As a little girl (I was born in 1973), I dreamed of travelling abroad. Unfortunately, unlike many classmates, my parents, sister and I stayed in the Netherlands for many years. Beautiful too, but I wanted more. Secretly, I envied the classmates who went to southern Germany or even Northern Africa. I didn’t think about the fact that maybe they knew the Netherlands much less well than I did.

In April 1984, when I was 10 years old, we stayed at a campsite near the Dutch-German border. We had no passports yet, but I remember taking my first step – and no more than that – across the border. In July 1984, the time had finally come. Once again we went on holiday in the Netherlands, but this time we actually crossed the border. We visited the castle in Bad Bentheim, Germany.

In the following years, more trips abroad followed and even real holidays. In the summer of 1985, we discovered Belgium from the southernmost tip of the Netherlands and visited the stalactite caves in Remouchamps and the waterfalls of Coo. The following year, we went to the province of Zeeland and took a day trip to Bruges, Belgium. It wasn’t until July 1987 that we actually spent our holidays abroad: a campsite at Biggesee in Sauerland, Germany, surrounded by hills as high as we had never seen before. We visited another castle: Dillenburg. 1989 we again went to the province of Limburg and visited Bokrijk in Belgium and Monschau in Germany.

I was lucky that my mother was also very interested in culture and history, and castles, because if it had been up to my sister we would never have left the campsite. After my final exams, my mother took me to Paris in the summer of 1990, and of course we visited Versailles. My first visit to Britain was when I was about 16 or 18 years old, a day trip with a friend, but I don’t think we saw Buckingham Palace. In the early 1990s, I went with my parents and sister to Funen, Denmark. I fell in love with Denmark, and still visit from time to time. Later, I also went to Prague (Czechia), southern Poland and Vienna (Austria) with my mother.

These days I often travel alone, or with friends, whom I usually meet on the spot. Since I don’t have a driving licence, I take the plane, train and/or bus. Sometimes that can be tricky, especially if something is in a remote place. I try to go away for a few days at least once a year, often a weekend, or just a day if something is nearby. I love travelling and discovering new things, and I don’t think that will ever end. Because I love royal houses, I often take inspiration from the royal world when it comes to travel destinations. I like to visit palaces, castles, parks, as well as churches and cemeteries.

Whereas in the past, before the internet existed, it was a lot of research to find out what there was to see and how to get there, nowadays it is fortunately a lot easier. After years of running a royal news site, NettyRoyal, in late 2022, after almost 25 years, I decided to take a new step and create a blog full of royal destinations. Admittedly, I have unfortunately by no means visited all the places myself, but this way I would like to inspire others who, like me, have fallen in love with the wonderful world of royalty.