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Hello and welcome to omakas.es, the travel blog of me, Polle de Maagt. As I travel a lot (I spend more than 200 nights per year in hotels), both for business and leisure, I collect quite the amount of memorable travel experiences. I believe that if you leave your expectations at home, if you travel with an open mind, you experience moreomakase traveling.

For a while, I wanted to be able to post notes, thoughts and ideas of my travels as well keep a log for myself of packing lists and experiences. Rather than keeping these for myself in Evernote of another tool, it made total sense to share these notes with the world – that became omakas.es (I recently dedicated a post on why I started blogging (again)).

  • On omakase traveling
  • What you will find on this blog
  • My favorites
  • The places I have visited

Polle de Maagt

Hi, I am Polle.

I travel 200+ nights per year, freed of expectations, mostly for business, often for leisure – always with the omakase mindset. This is my notebook with thoughtshikeshacksdestinationsreviews and stories.

On omakase traveling

When you leave your expectations at home.

The Japanese habit of omakase (お任せ) when you’re ordering at a restaurant pretty much means, “I’ll leave it up to you”, inviting the chef to be innovative and surprising in the selection of dishes. I try to do it in every city I visit, and apply the idea behind to everything between how I pick my runshow I pick my foodhow I plan activities with my kidshow I explore cities and how I travel in general.

If you apply this, you experience more. You are more likely to stumble upon an amazing part of the city that wasn’t mentioned in the Lonely Planet. You are more likely to meet new people, to have the staff in your restaurant pick your food or to have a hipster local point you to the best possible bars and restaurants.

Or to be more specific: You are more likely to end up drinking tea with Bedouins in the desert and even in a remarkable friendship, to do the haka with Maori in New Zealand, end up bar crawling with people you never met in Tokyo, sharing life stories with drunk Russian millionaires in London and my other amazing travel memories.

One of the many snow field on my Laugavegur hike in Iceland.

What you will find on this blog

What you will find on this blog - omakase traveling

The basic message on this blog is about omakase: if you leave your expectations at home, if you say “yes” more, more memorable experiences will come.

Read more on omakase, on omakase dinners, on saying “yes”, on how I manage uncertainties and what being unprepared can bring

What you will find on this blog - hiking

Many posts on this blog are on hiking. You will find different multi-day hikes in various stages of preparation: from my finished Kumano Kodo hike to the planning and preparations of my finished Jordan Trail

See my travel plans, all planning and preparation posts, all packing lists and all stories on my finished hikes.

What you will find on this blog - life of a frequent traveler

Spending weeks and weeks traveling from hotel to hotel helps you build on understanding of the life of a frequent traveler, the so called traveler’s tribe. It helps me collect my favorite hotels, destinations and insights in loyalty programs (IHG, Hilton and Marriott), when to book hotel nights etcetera, but also in dirty hotel rooms and horrible hotel experiences.

My all-time favorites

Hotels

Kimpton De Witt in Amsterdam - one of my favorite hotels ever

And my favorite hotel breakfasts, including QO in Amsterdam, One Shot Fortuny in Madrid and others …

Destinations

Blending in with the locals in Japan

My all-time favorite destinations, including Japan, Gent, Iceland and others …

Gear

Gear for GR20 in Corsica (France)

Stories & Memories

Jordan Trail - tea with Faris

The places I've visited

With over 60 countries traveled and some amazing memories, here are the places I’ve visited:

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Destinations