Polle de Maagt

When you travel with an open mind, you experience more.

Hi, my name is Polle de Maagt. I travel more than 200 nights per year and learned that traveling with an open mindunpreparedwithout expectations, with an omakase mindset, increases the chance you create memories worth sharing. A few words on who I am, why and how I travel and why omakase.

A sad start, a happy ending.

On omakase travel.

My wife had been putting up with me complaining about pain for a week now. She was fed up with my stubbornness (and she has always been the smartest of the two of us). Within 15 minutes we were in the hospital and less and an hour later, I was in emergency surgery. This is on my lessons learned.

The purpose of life isn't to earn money. It is collecting and sharing as many memorable moments as possible.

Later, the doctor told me and my wife, that had we waited a few more hours, it might have been too late.

A kidney rupture had brought me close to death. Fluids had started to infect my intestines and my lungs. It had been close. And it was enormous turning point in my life. From that moment on, I decided to spend the rest of my life chasing beautiful memories – to create as much beautiful memories as possible.

I started spending my weekends differently; less iPhones and iPads, more building castles from blankets and pillows with my kids. I stopped keeping a bucket list and just started to travel. For me, it was the start of a different way of experiencing my life, of experiencing my trips and travels.

Soon, the puzzle pieces would fall into place.


Omakase (お任せ)

I found out about the Japanese habit of omakase (お任せ) when I was visiting the country in 2016. You’d use it when you’re ordering at a restaurant pretty much means, “I’ll leave it up to you”, inviting the chef to be surprising and innovative in the selection of dishes. A quick check for #omakase on Instagram only made me realise how widespread (and how amazingly tasty) the habit is. It felt like the best summary of how I’d like to travel – open to all different experiences, looking to make memories by getting out of your comfortzone, by doing things I’ve never done before. I try to apply the idea behind to everything between how I plan my holidays, how I pick my runs, how I pick my food, how I explore cities and how I travel in general.

Lava Tower
Jordan Trail - tea with Faris
Kumano Kodo Hiking
Stella point on Mt Kilimanjaro
Summit view
Hiking the Laugavegur trail in the snow
Graslei with Marieke near 1898 The Post
Laugavegur trail in the snow
Kilimanjaro view from Stella Point
Ella approves of the Indigo Antwerp City Centre hotel beds
Marieke at The Jane in Antwerp
Monk in Koyasan
Nakahechi magical forest

Polle de Maagt

A few more words about me and what I do. As an independent digital and brand consultant, I travel the world to change companies to be less about ads and more about acts for my company called the Ministry of World Domination. As an avid traveler (also, see my travel plans) that is extra keen on hiking and running experiences, I travel to find new and surprising experiences by leaving my expectations at home.

And all that traveling makes it even more rewarding to come home to my beautiful wife Marieke and my kids Ella and Gust and/or to share these travel experiences with them.

And as I travel 200+ nights per year for both business and leisure (mostly hiking), that’s a lot. This is my notebook with plans, thoughts, ideas, routines, hikes, hacks, destinations, reviews and stories.

Countries traveled


AVG nights traveling per year


Some of my travel stats.

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