The Life Traveller - About Me
The Life Traveller - About Me
about me

The Life Traveller - About Me - Manon


How wonderful that we have crossed paths.
My name is Manon Valesca Maria. I'm Dutch with a drop of Indonesian blood. The Life Traveller is established in 2014. I had this vision of creating an online relaxing place for positivity, spirituality, inspiration and mindfulness. A space where you can take a deep breath from the long way you have come. The Life Traveller is a meeting point, where other inspiring travel companions share their experiences. You can get some ‘take-away’ inspiration for the continuation of your journey and personal help is offered to get going, when it’s unclear which direction to go. I also share some of my daily adventures. Motherhood is a huge part of that. The Life Traveller travels light and follows the light on its journey into eternity. Have a magical trip. Thank you for stopping by. Feel free to follow my trace!


I have had work experience for more than sixteen years in the field of Dutch magazines as a fashion, beauty & health director, image coordinator, editor, stylist and text writer. Beside motherhood, the most important role of my life, my days are filled with charity work and sharing light. Feeling good and sowing the seeds of love are my main goals. Beside that I combine writing for magazines with this blog. I am also the creator of Naramatisho, a Kenyan handicraft label. Additionally, I have a healing and coaching practice for awareness and personal growth. I support other travel companions as a life coach through aura reading, chakra balancing, healing techniques and coaching. Everyone deserves to be happy.

I'm a very blessed mother of a wonderful rainbow family. I'm married to a brave, supportive Dutch sun warrior, Michel, and mama moon to a beautiful African sonshine, Micah, and a sweet Welsh corgi dog named Vos (Fox in Dutch). We have been living in Kenya and are now dividing time between Kenya and our home in Amsterdam.

I live simply and am down-to-earth and spiritual all-in-one. And I like seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary. Travelling is in my blood. I love exploring the world, hiking in nature, walking barefoot, yoga, meditation, dancing and music, watching Indie and art house movies, having fun with friends and preparing pure, organic vegan dishes..and capturing moments in a picture. I get inspired by nature, animals, the sun, the moon, the stars and trees. I collect stones, gemstones, feathers and Native American Kachina dolls..and positive thoughts.


If you have a question, feel free to email me.

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For a personal consult or questions, send an email to:

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The Life Traveller - Back Home
back home

journal - on my way today

hello again

Hi dear you,

How have you been? I hope you are feeling happy and healthy.

We’re back in Amsterdam and life goes on in a faster rhythm than in Kenya. I enjoy the ride and compensate the race around me by the silence and flow within me. At the same time I feel like I move mountains; energy, creativity and inspiration flows through me and offers me great joy.

What have I been up to? Well, many things. My healing practice is going very well; so are the pre orders for the shop, so is my writing work for magazines, so are our projects in Kenya. There is a lot to be grateful for.

Micah started at primary school. Not the one we chose before, but a school that seems to suit him even better. I liked the one we picked first, but a couple of months ago, while getting closer to this new chapter, it didn’t seem like the best step for Micah.

As a mother I am always doing my best to see the world through my boy’s eyes. A boy with a past. A boy healing from trauma. Choosing a new school has been an inner journey for me. ‘Whatever feels right is right’, has been my motto. But the thing was, there wasn’t one school that felt totally right. Although the city offers many different types of high quality education, which is great, I learned to accept that not all schools are open to welcoming a child with ‘certain needs’, even though they act like they do.

I decided to change my mind about the way I was looking for the “right” school once I realized that my way of approaching made me feel vulnerable and less powerful. So instead of focusing on the schools while keeping Micah in mind, I started to focus more on my deep faith in my boy and his journey and to trust my path as his mother. I started doing less and opened my heart to more.

It changed the process and led us to an oecomenic school that warmly welcomed Micah. A school that focuses on the needs of today’s society, where a child can be his wonderful self. Where children learn to work independently but also to see the true value of working together. A school where children experience that what they are learning makes sense for now and for the future and where they learn not only from books, but also from the world itself. A place that allows children to be children.

Last but not least: the children in the classrooms are a reflection of today’s society and world; they reflect all colors of the rainbow with different stories, backgrounds and nationalities. In Micah’s class there are children with all shades of dark, yellow and white skin tones. There is even an African boy who is adopted from Africa as well.

But what matters most: Micah loves going there. So yes, whatever feels right is right. Also: allowing yourself to change your mind is freedom. Only the thought of the possibility already is and allows things to settle.

I just wanted to share this experience with you. Isn’t life offering us beautiful lessons?











What I love most about life in Kenya is that every day is an open road. Just like life itself.

I love to go out to explore and follow the signs on my path. It leads me to the most generous souls, beautiful places and brings wonderful adventures.

I am grateful to see my dear friend Amina blossoming and growing into the amazing woman she is. I love spending time with my dear friend Mama Africa, with whom I have been visiting children’s homes, I enjoy sipping coconuts with Omar and Mohammed, go out dancing with my friend Mary and enjoy the company of the children in our neighborhood, at school and everywhere I go.

What I love the most is to see Micah surrounded by his people. To watch him grow and play with his friends, eating rice and chapati with his hands and to see how loved he is by everyone.

I have been making too many pictures and have many stories to tell. And I will share them, once they become deeply rooted in my heart..they are still flying around like butterflies in my belly right now.

Wishing you a joyful weekend.

From Kenya with love,




on the roadie


Every now and then (or even more often) I give myself permission to pause on the blog, even though at the same time I’m so full of stories I’d like to share with you.

However, these days are filled with many impressions, emotions, inspirations and adventures already that at night, when I’m not out or working, it is good to slow down a bit.

Being in Kenya is a blessing. I’m enjoying every second of it. The thing is: it is home. It is not a vacation, not a pause from my “real life”; it is my purpose in life. So when I’m here, I feel that there is no other world existing, no other life waiting for me: this is IT. It has been this way from the moment I set foot in this country and chances are it will be until my soul leaves this body and my body transforms into dust.

But.. since you have been asking me how I’m doing (thank you for that): I’m doing more than great. I will soon share some adventures. If you have been following me on instagram you know what I’m up to..a bit.

This is a series I made on the road to my Masaai tribe family.. As you might know I love taking pictures of everyday Kenya life. I make them often out of our driving car, very quickly. I have been doing that right from the beginning. My friend Kim has been nicknaming me Mama Paparazzi; when I just moved here at first we didn’t have a car and I would go out with him. Kim told me that some people had been asking him about my pictures and started doing the same. It made me happy, so much beauty can be found in everyday things.

Well, it is quite clear that I don’t give much about technique. My pictures are far from perfect and as you probably know, so am I. And that is good enough for me.

Love to you. Thank you for stopping by, always a pleasure seeing you here.

Hakuna matata.



back to school again


Today we went back to the first school we have been supporting for several years now. Seeing my hero’s again, all those cute faces, made my heart sing.

For those who have been following my blog from the start: the green and yellow combo will look very familiar!

Wonderful news: the school has become the best performing school in the region. To keep up the good work we will keep supporting them by providing porridge for breakfast, materials and school fees.

Right now we are fundraising to repair one of the roofs of the building. It is rotten and leaking. That is why the children are all sitting against the walls. It is quite dangerous and needs to be fixed soon.

Donations are more than welcome!

Bank transfers -> NL11ABNA0528987631 – swift ABNANL2A att. The Life Traveller, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.






home sweet home


Last week we arrived back home in Kenya. And I couldn’t be more thrilled, grateful and happy. Being here, where our journey as a family started and evolved, surrounded by our friends, nature and wildlife is all that I wanted. All that I need. And waking up in the house where we have so many beautiful memories feels like awakening in a dream.

I once read that Africa grabs some us by the throat and once it does, it makes it hard to be anywhere else – you will always be dreaming of Africa. Although I wouldn’t put it in those exact words, the deeper meaning behind it I get – I truly understand.

In fact, I have experienced this myself while being in The Netherlands. I know all we need is now, but wherever I go, there is always a part of me in Kenya. And there is always a part of Kenya inside of me. And I think that is how it should be, for it is not only about me. It is about a boy who needs me to never forget about his roots: my son.

I hope you stay connected for more updates & adventures.

And wherever you are in the world, I hope that you are driven by joy.













I remember being in my teenage years and dreaming of being older. ‘I want to be an age that reflects my soul’ I once wrote in my diary. ‘I don’t want to be called pretty; I want to be interesting. I want to be taken seriously.’

Haha. Yesterday I turned 41. At least my body did. To the soul this number is ridiculously low of course – an illusion. And you know what? I don’t take myself too seriously anymore.

Unlike many others I’m not afraid of getting older. I love being in my forties. I’ve never felt so good about my life and myself as now. But then: it has always been this way. I have to credit my teenage age years, twenties and thirties for this.

Just incredible grateful for this journey. For this self-healing body of mine that has been through so much. I feel more energetic, healthy and alive than ever. And actually: more like a woman. An amazing feeling.

The secret to aging happily is to simply enjoy it. It is that simple. Embrace the now. Now is your best age.




bye may hello june


In the midst of life May brought me many beautiful things – laughs, loves, joy, trips (to The Cannes Filmfestival), reunions with a relative, and also: life lessons.

One of the most essential reminders to myself is that I do not have to heal anything that is not mine. Simply because I can’t and simply because it is not my job.

This subject has been active in my life for as long as I can remember and quite frankly I thought these days were behind me. However, since a few weeks my sensitivity has taken another step which means that I see/feel/read/hear someone’s energy/aura/feelings much deeper and faster – literally within a second or not even a second – like it has already been imprinted in my brain.

My sensitivity doesn’t affect me like it used to when I was younger, but it definitely makes me more aware of my purpose in life and inner source. Although it is not always easy when interviewing someone who is showing a different attitude than his/her energy is showing me.

What is happening are all signs. I keep following them without looking for them even though I have to remind myself nowadays a bit more to stay close to my source and above all: to mind my own business.

So here we are. I hope you are enjoying rays of sunshine on your skin. I sure do. Because our life is full of energy and both Michel and I meet a lot of people for work (and so is Micah at school and after school) it feels so good to spend as much time in nature as we can together. These zen moments are nourishing to all of us.

Over the last few weeks we have been hiking with friends, enjoying many many sorbet ice creams, attending birthday parties, planting trees and visiting botanical gardens in our spare time.

Micah and I spent a magical day at the beach together the other day. I love having these mommy and son moments, especially now that I’m travelling more for work. We played for hours in the stream of the ocean and after that we went for a yum lunch in a beautiful small village surrounded by nature, where we love to go when spring is in full bloom. Singing African songs while seeing him shine in the back of the car makes my heart sing.

Now that June welcomed us already, I’m just happy to be where I am. Making the most of now – how corny this may sound. Embracing what is and if that is too challenging with so much going on in this world: creating new realities and embracing what is coming from them. And reminding myself not to hate what I cannot understand, but to live my beliefs.

Also I’m so thrilled to share with you that you can find me and my our home in this Month’s beautiful issue of the Dutch HARPER’S BAZAAR. Subject: green and mindful living. Some of my favorite topics.

And it is with such delight to also share with you that I have been picked as one of the phenomenal women for this Month’s issue of DISfunkshion Magazine.

This is one of my favorite magazines and if you know it, you probably also know that it is always filled with so many inspiring women.. So you can imagine my surprise when they approached me a while ago. Being part of it truly feels beyond amazing and a bit surreal. Grateful. So. Very. Grateful.

Love & Light,





mother’s day 2017

One of my biggest goals as a mom is to stay in touch with my own inner joy as much as I can. It may sound self centered, but I feel like it’s the key to living a fulfilling life for both myself as my child plus my whole family.

Before I became a mother I had been on a mission to truly live from joy, especially since I have not been raised by parents who were deeply rooted in joy themselves.

Over the years I’ve learned that it doesn’t need to be a mission. Joy is not so much found in striving but much more in embracing what is and knowing that you are not your pain nor your problems.

I’ve learned to trust that I am good. Good enough to be a mother. Good enough to be me. Good enough for me. And at the same time I am giving and doing my best to be the best mom I can be. And to be the best me. To me and to others.

All that I want for my boy is to have this strong connection to his inner being, his source. And to grow up with a lightness of spirit and a deep faith in who he is and life itself. I believe the easiest way to support him in this journey is to set an example.

I have had a blessed Mother’s Day. We had some spontaneous visitors stopping by our house, which was fun and after that we planted a tree in honor of Micah’s birth mother. This year we picked a spot close to home so our boy can water and nourish it himself. In the late afternoon we took a long walk and had dinner in nature with our faces to the sun, smiling all afternoon long.

I am sending out an abundance of love and heart energy to all women; mothers, daughters, sisters. Whether you are a mom or not, wish to be one or not, gave birth through your beautiful body or through your loving heart: you are divine.

Thank you for being you. Be good to you.

Love & Light,


greece lightning


It’s been a little quiet over here. Hope you are doing well, well actually more than well!

I have been on a press trip to Greece recently, which was inspiring and fun. It was my first work trip abroad since being a mom. The timing couldn’t be more perfect for this and to be honest it didn’t feel like a huge step, it just felt very good and natural. Several of the journalists who were also on this trip I consider as friends. It felt like the good old days, since we have been travelling to so many destinations together already. Also: thank God for face time.

Further I have been working on some nice projects, have been visiting Antwerp with my men and have spent time with my sonshine at the playgrounds, in the city and nature (as it is spring break over here).

There is a lot to be grateful for. And it gets even more when focusing on these things. The secret to a fulfilling life, don’t you think so?

 Here are some pictures of Greece.

 Love & light to you,