing a day

There’s this amazing photographer I follow ( who has this 365 day project. She wanted to improve here photography so she came up with the idea to post a photo every day for a year. She’s very talented and she inspired me to explore my creativity as well. I like to draw and I haven’t been drawing in ages. I started drawing this summer, with colouring in kids colouring books, and just doodling. I like it and I want to improve so I wanted to post at least on picture or a drawing, doodle or colouring a day, so I can improve the way I’m using pencils and hopefully improve my skills.

I also hope I’m so committed to this project as this lovely girl is. I’m starting now in stead of 1 January 2015, because I don’t believe in new year resolutions. I believe in changing when you want and do it now and not try to pick a date in the future, cause than there will be more pressure and it should be fun to explore your creativity right?

So as of tomorrow I’ll post a drawing, doodle, colouring a day :)

Going on an adventure? Trust your instinct.


So 5 november I got a message through my MeetUp account from a photographer. He told me I would be eligible to model for him, he might be able to recommend me to others. First I was like whoa! Than I thought: okay but why me, what does it entail and what’s next? There wasn’t any other information about him in the message so I asked him where I could find information about him, his website and all that and what the meeting/ try out would entail. I got a message back with some information and it was all without any commitments, the information from the website looked okay. So I messaged him it was okay to meet and that I would try it out.

I’ve never really thought about modelling, didn’t know if it would be something for me, but this was a nice try to find out I thought. The funny thing was that that Monday of the first message my skin acted up and I was like: Yeah sure, why not now :) But that was okay, I had it somewhat under control and I thought: Photoshop was not created for nothing :P So I didn’t pay to much attention to it. If I wasn’t good enough with how I looked, that was not my problem, it was his.


Feelings are over rated ….. or not?

On Friday he gave me a call if the meeting would still happen and I said yes. The moment I hung up though, my feelings where really weird. I got nervous or my intuition was telling me something else. I told myself it was just nerves, cause this came completely out of the blue and I didn’t know what to expect. I went to bed and slept good. The morning of the shoot I woke up with huge uncertainty in my gut. My mind kept telling my body to shut up, because it might’ve been just nerves for the unknown. I talked to my friend about it and she told me (what I already decided) to just feel it out, if it didn’t feel good I could just go back home, no strings attached, no consequences. I would just go in there for the experience, go on another adventure. I knew either choice would be fine, it would be my choice to go or not to go and it would be all good.

I wanted to know what the feeling was though: was it my gut trying to tell me something or was it just my insecurity?

My mind went back to the time I didn’t want to go to the last acting class I took. I was so nervous to make that decision, I didn’t want to go at all, but I didn’t want to look like a failure. In the end I made the choice just for me, not for anybody else, I made the decision not to go for me and the moment I did the feelings where gone and I didn’t think about it anymore after that.

So I decided to go and feel it out. My other friend told me I didn’t have to go if I didn’t want to and if it didn’t feel right. And I told her I would be okay, I’d just feel out the situation and than just stick to my feeling and not doing things I don’t want to.


The day itself

So we met up in a coffee shop in a hotel. He told me some bits and pieces and gave me some advice. He told me something about where he was coming from. He used to be an actor in Hollywood and does a lot of photograph. If you get a recommendation from him, that apparently says a lot. He told me I could probably get project as background, military (cause my short hair) and business. He told me my skin might be a problem and he wanted to give me some advice, and I told him I tried anything and it gets better and worse sometimes. Then he kept saying that a reference from him would mean a lot, and that other people who take great pictures don’t know the business like he does. And I just sat there and knotted at him. Didn’t have any questions, I just went with the flow.

He told me that just because I’m new he wouldn’t shoot in a studio cause he doesn’t know if I’d do good or show up or something. And I said okay, didn’t expect that, but he should know right?

I told him about the 4th wall when he told me not to look into the camera. And than he’s like: it’s the 3rd wall actually. And he was impressed I knew that. But I he’s still wrong. It’s the 4th wall, cause you know Jim Michaels Tweeted that and I remember that :) So yeah I got him on that one, and I knew I was right, but just let him believe it was the 3rd.

We went outside to take some picture and even though it rained it was pretty okay. I did what he asked, looked and posed how he wanted (mostly just smiled and that was good). He told me I did good, so that was okay. After a bit we went back inside. I changed in some business looking clothes and we shot some pics inside the hotel. There where some people looking, but for the first time ever I didn’t mind, so YAY! I just posed and smiled and followed his directions. And after a bit we were done.

He told me I could change into an other outfit or we could go check out the photo’s. I followed my instinct and said “looking at the pictures is fine for me”. Than we sat down, looking at the pictures. We went through the pics and there where only a few I liked. Mostly cause of the lighting that made my skin look very bad, even worse than it really is. A few of the pics where really out of focus and I was surprised by that. I’ve had a fashion photo shoot a couple of years back and even though a lot of those pictures didn’t turn out the way I liked, they where all of amazing quality.

And there it was ………… surprise-logo

He than told me that if I wanted to do this, I could (of course) go for his special discount package. I’d get a recommendation, all the photo’s, a couple of photoshopped ones, and unlimited time of being showed on his website. And the difference between others and him was that he was well known and that the pics he takes were really great and not shot with a compact camera. And his package deal was only 550 euros. And I was like “Woah, I have to think about that” and that threw him off. He said he was a great judge of character and he could pick up on that and thought I’d say yes in a second. Hahaha guess he didn’t read me that well than, did he :)

Than he asked if I had my ATM card and he asked me what I was willing to pay and that he could see what he could do for me now. And I’m like “Well my ATM card is empty, I don’t have any money” and than he asked me if I had cash on me and I said no. And that was pretty disappointing for him, cause I know he knew I’d pay him.

Beforehand we never discussed any payments or any plans for that matter. This was just an audition to see if he could use me as a model for some of his projects and for others to look me up. And to see if I liked it, so this threw me off a bit too. But I also knew it was coming, and that’s what my gut was telling me that day and the night of the phone call. It told me something was up, and it was correct.


I told him I have to think about it and he said okay, but the price will go up because he has to keep the pictures for a while and I said I understood. At that moment I already decided I didn’t want any of it, but I wanted to have some time to think about what just happened. I think I knew while we finished up the second shoot, cause if I really wanted to do it I’d go for an other outfit.

Duh Things that I noticed

A couple of things I noticed, but just realised while typing this down. Most of the pictures where okay but they where not stunning or so amazing that I wanted to have them anyway. I have amazing talented friend who could take better and more beautiful photo’s than the ones I saw from him.

Also his laptop wasn’t clean. I don’t know, but if I’m professional and I show people my laptop or something else I want it to look good. My screen is completely clear and his wasn’t. I expected a MAC, but he had a “simple” laptop, maybe that’s personal as well, but I know MAC’s are the best for visual editing, whether it’s photo’s or video.

He was a bit too full of himself. Which is okay, but it doesn’t impress me. I don’t care for status and having a lot of money or any of that so when he kept saying he was the best and he didn’t want to brag but it was the truth I just kept looking at him and say “okay” and thinking “whatever dude, I don’t care” hahaha. He kept telling the same over and over again and it felt (looking back) to rehearsed. If you want to impress me, than at least take amazing pictures and have a great pitch for me. And tell me beforehand that there might be money involved. Not at the last minute cause than it’s a waste of both of our times. You put effort in to impress and sell me something, which won’t happen, and I’ll be just like “well I ain’t gonna pay for this, this was an audition just to see what it was and that’s just it”.

His website wasn’t a real website. It was not a … or something, neither is his e-mail, that was If I was a professional I would have a professional website with a unique e-mail address, not a hotmail of a gmail account. But that might be personal.


What I noticed about me during this whole experience is that I can count on my intuition. I can just go with the flow and my body will tell me what’s going on. I also notice that I didn’t care if anyone was looking while we took the pictures, so that was new one for me. I was aware of what I was doing and it felt maybe a little awkward sometimes (you know with posing, leaning towards the camera and sucking in that tummy and all that :) ) but I felt confident just standing there. Holding a pose is much more difficult though but I think I did fine. I don’t want to do this anyway, so it was a good experience to try. I’m proud that I went and took on this adventure. I changed by doing that for the better and I know what I want and I know my limits and I’m not doing anything I don’t want to do or feel uncomfortable with.

So all in all it was a good experience, I have no regret, I’m glad I went there and just let it wash over me, search out what and where my feelings where and came from. And now I’ve learned something new, I can really trust my gut and these feelings don’t come along often. I know I can handle myself and I’m proud that I am that way. No one can change my mind and no one can make me feel less than I am. That power is in my hands and I know that now. The only person who can make me feel bad is myself and I choose not too.

So if you ever have a feeling in your gut and don’t know what to do with it, you can do what I did, check out what it means but be prepared for something unexpected. You can also stop what you’re doing, cancel what you had for plans and just accept that your intuition is right and you can trust it.


So why is it so hard not to judge other people? I’ve been asking myself this question a lot and I have no direct and clear answer. Maybe it is because we don’t want to look at ourselves or maybe we are afraid of looking at our own lives.
A few months ago I started to change my life, to be more positive, to be humble, to be more kind, so see the beauty that life really is but I noticed recently that I still look at other people and have my opinion about that person. It is not that I want to do that, but for some reason I do. When I see someone wearing an outfit I wouldn’t wear when I had that figure my thoughts go to laughing about that, for my standard, ridiculous outfit. I have the same with reactions people have to events or other people. I start thinking about what I think they should pay attention to instead of dwelling on this subject. I also notice my own negative attitude towards events, reactions, stories and so on. It’s not that I am completely negative, not at all. I’m more positive and see the beauty of life and feel myself change for the better every day. I see the magic that is life and I enjoy life a lot more than I used to. I just realize I’m not where I want to be at this moment.
A reaction I would like to have when I see something wear an outfit I wouldn’t is “WOW, I would like to have the guts to do that and wear that. Good for you that you feel comfortable enough to wear that!” I don’t have these reactions all the time but I notice that I do. I know the first step in changing yourself is to acknowledge your reactions so that you can change, so that is a good thing. I also know that change doesn’t happen overnight, which is something that I do not like. I want to change right now but I now that is not possible. Even though you could change right now the change would not last, cause it’ll be a quick fix, which is never good. I’d rather sustain my changes for a lifetime rather than just change for now and relapse in old habits in a few months.

I know I’m getting there and I know I shouldn’t dwell on the fact that I’m not there yet. I am proud of the person I am now, the progress I’ve made in the last few months, years even, so I shouldn’t complain at all. I know I’ll get at this point soon. I also realize that it’s not a bad thing to not always be positive. There’s no such thing as living a 100% positive life and that there are ups and downs and that’s fine. That’ is life. There’s people who life a positive life for sure, but they have doubts and uncertainties, fights and down days, but mainly they are positive. On the other hand there are people who have a very negative life, but they have hope for a better one and they have better days too. I used to be in the latter, now I’m at the beginning of the first group.
As said before, I know I’m getting there, every day is a step forward and I’m proud I can see the change an be the change.

Saying goodbye to my amazing grandpa

I wrote this one last Saturday. It was an emotional day and at the end I needed to write it down. At fist I only shared it with a specific close group on Facebook, but after thinking about it I want to share it to anyone who knows and is following me on any platform. So here it goes.

Today was my grandpa’s funeral and it’s been a really weird but beautiful experience. He died, at his request, last Tuesday and that was special. I wasn’t physically with him on Tuesday but I felt him leaving this earth. I remember I sat in the bus home and started to feel nauseous and couldn’t breath for a bit. My mom texted the time of death a little later and I knew I felt him leaving at he moment I didn’t feel great and that is a special moment to remember. When I talked to my cousin later he told me it was amazing that my grandpa really got his wish and had a clear mind on the day he died. He wanted to die, but his body didn’t listen so they set up an appointment to end it. The last couple of weeks he was out of it most of the time but on Tuesday he was clear as a whistle and his wife and kids and partners were able to really say goodbye to him. And he died the way he wanted it too and he got his wish, which is really nice. At first I hoped he’d go before this appointment but after the talk to my cousin I believe he is right. My grandpa wanted to die and wanted to do it his own way, and that’s what he did, that’s what happened and that’s beautiful.

Today in the church I broke down while my mom and my eldest sister said their words. They were so beautiful and the moment I broke down and let myself break down I could picture my grandpa standing next to me (a younger version of him anyway) and say “It’s okay” and that was so great cause it really felt okay.
The speeches where lovely and it was amazing to see how many people there were. He’d touched so many people’s live cause the church was full of people and I feel humbled for all of us that we’ve known this amazing man.
My grandpa just turned 93 in June and I’m truly grateful to have had him with us for so long. I feel so lucky to have had him in my life till I was 32, not a lot of people can say that and I realise that whole heartedly. That’s what also made it special.

An other thing that caught me of guard where my cousins. They are both very strong guys with a “give ‘em hell” attitude and it was amazing to see them both break down. They just kept crying and it was beautiful. I love that these days make you stronger as a family (even if it’s just the one day) and that everyone just lets go and doesn’t care what other people do or don’t.
I’m not religious but I broke bread for my grandpa, to honour him and his believes and that was special too. I noticed my sisters and my cousins did the same and I believe we are all in the same boat on this too :)

I live in Holland but the US has always been my home (I’m born and raised Dutch, but my heart has always been in the US) and I know in my heart that very soon I will be living in the US. I don’t know how or where, but I know it’s going to happen. I realised, walking to the bus with my cousin, that the reason I don’t live in the US yet is because this had to happen first. I needed to say goodbye to grandpa, I needed to be here for him and that feels weird. Cause even though I still have two grandma’s I think now I can go now. I don’t know why but it feels like that now. I’ll be in the US for a road trip in March and April 2015 and I know when I come back I have everything figured out. I told my cousin and he broke down again, he said it was beautiful that I related that to grandpa. That was a nice chat. And I’m not going to think about the why, cause I can’t explain it. My feelings are always right and for me it doesn’t matter how and where, just that it is.

So even though there’s been a ton of crying today there’s also been great things. I’m not saying crying isn’t good, cause crying is great :) Grandpa was the best, he was proud of all of his grandchildren and I have a lot of good memories (my dads shed smells like my granddads used to smell ;) ) and I know his soul has started somewhere fresh. He moved on to a new adventure and that is amazing.

All I can now is have a great night/ day/ morning wherever you are and you all!