{About}

Who are you?
I’m Ali, the gal behind Amsterdam and Beyond. I travel, write, eat, and have a real passion for marketing. I regularly contribute to several travel publications around the web, and recently wrote the Amsterdam volume of The Hunt Guide. While I’m an encyclopedia of fun things to do an see in Amsterdam, I regularly jet-set around Europe, and so Amsterdam and Beyond is a compilation personal travel-tales and great Amsterdam attractions.

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’m also an avid user of PinterestInstagram, and Twitter if you’d like to follow along or ask a question there.

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Do you disclose freebies?
Sometimes I get invited to a launch, or gifted a product. If this is the case, I will always tell you so in the blog post. Most of the time, I decline to work with brands. It’s hard to find just the right fit, and I want to keep the content here authentic. However, I have worked with a few brands in the past, such as KLM and Raddison Blu, that have a similar creative vision and allow me to share content I think you (my readers) will truly find of interest. I will always disclose a freebie, and I will always make sure it’s the best fit before sharing it here on the blog.

Where are you from?
I grew up just outside of Boston. When I was twelve, my parents moved to a seaside town in Maine, and (luckily!) 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, and when I graduated from college, I moved even further abroad to get my Master’s in England. After a two year stint in England, I moved to Amsterdam where I have been for more than seven years now. Ik spreek Nederlands en kocht een huis in het centrum.! 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. Right now, the answer is Amsterdam, but five years from now, I hope the answer is very different but equally exciting!

Is blogging your job?
No, blogging is not my job. I work at an online travel agency called Booking.com, where I manage marketing and creative. I also regularly contribute to online travel publications, in addition to sometimes taking on a bigger writing or photography project here or there. I’m one of those people who rarely sleeps, and I thrive on throwing myself into my work, which also just so happens to be my passion. Blogging is the one creative outlet I have that I can control, and for that reason I love it. While I don’t update Amsterdam and Beyond as frequently as I would like, it gives me a space to be 100% authentically me, which is welcome after dedicating so much time and creative effort into the vision of others. And, Amsterdam and Beyond is a diary that I hope to look back on and truly cherish someday.

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

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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.

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    • 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!

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      • 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!

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  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!

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  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.

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  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

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  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.

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  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! :)

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  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.

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  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

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  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

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    • 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

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      • 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

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      • 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

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        • 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

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          • 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

            xx

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  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.

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  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.
    Peter

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  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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