About

Nicolette Orlemans Photography: Portraits &emdash; Travel has been a part of my life since I was a young child. I grew up in a multicultural, bilingual home in the Netherlands to a Polish mother and a Dutch father. My mom jokingly referred to me as a “product of a European Union,” and though it’s meant in jest, I think it’s correct.

Europe’s geography allows for easy travel, and for many Europeans, travel is a way of life. Vivid memories of changing landscapes come to mind of extensive road trips my Polish grandpa and I undertook to and from Holland. The smell of my grandma’s homemade chicken soup and her warm smile always greeted us, and I felt elated at my “home away from home.” Polish was never a “second language,” it’s ingrained in me. Our family has explored the Scottish highlands and London landmarks. We’ve ventured through the City of Love (Paris) and stayed with friends in the French countryside. Italy and Spain welcomed us with their authentic cuisines, rich histories, and friendly atmospheres. Egypt’s ancient civilizations drew us inside the pyramids, and the unforgettable, unique experience of visiting a Mosque ceremony opened my eyes to the major role of Islam.

When I was 12, my father came home one night announcing his company requested he move overseas. At first, the choice was between Japan and the U.S. Given my dad’s allergy to fish, and our ability to already speak English, the decision was simple. We began preparations for America. Middle school friends urged me to share first impressions, though a few had their own ideas of what America would be like: a heavily influenced sports culture, burgers & fries, rock ‘n roll, and the “land of opportunity.” In some ways, their assumptions were right, but there is so much more to it than that.

America is a “multicultural melting pot” of many immigrants aspiring to live the American Dream – attaining success through hard work and opportunity. American history emphasizes the immigrant plight and how receptive the country was to immigration. Americans pride themselves on their ancestry and identify strongly with their cultural backgrounds. However, American “education” on immigration feels lackluster at times. While a country of great opportunities, it can still deepen its understanding of other cultures. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “”No culture can live, if it attempts to be exclusive.”

Every country has a cultural footprint. Travel encourages open-mindedness. It lets us experience new cultures – sometimes similar, or not at all familiar. Through it, we observe traditions, experience history, taste new cuisines, take in art forms, and appreciate alternative perceptions of life. An enthusiasm for travel, a keen interest in news, and connectedness with diverse people have translated into a true passion for journalism. Journalism reflects balanced storytelling. It digs for truths, reveals emotions, and allows us to share perceptions. It creates a dialogue.

On this blog, I’ll be looking at cultural assimilation through adoption of new cultural experiences, and how these can shape identity. I hope to share life-changing stories and lessons learned from immersion in foreign cultures. I’ll strive to highlight what makes others’ culture unique, but also look at similarities binding us all in the human experience. How do we define our goals and life’s ambitions? How do we overcome obstacles and embrace cultural differences?

Interested in discussing your own travels? Join the weekly #CultureTrav chat on Twitter, or share your posts and photos using the hashtag throughout the week!

Headed on a trip and want some 1:1 personalized advice? I now offer consulting services, so whether you need to plan a 7 day vacation or just want to know how to spend an afternoon in NY, click the link below and get my help!

PLAN A TRIP

Have more questions? Interested in being a guest blogger on my site? Feel free to email me via nicolette.orlemans@gmail.com.

To view my resume, go here. To learn more about my communications and social media consulting, visit nicoletteorlemans.com

17 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Nicolette,
    Thanks you for shared you link site at twitter.
    I had read about your and know, It’s excellent that you shared the experience of you and your wishes.
    I appreciate you for it.
    I am very interesting to be travel around the world and shared the awesome experience what I have achieved. As I had desire on it, therefore I am working in tourism sector and running a tour operator company in taken license from last year, you can find us if you if search by BLTGBD
    Wishing you all the best

  2. Hey Nicolette,
    Thanks for stopping by and following The Savvy Senorita, I appreciate it!
    I look forward to reading more of your blog, as hopefully you will mine also.
    All the best, Bex

    1. Hi Bex,

      Thanks so much for stopping by and following! 🙂
      I’m looking forward to reading more on your blog as well!

      Thanks,
      Nicolette

      1. Hi Nicolette,

        No problem at all, my pleasure 🙂 Same to you, for my blog (thanks for visiting and reading my stuff). I look forward to reading more of your blog, and getting to know you/your work!

        Thanks again,
        Bex

    1. Thanks for visiting! I can say the very same for your blog 🙂 looking forward to reading your posts!

  3. Nicolette, I just realized months beyond I hadn’t replied to your question. 🙂 I went to Germany (sight unseen) for work, stayed just under 2 years, and the place made a lifelong impression. I continually desire to learn as much as I can about my self-styled adopted country that is the D-land. So, when someone thinks of Germany as “Oktoberfest” and “fairy-tale castles”, that drives me nuts! I become defensive, and although there’s nothing wrong with those impressions, Germany offers so much more. I’ve also become very interested in telling a story through one photo or a set of photos; if I’m lucky, I’ll be okay to do that, and, perhaps, I’ll also wrap a few words around them for good measure.

  4. Nicolette, thank you for following my blog. I’ve just read your fascinating background here on “About”. I definitely empathize with the multicultural aspects of your upbringing: I was born in Canada to Chinese immigrants. Two recent years in Germany, however, have left a deep (and I think) positive imprint; there’s a certain “sense of ease or comfort” I feel every time I’ve been back to Europe. I’m very much looking forward to reading your blog! Thanks again for stopping by!

    1. Hi Henry! Thank you for dropping by my blog! We both come from very multicultural backgrounds, and equally enjoy travel and photography! I can definitely relate to the ‘ease and comfort’ you mention; Europe will always be home! What inspired you to go to Germany? I’m also looking forward to viewing your posts and love the photography on your main page!

  5. Your writing is so clear and engaging! It was a pleasure reading about your multicultural upbringing and your love of travel. I envy your position as a European- being able to easily travel to all those wonderful places! I am just making my way into the world of travel and am always looking for new ways to travel (economically) through Europe. I look forward to reading your posts.

    1. Thank you for the lovely comment! I try to be very honest and present memories or ideas as I experienced them. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to travel and living in Europe certainly enables easy travel –it can be economical too, not to worry! I stumbled upon your blog and enjoyed the first few posts I saw with their vivid descriptions and your sense of humor which shined through. I look forward to reading more!

    1. Thank you for stopping by! I feel quite lucky to have traveled so much – I’m thankful my parents encouraged it. I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts, too!

    1. Thank you! Boston is pretty wonderful. It has a very worldly feel to it. What is your favorite destination so far?!

      1. Sorry for the delayed response! I replied right away – but my computer froze, and i tried to remember to come back, but you know how it is once you walk away! 😉 In answer to your question, I don’t have a favourite place. I find that each place offers something unique, hence my experiences are different for each. You can’t compare a dance lesson with a painting class, nor a lecture versus a museum visit. All which I love, but different experiences. I have so many varied interests (outdoor adventure / food / art / design / architecture / history) that I find I go to different places for different reasons. Plus, if I make friends where I travel, that becomes a biased opinion because that makes the place THAT much better! 🙂

        1. That’s a great perspective to have – every place has its unique attributes! I feel the same way! What’s lovely about travel is the ability to explore all of your favorite interests in a new location!

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