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.

In need of personal guidance? The Life Traveller offers personal help to get going, when it's unclear which direction to go (sessions can take place by email or skype).

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

The Life Traveller likes to share life travel experiences. For bookings for seminars, presentations and workshops send an email to

Note: most of the content of this blog is copyright and owned by The Life Traveller, unless mentioned otherwise. You may not take content or images from this site without written permission.

The Life Traveller - Back Home
back home

wellbeing - beauty and body bliss

the truth

the truth - wellbeing - The life Traveller


A believe is not the truth. It is your truth. It is nothing more and nothing less than a thought that you keep thinking.

A thought is not you. You are not your thoughts. You are love and joy in their purest form.

Make sure that what you think connects to who you are. For who you are is the truth. From head to toe.






honor your true being

Recently I looked myself in the eyes and started to cry. I had this moment with myself, felt this connection to my inner being so strongly that everything on my ‘to do list’ that seemed so important to me only seconds before didn’t exist anymore.

I washed my make-up off my face, put on my favorite jumpsuit and went outside with Micah. We had so much fun. I felt like a kid as we ran after each other, played on the scooter and climbed on the climbing frame. Although we do this often, this time it felt different. Deeper.

I told Micah how much I loved watching the blue sky and how happy the blossom trees made me. How much I love being outdoors, hug trees, watch the seagulls fly by from the historical Amsterdam canals. And how much I enjoy smiling and spreading positive vibes. How much I love daydreaming and being in my ‘own’ world.

As I sat there for a moment watching him play with the other children I realized that this is me. My enthusiasm for things and life itself – seeing the small details that sometimes remain unnoticed to others – over the years has been “praised” but also has not always been understood. It has even made me feel guilty when someone else didn’t seem to see the beauty or seem to feel uncomfortable listening to my “happy” talk.

Over the years I’ve learned not to loose touch with my inner core and not to feel responsible for someone else’s view on the world or even on me. And above all: not to feel the need to fix things, since my view is my truth and not necessarily the truth.

My message on this sunny Wednesday is: honor your true being. At all times. Celebrate you.

Learn to live from an authentic place and you no longer feel threatened or hurt by anyone or life itself. Or that your happiness and joy can hurt others. It truly can’t.

Once you connect with your inner core, inauthentic elements – once needed to feel good – will be replaced by the ones that support and reflect your authenticity.

Don’t think too much about what makes you unique; the uniqueness that is you cannot be described in words. It needs to be lived. Expressed from the heart. Twinkle in your eyes. Radiate in your aura. Shine thru your actions. Speak from your soul.

This way you can even be more happy for somebody else and enjoying someone’s joy on a deeper level. Because of your silent connection with your inner being, you’ll find yourself able to support others in a much more organic way, especially your children’s true being.











mindful question



‘Am I part of the cure or am I part of the disease?’ – Coldplay

Every time I listen to  Coldplay’s song, Clocks, these powerful words make me smile.

It is a question we need to be asking ourselves on a daily basis in everything that we do.

Ask yourself whenever something causes resistance: ‘Am I part of the problem or am I part of the solution?’

Let the answer guide you on the way.

Pictured: Bali 2010. I remember sitting in this garden after waking up very early, watching the ceremony by the local people, honoring the Gods and spirits. And feeling so alive and happy.




create your own reality

reality - wellbeing - The Life Traveller


A little note to you, dear fellow traveller..

I want to share something about reality. The reality that you’re living. If the reality that you’re facing isn’t the reality that you wish for, just create a new one.

It truly is that simple. It all starts within you, by telling the story you want to live and start believing in that story. Start living that dream.

Stop focusing on what is, if what is isn’t very satisfying and begin focusing on something that is coming. You can still live in the now by starting to feel grateful about the future. Just take a deep breath and feel gratitude for all that is coming and soon you’ll find out it is already there.

Love to you.

take it easier

This year I have a particular request for you:

Be nice to yourself.

Put in a little less time on the things you think you need to do. Spend more time doing the things you really want to do. Embrace the moment.

Don’t pick a fight. Don’t fight back.

Look for things that make you smile.

Don’t make things more difficult than they need to be. Take it easier.

Spend more time by yourself. Get outside more. Spend more time in nature. Look inside yourself more.

See the benefits of living in this amazing time. Find appreciation for the beauty and wonders that this planet is yielding to you.

Spend more time around animals; they are masters in the now and practice the art of allowing.

Be easier about everything. Be more playful.

Be more consciously selfish. Do more of the things that feel good to you.

Be easy, be soft and watch what happens.

You deserve it. You are ready for it. You can do it.

ask yourself

An important question I want to ask you is: How do you react when life does not turn out the way you want it to?

Do you say: “It’s all my fault”? Or perhaps: “It’s all his/her/their fault..”? Or :”Life is so unfair! Why does it never go the way I want?!”?

How do you react? And how do your surroundings react to you after that?

You know, I still ask myself this question when going through a what I find challenging time.

And you know what: life gets much easier when you see it as a guide to reach your inner joy and higher goals. It doesn’t mean you may not allow pain. It can be important to go through phases of sadness and anger.

Our children are master in this. They can express their dissatisfaction and disappointment and can let go of it and the reason easily afterwards.

When you allow your feelings and truly FEEL and experience them, from that point there will be space to ask yourself: What is the meaning behind this situation? What lesson can I learn? What can I do to help myself?

There is no need to blame yourself,  by taking responsibility for your feelings you can help yourself to grow and to embrace life. Keep in mind: your children watch as you do this. How you deal with disappointment and challenges. Another important question therefor is: ‘What do you want them to see?’

pictured: one of the very first pictures I took of life in Kenya of the thousands that followed.

flow your love

These are times in which our differences in thinking and believing strongly come forward.

Times in which our collective anxiety is highly visible and so are the consequences for our society.

There is a lot going on in this world. So much that inner silence  at times will no longer rest and we have to use our voice in order to rediscover the peace within. But at the same time we should not hate what we don’t understand.

In addition, the greatest power lies in ourselves. In the here and now. Positive change cannot be not found in the future nor in our world leaders, family, friends or enemies. It starts here when you allow yourself to truly be present first and allow the power to flow.

When you feel very strongly that you have to take action, go for it! Just don’t give something you disagree with ALL your energy and attention. Make sure that amidst everything, you still live and act from your core. And ask yourself if you strive for something or fight against something.

Let your love flow into everything you do. Do not wait for those you think have to change before positive change can arise, let your love flow anyway. Let it flow and feel the power within. Feel how nourishing it is. And how it brings you closer to yourself.

This way choices can be made based on that love and trust. And your voice will be even stronger echoing from that newfound peace.

Be the light. Shine your light. Share the light.

cruelty free


In recent years I had the pleasure to take place in the makeup chair of the world’s leading make-up artists who are often associated with a renowned beauty brand, perfume or fashion house and work with celebrities and top models. Believe me: they don’t look so glam when waking up either!

During these meetings it became obvious that the quality of your makeup is certainly important, but it is equally important that you use the right product for the goal that you have in mind. In addition, the way of application of course also plays a major role. And hence the tools that you use.

I’ve been experimenting with make-up for quite some time, but in recent years I’m using less and less. And lately days go by that I do not use anything at all (thank you, Alicia Keys for making this beautiful statement).

When I do put something on my skin I’m more loyal to what works for me and use products that emphasize my features instead of distracting the attention to my make-up.

To make my skin look a bit fresher, smoother and matter, I still like to use a natural vegan foundation or powder every now and then, particularly in winter. I like to apply it with my fingers or a brush. However, many brushes are made of animal hair and mostly from quite poor quality.

*Makeup brushes are commonly made from squirrel, mink, sable, horse (sometimes called “pony” or “camel”), or goat hair. Mink and sable brushes are products of the cruel fur industry. Every year, millions of animals are killed in the most horrendous  ways, often strangled, electrocuted, or beaten and skinned alive on fur farms. Horse hair is commonly obtained from horses who are slaughtered for their flesh. Squirrels are hunted or trapped, and goats are shorn like sheep. Workers are often paid by volume, so they shear the goats quickly, which can result in serious injuries.

Beside that: many makeup brushes are manufactured in developing countries where there are few or no animal welfare regulations or fair circumstances for the workers.

That is why I love these new brush line from The Body Shop even more. They are made of synthetic hair and 100% cruelty-free without losing quality. In addition, the FSC wooden brushes are produced sustainable. Plus: they feel very soft on the skin!

Via The Body Shop

*source: Peta.

World Vegan Day

Today is World Vegan Day!

As a vegan I’m so happy that veganism step by step is getting more recognition in our society and a greater share.

The other day I visited a major grocery store for the first time since ages and to my surprise they added a shelf with not only vegetarian but also vegan products! A few years back that would be so unreal.

The most frequently asked question I get when I tell that I’m a vegan is: “But what do you eat?” And: “Aren’t you afraid of vitamin deficiency? Usually I do not go into details unless I notice that there is a real interest rather than the question being a disguised judgment.

What I gradually more and more have become aware of is that my veganism more often is a much more conscious choice than the meat eating by the other. I choose consciously to be a vegan. So it’s no agony. Not for me and not for the world around me. The animals, the environment and the future of the children. Nor for my body.

I do what feels right for me and I wish everyone else the same. No matter how or what you eat. Just know what you eat and why you eat it. That’s the main thing.

Last week we had a little ‘scary’ party at the playground and I made these vegan, gluten-free recipes I got from this super fun and inspiring BLOG. There’s a reason why my creations are not pictured here. They looked not nearly as nice, but the kids loved it. And above all: really found it delicious!



instagram - wellbeing - The Life Traveller

Recently I got into a conversation with a nice woman on a topical issue: Instagram.

The woman, a successful entrepreneur of 35, mother to three kids asked for tips on how to deal with social media, especially Instagram. She wanted to remain anonymous, but agreed with sharing a part of our conversation with you, because I think she is not the only one who feels this way sometimes.

This is what came up in our conversation:

“I’m a bit ashamed to admit, but I have a love-hate relationship with Instagram. I follow many mothers who take pictures of their daily lives with the kids. The accounts that I often like best, make me uncertain at the same time. Everything looks so perfect. Or deliberately “nonchalant”. Even though I know that in reality it will not always be so perfect, I am often wondering where these women find the time to post almost every day such beautiful pictures while they are working mothers. And although I am often quite confident, I notice that I feel a pressure to conform to these standards and also to keep my account up to date. And I must confess that I find it quite hurtful when I loose followers after I post something. I once thought about quitting, but that would be a shame. My husband says I take the online hassle way too seriously. I understand what he means, but I find it really fun. Many accounts make me happy and inspire me.”

Our conversation got me thinking. It was not the first time this topic came up during a conversation. Most recently during a girlfriends dinner the advantages and disadvantages of Instagram were also the subject for at least half an hour. And during workshops social media is a common topic, especially among working mothers.

If you recognize yourself in the above words, I have a few tips for you that I would like to share for inspiration to keep Instagram especially fun and inspiring, the way I think is meant to be.

-Limit the number of accounts you are following.

Every now and then scroll through the accounts you follow and be critical. Better to focus on a few instead of not knowing where to start looking.

-Follow merely accounts that truly make you happy and/or inspire you.

Some might be fascinating but ultimately provide a less feeling. It is important to ask yourself where this feeling comes from, to look inward and work on it. But honestly, why would you look at something that doesn’t bring you joy?

-Do not go online if you are busy or sensitive.

Being active online is much more time-consuming than is often realized. So if you already are in hurry or are feeling restless then please do NOT go online. Online platforms excite the brain and are designed in a way that won’t truly satisfy you, making to have s short look at it almost impossible, and if you do so, you will even feel more restless.

-Be aware of what you bring into the world without taking it too seriously.

Ask yourself what is my intention with this post? What do I want to achieve with it? Is there  a chance I might regret this post? If you have an account just for fun, then keep it fun and keep it light. And post only things that come from the heart or just make you smile.

-Do not take it personal if someone unfollows you.

It can almost feel like back at school when you were not invited to a party when someone unfollows you. At larger accounts there is a coming and going of people, but when you have a bit ‘smaller’ account chances are you know almost exactly who your followers are. Which can make it feel more personal when someone decides to leave. Tell yourself: ‘Everyone is free to do whatever she/he wants. For every unfollower there will be a nice follower.’ Although it might feel personal, just let it go. Your account says something about you, but it is just a tiny reflection of who you truly are! And remember that you also have personal favorites. So maybe someone is just like yourself keeping things more simple and clear online.