Hello, let me tell you something about me, Frans. When I first introduce myself most people usually think I’m from Germany. That’s okay, I like the country and its people and it’s actually very close. If I was from Germany though, my name would have been written like Franz, with a “z” at the end. Then I’ll tell them I’m from the Netherlands, which is also known as either Holland (video: The Difference between the Netherlands and Holland) or Denmark, though the latter is incorrect, since Denmark is another country.
Explaining my background
I moved to the United States in 2000. That’s when I married my wife, TerriAnn. Since it’s not cheap to move from one to another continent, my wife calls me her “expensive European import,” like the Mercedes, BMW, and Audi cars (which are German). I met her when I was on a business trip from Japan and made a stopover in San Francisco.
Back then I used to run a website about gymnastics and just covered the 1998 World Cup Final. While many classmates in elementary school wanted to be some kind of superhero (e.g. policeman, fireman, superman), I was always interested what happened in the media, especially on TV. Inspired by the productions of a Dutch media tycoon, who’s known today for making “The Voice,” I wanted to be a cameraman, director, or producer. After high school I decided to study Graphic Communications Technology. I made it to the final year but didn’t actually finish it. That’s because around that time the World Wide Web was introduced in the Netherlands. With my knowledge of graphic design and self-taught HTML I was able to work for some amazing companies. At the same time I traveled around the world to cover gymnastics competitions, going to European, World, and Olympic Championships.
What I’d like to share
After emigrating, getting married, and becoming a dad, I decided it would be better to find a full-time job to take care of my new responsibilities. Unfortunately, at that same time I started to develop severe fatigue and other health issues. Doctors believed I had depression or chronic fatigue syndrome. Thirteen years later, while the condition was worsening and I had to work less and less hours, I asked my doctor if maybe I should be tested for some strange allergy or other problem with my immune system. I then found out that I have celiac decease, which means I’m not supposed to eat gluten. Irreversible damage has already been done, but I’m happy to have most of my energy back again. In early 2010 TerriAnn started doing what I had been doing and always wanted to do again. She started publishing online with her blog named Cookies & Clogs. We have been doing lots of fun and interesting things and have shared those with many families through our blogs and on social media. I recently started an online magazine in Dutch, called Verover Amerika, about traveling in the United States. Now I’m starting Frans FYI, to report about things I hope you’ll find interesting too.
Articles on this site will be about our travels around the world and the products and services I think are really useful. Though some articles may in one-way-or-another be sponsored, I will always give my unbiased opinion. When I talk about food, it will always be gluten-free. Ever heard of “going Dutch”? That means I like to be frugal and get real value for my money. I like spontaneous things: new places, new cultures, new food, and new ways of doing things!
Like to get in touch with me? Please visit my contact page.