Who are you?
I’m Ali, a small-town Maine gal currently living in Amsterdam, snapping photos and blogging along the way. By day I work in an ad agency, but the rest of the time you’ll find me ridding my bike around Amsterdam, exploring Europe, and cooking travel-inspired meals. Amsterdam & Beyond is a collection of my adventures, and here you’ll find four categories: FoodTravelAmsterdam, and Love

How can I reach you?
If you’d like to get in touch with a partnership inquiry, you can write to me at alexandra.ronca@gmail.com. I have an info pack with site stats and analytics available upon request.

I’m a busy bee but I love hearing from my readers as well :) You can also e-mail me at alexandra.ronca@gmail.com and I’ll do my best to get back to you! I’m also an avid user of PinterestInstagram, and Twitter if you’d like to follow along or ask  a question there.


Where should I start reading?
Here are a few of my favorite posts: Dutch Stroopwafels, Story Deli in London, Maine Barn Weddings, Cannes Day 4, Lisbon Day 1, German Christmas Market Day 1, Coloring, and Indoot TentAnd if you’re planning a trip to Amsterdam, here is my guide to the city and some top recommendations on when to visit, where to go, what to see . . . enjoy!

What kind of camera do you use?
There are two cameras that I use regularly – a Canon Rebel T3i and a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3. The Rebel is awesome. I’ve had it for two and I’m still learning how to use it. It takes lovely photos and it’s the ideal camera for those looking to buy their first DSLR. I got the Panasonic for Christmas last year, and I’m really enjoying this piece of technology as well. Of course the photos are not as nice as the DSLR, but I wanted something I could keep in my purse and whip out at a moment’s notice – something slightly better than my iPhone. The Panasonic is a great little toy and my next purchase will be a pancake lens to make it even more portable.Fotor0509192055

Do you disclose freebies?
Because I’m a blogger, sometimes people want to give me free stuff. Most of the time I end up saying no, because hey, I have my own stuff already. If I do accept a gift, I’ll always let you know it was a freebie. And if I don’t like it, I won’t waste my time telling you about it! I love blogging, and for this reason I’m not a member of an affiliate program and I don’t put ads on the site. Blogging is my hobby, and I’m not trying to make money from it! If that were the case, I would probably stop liking it, and I have a feeling you would too.

Where are you from?
I grew up just outside of Boston. When I was twelve, my parents moved to a seaside town Maine, and decided to take me with them. I loved meeting new people and discovering the contrast between city life and country living. When I graduated from high school, I went to college four hours away from home, in Vermont. Again I was reminded of the rush I get when reinventing myself, starting fresh, and making new acquaintances. Three years into college I finally got myself a passport and studied abroad in England. I loved England so much that I went back a year later to get my master’s degree in Leeds. Not long after I got a job in Amsterdam, and have never looked back! I hope to call many more places ‘home’ in my lifetime. The ‘where are you from’ question is hard, as I’ve left so many pieces of my heart in so many places around the world.Fotor0509192410

Is blogging your job?
No, blogging is not my job. I work at an advertising agency called Sid Lee. I’m an Account Director, which means it’s my job to work with our clients and make sure the right people are doing the right things to make kick ass ads. Sometimes I’m really busy at work and can’t blog for a week or two. But I have a little pocket calendar where I write down recipe ideas, trips, and restaurants I want to try, which makes blogging fun and easy. Usually I take photos in my free time on the weekends, and then write once or twice a week after work. After managing the creative process all day at in the office, I love coming home and being my own art director and content creator. Blogging – photographing, cooking, traveling, exploring – is my creative outlet.

Happy reading x


PS. These are the Terms and Conditions for Amsterdam & Beyond. 

49 thoughts on “{About}

  1. Wow. What a wonderful about and story. Thanks for finding me. I’d love to follow along. I’m an American expat too, but I live in Thailand :)

    So well-written dear! Hugs.


    • Ha – thank you! I have to admit, I’ve been blogging for about 8 months and just got around to doing it now. Writing about day to day life is much easier than trying to sum up who you are in a couple paragraphs!


      • Very true. It’s stressful for me too. I use this as my resume/contact/professional biography and although I want to be cute with it and really let everyone know who I am, I don’t know how professional I should keep it. I decided to keep it pretty professional for now until I feel out the amount of fun I can put into it. I’d love the really share who I am in it, but employers may not look at me the way I would like them to. Eh. I wasn’t going to be denied the picture with my cat, though!


  2. Hi,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Yours looks awesome! We seem to have some things in common: I am also an avid traveller, have met my British man on one of my adventures and we are newly engaged! And in October we are moving to Amsterdam!


  3. Hi Alexandra – that’s my name too! Thanks for having a look at my blog and liking my cheesecake disaster post. Your blog looks great and I have just signed up to follow. The Netherlands is one of my favourite places, so your posts and photos will remind me of the wonderful time I spent there years ago. Cheers, Alex.


  4. Hey Ali, you’ve got a super sweet blog right here. Really well written, great shots, content and layout, well done, you’ve got some talent. Just wanted to stop by and say hey, feel free to check out my thoughts on food or my poetry. Hope to stay in touch and keep doing what you’re doing. Doug


  5. HI Ali–love your story! It sounds like a fairy tale!! When we were first married, my husband and I lived in Spain for 12 years– I’m a happy traveler as well. But now we’re mostly settled in California. Great post! thanks.


  6. Your blog is such an inspiration and what a wonderful story indeed! I will be following you. I have dreamed of traveling to Europe someday. I have some friends who are living in Switzerland and hope to visit them as well. Thank you for visiting my blog and liking my post at annascuisine.wordpress.com. I hope you’ll visit more often. Have a great day! :)


  7. Love it. Thank you for coming by to look at my blog and giving me the chance to find you. I’m going to have to follow you :). Ohhh and happy belated birthday.


  8. Hi! I’ve stumbled upon your blog which I love. My sisters and I started our own about our life in London, but we’re actually Dutch. So interesting to read your take on our homeland x


  9. Hey Ali, I know we’ve been fellow wordpressers for a while now but I was wondering as I’m thinking of learning Dutch in the future (my boyfriend is Dutch as you know) and I’m hoping to visit Holland in the Spring to finally meet the in-laws there, I was wondering do you know any free/cheap resources to learn some basic Dutch? I was trying to figure out who to ask this…as I’m a bit of shy of asking the boyfriend and I know you’ve probably adapted to Dutch life by also learning the language gradually, and it’d be a help if you could nod me in the right direction, if even a small part of the right direction! I know this could be a big ask but I didn’t know where else to turn, haha. Thanks if you can help me :)

    – Jane xx


    • Hey Jane, I am ashamed to admit that my Dutch is horrible. When I first moved here I made every effort to learn the language, but because English is so fluent in the Netherlands, the moment someone picks you have a US/UK accent, they switch right over into English. That said, I did learn the basics before coming, I used: http://www.learndutch.org/Dutch/Dutch.html for numbers, the alphabet, phrases, etc. This is also a good cheat sheet: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/dutch-for-dummies-cheat-sheet.html B took a year long intensive course and his Dutch is still quite primary, it’s a hard language to learn! I’ve found the best way to learn is by living here (grocery store signs, overhearing people talk, reading menus) and speaking to Dutch friends (when you’ve had a few drinks this is really fun!), so your boyfriend is probably the best resource :) I’m sure his family will love you either way! But there are a few cute phrases you could learn that are ‘house manners’, things like “uitbuiken” (to exclaim when you’re really full after a delicious meal), “smakelijk” (what you say before you dig in when a meal looks delicious!), and “dank u wel” a polite way to say thanks :) I’m sure you’ll win them over no problem! Xx


      • Thank you, it does really look like a tough language to learn haha. All those huge long words can look so scary :o And thanks for the tips, I’ll definitely look at those links you provided! You’re a star :D xx


      • Just thought I’d let you know how my Dutch learning is going since I asked you for some tips about learning Dutch! I finally got the courage and asked my boyfriend to teach me! :) Last night I managed to say my first 20 Dutch words in less than an hour, apparently I pronounced them great :D

        Also just to let you know that I moved blogs (this is formerly infinityx17) but I now have a shared blog with my Dutchman :) http://davyandjaney.blogspot.co.uk/

        I want to thank you as well, because if you hadn’t given me the advise you had I would have probably stayed in fear of asking to be taught by my boyfriend haha :)

        Hope you and B are well! :)

        – Jane xx


        • Hey Jane – what great news!!! Dutch is such a difficult language to learn – and pronounce! – so congrats on your progress so far :) I’m sure you’ll be fluent in no time. I’ll check out the new blog space :) Will be good to hear from you AND the boyfriend, and I’m so happy he’s the one giving you lessons. Good luck and I’ll be sure to keep up with your tales on the blog. Doei!
          xo ali


          • Agreed haha. Must say I have had a few tears of trying to pronounce some words! Especially that guttural “ch/g” phlegm-like noise – it’s a pain but slowly getting the hang of it. Haha hopefully by the time my family and I visit Holland in June (managed to convince them to meet the in-laws for the first time with me) I can at least have a decent conversation :D



  10. Thanks for the like on my blog. You have a great blog, interesting stories, and some great photos! I traveled a lot when I was younger, Amsterdam was on my list, but I never made it. I will enjoy living vicariously through your blog.


  11. Hi Ali, thanks for dropping by my blog “42 Days Younger than Kylie” and liking my poem. You take beautiful photographs on your travels. Livingin Amsterdam sounds wonderful. I was fortunate to visit there for 5 days about 18 months ago and would love to return one day. Following you on instagram now. Stay Well.


  12. digging your blog and your versatility and how you have traveled to so many places and had so many incredible experiences and its fantastic reading about your journeys thus far. really cool. peace


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