About me

Hello and welcome to Dutch Wannabe! I’m Lesia, the writer behind this travel blog, out on a mission to uncover new destinations, find out the insider tips and share them with you.

This blog grew out of an idea I had during my move from Russia to The Netherlands in 2016. At the time I just graduated with a psychology degree and was leaving St. Petersburg to live with my boyfriend and his two cats. I already knew plenty about Amsterdam because I acted the part of a tourist many times before but I realized that my move presented me with a great excuse to explore new places! It can take many years to really feel comfortable in a new place and start feeling like you belong… and I kind of wanted to hurry the process along. Which is how I came up with “Dutch Wannabe”: a blog about my travels, starting with Amsterdam, covering The Netherlands and expanding beyond as I built a new life that prioritized travel.

The idea behind this blog is to celebrate the cultural diversity the world has to offer. There are so many places that we’ve never known existed: some of them across the globe, and some concealed in our own cities, waiting to be found by a curious visitor. Who better suited to share those discoveries than someone with a local knowledge and a good measure of curiosity?

Many people have unrealistic expectations of travel destinations due to perpetuated stereotypes. If I got a penny every time someone mentioned the Red Light District or smoking weed upon hearing that I moved to Amsterdam, my wallet would be so much happier. But I believe that no vacation should be spent skimming the surface! This is why I love creating balanced travel itineraries that include one-of-a-kind experiences that you won’t easily find on the first page of a guidebook.
Complete city guide to Maastricht with things to in Maastricht in 24 hours + Free Trip Planning Resources for The Netherlands!

A bit about my travel style…

When possible, I’ll always prefer for slow travel. I don’t like cramming in a lot of countries in a short amount of time and I hate to leave a city before I had a proper exploring. In general, I review all kinds of experiences, from the museums to the restaurant scene, and when picking accommodation I always veer towards the higher-end or upper mid-range. I will always pick a unique spot over a chain hotel. With that said, if there’s something unique about a chain hotel, you bet I’m going to explore it!

Fun fact: if you give me three options of anything to choose from and ask me to choose the coolest one without knowing the price, I’m always going to end up picking the most expensive thing in the line-up. Dunno how that works, but it’s the most reliable thing.

I always try to include some activities that might seem more appropriate for a family trip. I like to visit attraction parks and water parks, and themed excursions, and obviously, I love making geeky references from time to time as well. Anything that carries a hint of carefree adventure, be it an 18th-century canal house tour, or a camping trip in the desert, I’m going to give it a go. Unless it includes terrible heights. I hate heights. Sorry, Burj Khalifa! Next lifetime, maybe.

Here are some of my travel stories that will inspire you to pursue an adventure of your own:

The Princess Of Cochem Castle: My Hilarious Quest For Instagram Perfection

Experience Elfia: A Guide to Europe’s Most Enchanting Fantasy Fair

Visiting Schloss Burg Solingen Castle: Your Fairytale Solingen Guide

What kind of content you can expect:

I share city guides, itineraries and travel advice for first-time visitors as well as those looking for insider info that’s harder to find. I only write about places I know quite well and I’m doing my best to be upfront on the amount of time I spend at a location so that you can trust and rely on my information.

Most of the photography on this blog is done by me, with the occasional exception for stock photography. I might use it when I ended up with absolutely crappy pictures myself or in case I’m talking about St. Petersburg: my birth town and a place I know all too well. Now that I’m in The Netherlands, it’s a tad harder to come up with the touristic shots 🙂

Here are some things I like…  Could it be that you like them too?

  • Fantasy books & cozy bookshops
  • Tea, tea, and more tea
  • Castles and medieval architecture
  • Amusement parks & aquaparks
  • Taking pictures
  • My cat Gwen
  • Harry Potter and everything magical

If you love European destinations, appreciate city breaks, like exploring museums, observing architecture and eating out, then you will enjoy my articles!

Confused? Get started here!

Get inspired by my articles on travel in The Netherlands. You might like to get started with my 3-day Amsterdam city guide for first-time visitors. If you’re looking for something more in-depth, check out unusual activities in Amsterdam and some fun things to do in the city in December.

Find out what your next adventure is…