Brett Domue

I am an international expat based in the Netherlands who has been travelling the world in a professional setting since 2004. What started as a combination of business travel and personal travel has turned into over 60 countries visited.

Since 2009, I have been profiling the culinary aspects of my travels as part of the blog Our Tasty Travels, where we focus on the food, wine, beer and other culinary aspects of the cultures we visit.

I spent a few years living on airplanes and in hotels before settling down first in the Netherlands in 2007, using this as a base to explore the historical joys there are to be found in Europe. I lived in Taiwan for 3 1/2 years, which is where I helped start the blog Our Tasty Travels with Erin de Santiago, as I revisited many of the locations I had passed through in my initial travels while showing some of the highlights to Erin on her first visits.

In 2012, we returned to the Netherlands, where we will be based at least through 2017, and are taking the time now to more fully explore the culinary aspects of this great continent.

You can work pretty much where you want to – on the road, do you find it hard to work or do you just have fun and work when you come back home?

I've been mixing my love of travel, my loves of food, wine, and beer, and my career for the past ten years. Initially I was able to have a position that had me traveling for work, all over the world, for over 50% of the year.

Eventually, I managed to turn that into the opportunity to live overseas, first in the Netherlands, then Taiwan, and now back in the Netherlands. This flexibility to travel, ability to live overseas, and security of a consistent paycheck has afforded me options for travel that I never would have dreamed of back when I was still in school.

Do you feel many people are envious of your lifestyle?

I'm sure there are aspects of my lifestyle that people envy, but there are also aspects that they don't envy at all. I recently had to spend six straight months in a hotel room on a work trip, which many people find a terrible thought.

And while sure, there were aspects of this that were not ideal, the trade-off of being in San Diego over the winter while the rest of the US was going through the polar vortex and the Netherlands was in the middle of its normal dreary winter months made me smile still, despite the cramped quarters. Plus, I was able to earn hotel loyalty program points the whole time!

In which countries have people recognised you, even when you thought nobody would?

I'm not that me-focused in my blogging, so I'm not overly recognised as I travel. I have had a number of encounters with local tourists during my travels, however, where people asked to pose for photos with me, including one instance in Japan with an entire fifth grade class on a field trip to Kamakura, and with a group of mainland Chinese businessmen at a pull-off on the road from Taroko Gorge back to Taipei in Taiwan.

Which three items would you never travel without?

When I travel, I do try to leave work behind and enjoy my travels, as well as collect some material for future blog posts.

These days, the items I'm most unable to travel without would be 1) a daypack - to carry the essentials for a day walking around whatever location I am visiting, and for carrying back heavier souvenirs, 2) my iPhone - which also serves as my camera, my notebook, and my laptop, and 3) comfortable shoes - had a couple trips where the shoes I brought were inappropriate for the amount of walking I was doing.

Are there any specific souvenirs or other things you collect from the places you go to?

On the pure touristic side of things, I do have two items I collect from my travels: Refrigerator magnets and hats from the Hard Rock Cafe's in any city outside of the US I visit that has one.

Magnets for me are the most portable, yet distinctive souvenir that you can pick up from almost every location, giving you something you can eventually show in a consistent manner when you do eventually settle down, which also shows the key elements of the places you've visited.

The Hard Rock Cafe hats started off on my first international trip to London back when I was in high school, and was something I just have kept doing over the years. I do sometimes wish I had chosen to collect the classic white t-shirts instead, though, since those are the souvenir item that the cafe's sell that consistently will have the local spelling of the cafe on it.

From the blog side of travel, we have a habit of collecting wine, beer, and other local beverages from the places we visit. This past October, we went on a 23-country road trip, which resulted in over 30 beers, 40 bottles of wine, and 15 bottles of local liqueurs. Luckily we were driving and never were searched at any of the customs checkpoints of Eastern Europe.

Tagged as: Netherlands

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