Polle de Maagt
Hi, my name is Polle de Maagt. I travel more than 200 nights per year (well … I did pre-Corona) and learned that traveling with an open mind, unprepared, without expectations, with an omakase mindset, increases the chance you create memories worth sharing.
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.
A few words on who I am, why and how I travel and why omakase.
What intensive care taught me
Marieke, my wife at that time (we got divorced in 2020), 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. Later, the doctor told us both, 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.
It took a while to recover physically. Mentally I had never been in a better place. It had opened up my mind to see that I needed to change.
A turning point: when you open your mind, you experience more
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.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.
Traveling makes not-traveling better
And all that traveling makes it even more rewarding to come home to my family (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.