BIO

ABOUT ME

Travel

Where to begin. I guess I’ll start with my urge for travel. My adult life so far consists of saving money to go travel. When I was 19 I went to Guatemala to study Spanish for 8 weeks. This was a perfect introduction into the backpacker life. I studied during the week and traveled the country with my newly made friends in the weekends. This gave me the confidence for my next trip. From the day I got back home I was determined to save money and go travel Central America. This happened several years later after I finished my degree. I traveled solo from Panama to Mexico in 3.5 months.

 

When I came back from that trip I already started working towards my next goal… Traveling indefinitely. 1.5 years later I got rid of my belongings, packed my bag and went to Australia on a working Holiday Visa. This allowed me to work and travel there for a year. I did the same in New Zealand and went back to Australia for a second year. From there I flew to Asia and spend 6 months traveling around looking for wildlife. After 3.5 years I went back home at the end of February 2020. Just in time before the world went in Lockdown.

 

Now, October 2020, during the Pandemic I have yet another goal. Buy a van and convert it to a Campervan to live and travel all over Europe. Hopefully I will be able to accomplish this within a year.

 

 

Photography

Somewhere in between my travels I developed a second passion. A passion for photography, mainly focussed on wildlife and nature. I already had a DSLR camera during my first trip and enjoyed taking pictures of my travels but it wasn’t until after that trip, when I bought a Macro lens, that I started focussing on wildlife. Butterflies in particular were my main subject. I traveled all around the Netherlands to see as many different species as possible.

 

Just before my second trip to Central America I decided to invest in a 600mm telezoom lens to capture the beautiful wildlife of Costa Rica. I spend about 7 weeks in Costa Rica alone and became fascinated with everything that moves. During my 3.5 month trip I managed to see 156 bird species and more then 500 other animals ranging from insects to reptiles, mammals, birds and everything under water.

 

During my last 3.5 year trip I spend a lot of time working on my photography skills. The countries that went to I chose specifically for its wildlife. Here is a quick list of why I chose those countries.

 

Australia 

is amazing with all its unique marsupials like kangaroos, Wombats and Koalas but it also has many colourful bird species, lots of snakes, big lizards, Salt water Crocodiles and off course the great barrier reef. One of my favourite Australian animals is the Echidna. Along with the Platypus they are the only remaining egg laying animals. plus they are adorable!

 

New Zealand

The land of birds. Originally the country didn’t have any mammalian predators so birds evolved in fascinating ways. Some lost the ability to fly like the Kiwi or the Weka but it is also home to songbirds like the Tuí or Bellbird and to Penguins and Alpine Parrots. It is full of endemic bird species. Sadly a lot of them are endangered because of introduced predators. I consider myself lucky that I saw many of them.

 

Nepal

The reason I went there was to hike the Himalayas with a lifelong friend but I soon discovered its rich biodiversity. Most people come for the Himalayas but in the south you will find lush rainforest where you can spot Rhino’s, Hornbills, Kingfishers, Gharial Crocodile, Asian Elephants and much more. It is also home to more elusive animals like the Red Panda, the Tiger, Snow Leopard and Pangolins. Unfortunately those still elude me.

 

India

The sole reason for visiting India was to see the Tiger. I didn’t though. I went on several safari’s to look for them. I did see many other beautiful animals like the Gaur, Sambar Deer, Spotted Deer, wild Boar, Peacocks and several monkey species. It is also home to more then 1500 bird species. Some of the birds I saw were Hornbills, Kingfishers and many Eagles.

 

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka was on my list for a while now. It has many different habitats meaning it houses many different animals. It is crazy to find so many spectacular animals in such a small country. On the top of my list were the Leopard and the Blue whale. I saw both of them! further more I saw countless bird species, I was surrounded by hundreds of Spinner Dolphins, I saw Asian Elephant from up close and much much more.

 

Indonesia

I went to Komodo National Park to see the dragons and to dive. I saw colourful corals, Sea turtles, Big manta Rays and several species of Anemone Fish.

 

Borneo

I Ended my trip in Borneo. I knew it was a special place for wildlife and it did not disappoint. I spend 6 weeks going in and out of the jungle to look for wildlife. It is extremely hard to find animals in this jungle but when you do find something it is all the more rewarding. I spend about an hour with a 3.5 meter long Reticulated Python, I was only inches away from Vipers and Vine snakes, went on many night walks to look for the Slow Loris, Mouse Deer and Flying squirrels but also found fascinating insects like the lantern bug, stick insects, Fireflies and Trilobites.

 

 

What's in store for the future?

There are still so many places I want to visit and animals I want to see. For now I will stay in Europe. I wish to drive along the coast in Portugal, go back to Spain to eat and drink, go to the Dolomites in Italy, see glaciers in Switzerland, visit Castles in Scotland, see the northern lights in Norway and the list goes on.

 

Animals I hope to see along the way are the Lynxes, wolves, bears, Moose, Reindeer, foxes and lots of birds. 

Contact Me

Tjarda de Rooij

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