Hi there! We are Roxanne and Maartje, a Dutch lesbian couple in love with each other, the world, writing, and photographing. After being nomadic for three years, we are Amsterdam-based again in 2020.
About Lesbian Travel Blog Once Upon A Journey
March 2017, we sold everything, left home behind, and started traveling full time. On the road, we started Once Upon A Journey. Originally, we wanted to write about folk- and fairytales all around the world. But we noticed many people wanted to see us and hear our stories, especially about traveling the world as a lesbian couple. There were, and still aren’t, many online travel resources for lesbians.
The ‘once upon a’ part suggests a fairytale or magic. Traveling is a ‘magical’ thing; like a fairy tale. And the name as a whole suggests something is about to happen, a story is to start. And that is what traveling is like, it is magical and always the start of a great story.
Why Do We Travel?
We don’t shy away from countries that aren’t LGBT friendly, but we also celebrate the places that are. Visibility matters and we hope our travels can help LGBT people globally to have hope, to inspire them to think bigger! It’s our biggest belief that travel is for everyone and we’re determined to show how beautiful the world can be.
Together, we have visited over 45 countries all over the world. On our travels, we explore local culture*, try the traditional cuisine, wander around nature, and explore cities. We love to be active, yet we can enjoy relaxing in the spa or laying on the beach (an hour, tops) too!
*We especially love meeting the local LGBTQ+ community and hear all about their experiences and favorite places. In addition, we are always looking to support LGBTQ+ owned businesses.
You’ll find our blog highly visual, as we believe we can tell our travels and tips best through written and visual content!
We’re both female, blonde, and tall. Super confusing: we know!
Hi, I’m Maartje. You can tell me apart from Roxanne by my glasses. Most of the time you spot a camera first, and then my face. I have the tendency to change my hair quite a bit, so that is not the best point of recognition.
According to my mum, I was born with the travel bug. Ever since I was a little kid I was telling everyone I was planning on emigrating ‘when I was old enough’, and I would visit the United States first. In 2015, I crossed that one off the bucket list during a study abroad.
Curious how I came out? Read my coming out story!
Luckily, my best friend, my partner in crime, my to-be-wife was up for a crazy trip with me, around the globe! I had this crazy idea to make travel my work and I can be very stubborn, so Once Upon A Journey was born on the road (plus I got my crazy lady on board, after a little bit).
What do I do in Once Upon A Journey? I’m the creative director, I’m in charge of all the visuals – from designing the logo, clicking and editing the photos, to the fine-tuning and color grading of our videos. I’m also the editor in chief (nothing gets published without a check by me), and I write the captions for our Instagram.
Want to send me a message? Come say hi on my personal Instagram @maartjehensen or send me an email.
The girl who is 7 cm (2.8 inches) taller, two years older and has more curls in her hair; that’s me, Roxanne! Friends say you can hear my laugh even before you can see me. What can I say? I’m very easily made enthusiast for anything!
When I was 13 years old, my dad and step-mom took me to Thailand. I immediately fell in love with Asia and traveling. Afterward, a world trip seemed inevitable. After finishing high-school I left the Netherlands for six months to travel around Asia, New-Zealand, and Australia. I met so many incredible people, saw the most beautiful things and also did some crazy things like bungee jumping and skydiving (and other, improper, things).
Curious how I came out? Read my coming out story!
Back in the Netherlands, I moved to Amsterdam to study to become a physical therapist. I have always enjoyed working with people, sports and helping people. In Amsterdam, I met Maartje and I fell in love. I fell even deeper in love when we started doing what we both love most: traveling. So there I was, on a second world trip! Traveling the world as a lesbian couple made me see the world in a different way.
What do I do in Once Upon A Journey? I run our social media logistics, edit most Youtube videos, create content (I have great posing ideas and I’m a great model for all the test-shots Maartje takes), and my special skill: I’m great at doing SEO, so you get to find all our tips!
Want to send me a message? Come say hi on my personal Instagram @roxanneweijer or send me an email.
More Once Upon A Journey
If you connect with our brand and think we’re a good fit, check out our work with us page.
More Photography and Our Food Blog
We run an Amsterdam photography business and we’re available worldwide for photoshoots. We specialize in LGBT photography, portrait and couple photography.
When we don’t travel (or photograph), we cook! Check out our food blog with vegetarian recipes and vegan recipes. The original food blog, Vega Recepten, is in Dutch, but we have translated every recipe to English.