Support LGBT couple-operated travel businesses around the world! It was in summer 2018 during our trip to Berlin for Gay Pride when we first met Roxanne and Maartje from the Netherlands. Until then, we’ve not heard from them yet. Today, the lesbian couple is one of the top-notch lesbian storytellers of the international LGBT travel and content creator community. We just love their photos and videos. And we are happy and proud to count them among our best friends. Recently, the two handsome girls from Onceuponajrny Roxanne & Maartje settled down in Amsterdam, literally around the corner of our home base, eager to tell their love and couple story on their blog and across all their social media channels. After traveling with them already to Berlin, Malmö, New York, and around the Netherlands, we cannot wait to continue our Lesbian-Gay Blogger collaboration and friendship on the road and back home in the Dutch capital city. Enjoy our story of Roxanne and Maartje on Couple of Men and learn more about how the lesbian couple from Amsterdam is facing the challenge of the Corona crisis together.
Best friends while working in a Cinema
But how did the couple meet each other, and what is the story behind Roxanne and Maartje’s travel blog and LGBT storytelling? So much is said, it was a love story of a different kind…
“We are Roxanne and Maartje, a girl couple from the Netherlands. In 2013, we met while making popcorn, selling tickets, and cleaning screening rooms. Sounds romantic right?! Not at all, haha. We both worked at a cinema in Amsterdam while studying and became best friends. After a year of being ‘just friends’, more happened. Maartje started to like me, Roxanne, but I was the one who kissed Maartje first. Being in a relationship with a girl was new for both of us.”
Since Roxanne and Maartje haven’t had their coming-outs yet, it turned out to be more complicated than expected, especially when Maartje left to study in the USA. But even if their relationship is from time to time a rollercoaster, Onceuponajrny Roxanne & Maartje managed to find a way to be stronger together. And then their lives were about to change forever.
“At this time, we lived in the same student house (typical U-Haul lesbians?) and after half a year Maartje left to study abroad for a semester, in the States. Our relationship was and still is sometimes a rollercoaster. But it makes us a strong team. We have lived together, spent time apart, but also traveled the world together. After finishing college, we sold everything we had to begin a world trip. One that lasted for three years. We were fully nomadic for three years, but now we live in Amsterdam again. We still travel, or well not at the moment, but just a little different.”
Telling their Story as a Lesbian Travel Couple
Selling everything and starting a nomadic lifestyle doesn’t mean it would be successful, nor that one can make a living by doing that, at least not at the beginning. Innately curious, adventurous and skilled photo- and videographers are the best skills to start a career as content creators with the goal to support LGBT travelers as modern LGBT activists and, most importantly, LGBT businesses around the world.
“On the road, we started our blog and Instagram. At first, we wanted to write about folk- and fairy tales all around the world. But we noticed many people wanted to see us and hear our stories, especially about traveling the world as a lesbian couple. We got, and still get, regularly questions like: How can you travel the world as a lesbian couple? Which places can you go to and which ones you can’t? Can we walk hand in hand everywhere?”
And this is one reason why it is an important work that Roxanne and Maartje are doing. At that point, they are similar to us, storytellers of AND for the LGBT community. Thereby, the girls are filling a gap in today’s media world, as there aren’t many travel sources for lesbian travelers yet.
“We never thought about telling our stories as a lesbian travel couple, simply because we didn’t see anybody else doing it. There were, and still aren’t, many online travel resources for lesbians. Our biggest belief is that travel is for everyone, and we’re determined to showcase beauty everywhere. We don’t shy away from non-LGBT-friendly countries, but also celebrate LGBT-friendly places where we can truly be ourselves. And we help other queer travelers to do the same! Our content is informational but also inspirational.
The Netherlands is known for its cheese, bikes, and of course, its tulip and flower fields. Additional to the Dutch capital, the German neighbor offers a variety of exciting cities and islands along the west coast of Europe. Read all about Groningen, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam, Den Hague, and the Dutch island Vlieland.
What about the Couple’s travel plans for 2020?
For Roxanne and Maartje, the year 2020 should have been a special one, besides some fantastic trips that had been confirmed already. No, we are talking about some wonderful private ones, like getting married!
“We had planned a little honeymoon to the USA this April, which we were really looking forward to, but sadly both our legal wedding and honeymoon got canceled. Hopefully, things calm down again before August for our ceremony and party. Perhaps we can plan our honeymoon afterward. But to be honest, we haven’t planned any new trips or rescheduled old ones, as the future is so uncertain right now.”
Indeed, currently, no one knows what is going to happen this summer. Will we be able to go on a summer vacation, or should we better plan some more home time on the balcony or while traveling around our home countries? The lesbian couple is facing very uncertain times, privately and professionally. But they stay optimistic. Something we really love about Roxanne and Maartje from OnceUpOnAJrney.
“Are we able to travel again in June, July, and August, or should we wait longer? Time will tell. But we want to avoid planning new trips too soon and be disappointed if we can’t go. And we also think we should only travel again once it’s safe. The one trip we still have planned is to Malmö in Sweden in July. Sweden is one of our favorite countries to travel to, so we are looking forward to our trip. And as it’s closer to our home, it might make things easier.”
The Dutch capital is considered to be one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world. By legalizing same-sex marriage as the first country in the world already in 2001, the Netherlands and its capital offer a diverse LGBTQ+ friendly cultural program throughout the whole year. One highlight of the Summer is undoubtedly (Gay) Pride Amsterdam.
Everything changed when Corona hit the world…
The Coronavirus outbreak in China, the COVID-19 illness, and the impact it would have on our everyday lives remained kind of a mystery for a while before turning our familiar reality upside down. For many professional travelers, the early travel ban by the US-American president Trump for Europeans traveling to the US became for the girls a point of no return before everything started to change.
“Especially, the day Trump banned travelers from Europe from entering the States, was a sad day for us. Because we knew we had to cancel our honeymoon. Afterward, we had a few more sad days, many projects got canceled, and therefore our income – that innately is always unstable for freelancers – is now nearly non-existent. But then we flipped a switch. We thought: we are healthy, our friends and family are healthy, so why not make the best of this. Also, important: we have each other and a wonderful online world where we can get support from, and that we can support too.”
But it also meant to be a moment for new chances, possibilities, and the opportunity to think many things over. Not only for Onceuponajrny Roxanne & Maartje, but also for us.
“These things made us help change our mindset. Watching less news helped us too, just twice or three times a day, instead of the whole day. We still have so many stories to tell from the past three years, we can write for months and still have things to tell. That’s what we are doing right now. Plus, we try to focus more on lifestyle on both our Instagram and blog. And we started a new project: a cooking website. This was something we always wanted to do, as we both love cooking, but simply never made time for it. Now that we have our apartment again, and we stay inside, we can cook a lot”!
How to beat the Corona Crisis? Together!
#1 Try to accept that “it’s okay not to be okay”
“The key to a balanced life in general, we believe, knows that ‘it’s okay not to be okay’. Especially during quarantine, things will blow out of proportion. You were annoyed by your partner’s messy habits before? That was nothing compared to the growing hate you feel now. Every emotion seems to be 100x worse. And that’s okay.”
#2 Try to “put your energy to good use, especially if you’re bored”
“There’s a lot of pressure to ‘be productive’. But you don’t have to be productive (but if you’re bored, please do put your energy to good use). Especially in these challenging times, it’s important to keep your mind healthy. To us, that means allowing ourselves to chill whenever we want. Netflix, books, playing board- and card games; all of that. We’re fortunate to have a lifestyle that has always been unexpected, and we know how to adapt to many situations. Just make sure to chill as hard as you work!”
#3 Try to “make changes that we normally put off”
Visit our travel blog and scroll through articles. Click through to other articles. Just spend some time on it! Watch our YouTube videos and engage with them (we’d love to hear your video ideas!). Give feedback – if you have any – to what we can do better. Right now is the time for us to work on our website and make changes that we normally put off.
#4 Try to support small business
“And if you plan to visit Amsterdam after this whole drama: book a photoshoot with us! We just launched our photography business over at mrsvisuals.com (yup, great timing). Let us know when you are around and would love to capture your favorite moments in Amsterdam!”
Onceuponajrny Roxanne & Maartje and the urge to travel again…
Final thoughts of the lesbian couple when the crisis is over: “We don’t have a specific place we want to travel to first when the crisis is over. Of course, we are really looking forward to seeing our family again who live in different parts of the Netherlands and friends that live abroad. And we miss our friends in the LGBT travel world, which we usually see a lot during LGBT events and press trips all over the world.
Luckily, we can see each other online, but we want to hug people again! And it feels weird that Karl and Daan are practically our neighbors, but that we can’t visit each other. We do hope we can travel to Malmö and to travel to the States for our honeymoon. But already the feeling of being able to travel again is something we look forward to the most.”
Where is home?
In Amsterdam or traveling around the world!
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