Thank you for being curious about the story behind The Travel Tester. On this page, I will tell you all about how I got started and you’ll get the chance to get to know me (and Nick) a bit better.
My name is Nienke Krook (pronounced: neen-kuh kro-wk – but I’m used to many variations of my name by now, haha) and together with my boyfriend Nick Vullings, I’ve travelled to over 40 countries on 5 continents… and the list keeps on growing!
We are both from The Netherlands, but we met in a hostel in Sydney in 2008. What are the odds?!
Since then, we lived in Sydney (2011-2013) and London (2013-2019) and are currently based in Amsterdam.
Nick is a full-time architect and I work full-time as a blogger (my sites are The Travel Tester & The London Tester), for which I get to travel all around the world.
I definitely inherited my adventurous travel genes from my grandpa who was a published outdoor & survival travel writer and my dad, who is a photographer and archaeologist who got to travel for work every now and then and always took my mum and brother along camping around Europe when I was a kid.
Tell me your (travel) story as well – I would love to hear it!
THE FIRST BEGINNINGS OF THE TRAVEL TESTER…
When we met each other at the other side of the world, little did we know the adventures we would be going on in the years to follow.
We toured New Zealand on a party bus, discovered most of Australia on long road trips, hiked a mountain in Nepal, ate heaps of undefinable food in Japan, drank all the wine in Portugal and couldn’t stop looking up in New York, just to name a few memorable moments.
Ever since we started travelling and living abroad, we kept our family and friends in The Netherlands up-to-date through the stories on our blog.
What started as diary-style blog (one that I started on my first ever solo trip to Japan in 2006!), slowly evolved in a website with more practical tips, reviews and destination guides.
I have actually been creating content online in one way or another since about 1995 (yes *that* long), and you can read all about my full blogging history in this blog post >>
THE TRAVEL TESTER GROWING UP…
When we moved from Sydney to London in 2013, I decided to take my travel blog to the next level.
In the years that followed, I connected with the blogging community (both in London as internationally) and found myself travelling with, learning from and working together on campaigns with many creative people.
I would have never guessed it was possible to make a full-time living out of blogging (especially since I used to be a primary school teacher in a past life), but fast forward … and yet here we are!
In 2017 I launched my second website The London Tester, aimed at Dutch travellers visiting or relocating to London and the rest of the United Kingdom and Ireland. While I don’t live in London anymore, any excuse to go back and visit old friends still living there, I will of course use!
THE TRAVEL TESTER IS READY FOR LIFTOFF…
In one sentence, I would say that The Travel Tester is a cultural travel, review and self-development blog.
In two sentences, I would add that the blog brings readers in-depth destination guides, thorough reviews of products, hotspots and experiences around the world and tips and advice on getting more out of your travels… and yourself.
And if you’re still there with me, I would love to tell you how The Travel Tester beliefs that we all have the power to take the first steps towards leading a healthier and more curious life by actively educating and equipping ourselves with the skills and knowledge needed to take care of the people and world around us.
Through the content we create, I hope to motivate readers to be open to change and making sustainable and ethical decisions on the road as well as at home.
Our planet is our very own space ship, so let’s discover outer world experiences in everyday life …and train your astronaut skills right here on Earth!
Want to join us?
THE TRAVEL TESTER IN THE DIGITAL SPACE…
Whenever Nick and I travel together, from short weekend breaks to long (road) trips, one thing that’s guaranteed is that we always have heaps of fun together!
If you’re curious what sort of silly things we’re doing at the moment, the best place to check is our Instagram Account . I try to update the stories here as much as I can.
I also like to create travel videos for The Travel Tester YouTube Channel, so make sure to tune in every now and them and subscribe (it’s free) to not miss any updates!
THE TRAVEL TESTER AND PARTNERSHIPS…
Like many other professional travel bloggers, We rely on advertising here on The Travel Tester. As you can see, there are quite a few banners on the site (hosted by Mediavine), but we also create unique content in collaboration with brands and destinations. We make sure to always disclose partnerships at the bottom of our articles, so there is full transparency to you.
How it works is that partners contact us (or we contact them if we have a cool idea of how we can work together) with a concept that fits the mission of our website.
We only work together with a brand if we can share our personal experience, so that means we’re getting send products or are invited to visit a certain locations to see things for ourselves.
For example, one day we might be testing a backpack on a weekend break, another day we test a flight-delay website and then we’re off to experience a guided tour, or review a hotel, airline or restaurant.
Because our partners are so different, it can be hard to choose who is the best fit, but in the last few years, we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t and currently we’re saying NO to about 80-90% of all offers that we get. This way, we only work with brands and destinations that we’re really excited about and that we would love to recommend you.
For those collaborations that do go ahead, we either get compensated with the product or experience itself, with a fee for creating a certain amount of content, or we get into an affiliate-partnership, where we get a small cut if you book anything through a specific link in the article. Everything of course with no extra costs to you.
All of these partnerships keep the content that your read on our website 100% free and we’re sure you’d like us to keep it that way!
For all partnerships possibilities, please check the options here >>
THE TRAVEL TESTER AND READER QUESTIONS & COMMENTS…
If you have a question that cannot quickly be answered on social media, please email us at email@example.com.
Keep in mind that we get A LOT of email, so it can take a while for us to get back to you – Please be patient!
BONUS: NIENKE’S FUN FACTS
- Nienke grew up in Diemen-Zuid, a small town next to Amsterdam that is almost two centuries older than the popular capital of The Netherlands!
- Nienke and her brother have been taken all around the world …camping in a massive trailer tent!
- Nienke is a fond collector of brochures and other travel memorabilia. Nick however, is not. We’re working on this.
- While Nienke likes most food, she is really fussy about eggs (only hard boiled), bananas (only as bread) and carrots (only NEVER).
- Nienke and her family lived on the Caribbean island of Saint-Martin when she was 7 and again when she was 9.
- Being a huge fan of The X-Files and many other Sci-Fi series as a teenager, seeing a real (alien?) crop circle in a field in South-England years ago was a highlight not easy to forget!
BONUS: NICK’S FUN FACTS
- Nick grew up in Venlo, a city in the Southern Netherlands, right on the German border. Because of that, he is fluent in Dutch, German and his local dialect which Nienke can understand, but probably can never speak properly.
- With his older brother, sister and parents, Nick also travelled in a trailer tent or in hotels around Europe.
- Nick spent a semester at the University of Sydney in 2008, the year he met Nienke. Originally, he wanted to go to San Francisco, but they didn’t have an exchange program. Nienke thanks them for that. Since being together, Nick has spent more time with her overseas than in his home country!
- Having discovered meat pies while living in Australia, Nick has perfected the recipe and bakes them often on the weekend.
- Nick is very patient. He probably got that from the many hours spend fishing with his dad -and never catching anything.
- Nick only send 1 Tweet in his entire life. It went viral. Not even Chuck Norris can do that.