My name is Ties Benguedda, I’m a Dutch-Moroccan Personal Development Counsellor from Amsterdam. I have always been a dreamer, curious, adventurous, and a little bit rebellious. I was a high school drop-out and left home at a very young age. During this time, I was in touch with a lot of social workers, which later inspired me in my career path. I worked hard to gain a place at university and studied mental health for 6 years. During those years, I had the opportunity to work in many different fields and institutions within the mental health and psychiatric care arena. I became a “mental health professional”, but I was still looking for a different way for my self and to help people get where they wanted to be in life. I started assisting a Neuro-Linguistic Programming teacher, which was a fantastic and life-changing experience, not only for me, but also especially for the people I counselled.
I decided to take a break to re-evaluate and improve my counselling skills and life. I booked a trip to travel for “3 months” trough California starting in SF. It didn’t take long in to my travels to decide to give up my apartment, my belongings, my return ticket and free myself from all that weight. I wanted to see new places, countries and learn from the people I’d meet. This was one of the scariest, but so far one of the best decisions of my life! I am very grateful for the adventures, lessons and flow I experienced and continue to have.
I started 14th of September 2013 in San Francisco and travelled throughout most of the U.S.. Keeping Ocean Beach, San Diego as my home base, meeting the most random, fantastic, interesting and inspiring people and friends for life! I ended up roadtripping trough many states in different orders and times: CA, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Oregon and Washington. I then crossed the border to Mexico and proceeded with my journey south. When I arrived in Playa del Carmen, I instantly fell in love with its beauty, white sands, palm trees, turquoise crystal clear water (when I arrived at least 😉 ) and I decided to live there for a while whilst improving my counselling skills. I felt right at home and made friends for life there, these incredible people became “family”. I found myself being more productive then ever before I wrote articles for the local English newspaper on personal development and I organized and hosted a weekly personal development meet up, where people come together to discuss all sorts of interesting personal development related topics. I started a bed& breakfast with another traveller (Villa Hibiscus), I volunteered at a animal rescue centre (PAR), I was barbering my way around and then…
I decided to continue my travels, discovering new places by using local chicken buses and volunteering in hostels along the way..some parts I travelled by self, some
parts with other travellers I’ve met in hostels to Central America, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras & Nicaragua and back up to the Pacific Coast of Mexico, where I volunteered and lived for a couple of months, meeting incredible people and made forever friends and when “the season” became quiet…I moved back to Playa del Carmen to pick up where I’d left…It worked out a bit different and I got an amazing new opportunity offered by a good friend I made during myearlier stay in Playa. I got to live in a massive villa right next to the beach, whilst fixing it up and managing the other (vacation) properties owned by that same friend. I was hosting friends there and enjoying the wildlife, sometimes nursing it.
From time to time I would hang out at my friend’s hostel and cut guests hairs there, that is where I met Chris. Little did I (we) know how this story would get a complete different exciting turn after that. 😀
We stayed every day in touch since the day we met, 7 weeks later I was turning 30 and Chris came back to take me on a trip to the islands of Belize. We spend the most amazing time together snorkelling with sharks, manatees, seahorses, dolphins and racing around in golf carts.
I fell in love with Chris and followed my heart to London! Where I am working and training to continue our new big adventure!
Me and bikes
“I have been cycling as long as I have been walking. I don’t own a drivers licence (which in Amsterdam is quite common). I prefer cycling over walking, it is simply faster and more practical. I have a knee injury, my knee used to dislocate a lot, I had surgery on it twice, so cycling has also been a comfortable way to move around. I used my bicycles to go from A to B. I have never cycled long distances as I am about to do on a daily basis, and I never rode a geared bike until recent, because The Netherlands is flat. The most common classic bike which I always used in Amsterdam comes without gears. During my travels I mainly lived in beach towns and cruised around on beach cruisers (without gears). I love moving around on a bike. “You get to see so much, I love the freedom a bicycle brings, go where and when ever you want, stop whenever you want, not to forget the exercise and fresh air!
Our bicycle tour is the ultimate combination of my passions: adventure + cycling + I am doing this with the love of my life! This will be incredibly intense in many ways! It will be my the biggest achievement! I am unbelievably excited to do this!