Hello, and thanks for visiting Beat The Trail!

My name is Roel Zerner and I’m a Dutchman with an aversion to luxury resorts and a passion for the last wild places in the world. Through this website, I want to inspire people and tell stories about a diverse range of wild, off-the-beaten-path destinations while promoting the need for responsible eco-tourism. A tight rope to walk, I know.

Humble beginnings

In February of 2019, I quit my job as a bartender and part-time freelance writer, cancelled my rent and packed my bags to become, well, a travelling, fulltime freelance writer. Instead of stressing over getting paid part of the time, I now get to stress over getting paid all of the time! At least the views are better now, I guess.

hiking Khangai Nuruu
Okay, the views are a lot better now.

As I mentioned before, I’m from The Netherlands. So whenever you see an awkwardly placed attempt at humour or semi-witty remark, you can blame my heritage and upbringing. I know I do.

I hail from a beautiful medieval fortress town with the impossible name of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, or Den Bosch, for short. A city with a name so convoluted and nice, they named it twice. It should definitely be on your Dutch itinerary. If you ask me, any part of the Netherlands should be on your itinerary. As long as it’s not Amsterdam.

However much I love my hometown, friends and family, I’m not exactly looking to return to the Netherlands anytime soon. Perhaps I’ll never really return, except for occasional visits. I have my reasons to not like living there, just ask me over a beer and I’ll rant your ears off!

My hometown has dragons. Enough said.

Life on the Trail

So now I try to make a living while travelling the world, writing stories, improving my photography and creating commercial content as I go. I’ve crossed deserts, got scammed by friendly sheepherders, ate good food, ate bad food and got poisoned, connected to past adventures, ate cheese with nomads, dodged landmines, found and lost love and learned more about myself than I ever thought possible.

Living life on the road means that I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to further grow Beat The Trail into something more awesome. Connecting to others is a big part of this. So if you own a blog yourself, don’t hesitate to contact me with ideas on guest blogs, link sharing or other collaborations!

I really do need to work on my poses, though…

Most of Beat The Trail’s content is made up of trail guides and destination-specific articles. However, if you like reading about my adventures and personal views on long-term travel, I suggest you keep up with my Trail Thoughts; a series of personal blog entries that deal with thoughts and narratives of life on the Trail.

And if you really like what you’re reading, please let me know! I love to connect to my readers, so please leave a comment or add me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest! Or all of those things. Or none, it’s still a free internet.

See you on the Trail!