In this week’s blog I will write about two of my hobbies: playing with the drone and reading books. A few months ago I bought a drone, something I had been thinking about for over a year. I originally planned to buy a drone for our sabbatical travels, but ended up not buying one as it would be another extra item to carry on all the public transport we would be taking. As we also bought a van this year, timing seemed right to buy a drone, as it would be easy to bring along on future travels. In this blogpost I will give you an update on the pros and cons of having a drone and a small review of the DJI Mavic Mini that we bought.

Currently, autumn is knocking on our door, so it is about time that I would write another book recommendations blogpost. Hielke and I just got back from our final summer holiday and the weather seems to have severely changed. Leaves are falling down and I am about to cozy up next to our fireplace with a new book.

One of my favorite drone pictures, taken in the lavender fields in Valensole

Why we bought the Mavic Mini drone

After doing extensive research I decided to buy the DJI Mavic Mini drone. I had wished to capture photos from an aerial view for quite some time, but it seemed ridiculous to buy a drone. With the release of the DJI Mavic Mini a few years ago, buying a drone had became much more affordable. I bought the DJI Mavic Mini drone with a kit with extra batteries (fly more combo) for € 499 just before we went on a holiday to France. We bought this drone because of the following reasons:

Very user friendly and easy to fly: Hielke picked up on flying the Mavic Mini really quickly. There are some fun presets, such as flying in the cinematic mode and fun figures that the drone can do such as flying around a subject or making videos like a rocket would do.

Price-quality: The Mavic Mini is one of the most affordable mini drones, that still offers good quality. The gimbal in which the camera is placed can make stable videos, even when there is a lot of wind.

Lightweight: The Mavid Mini weighs just under 250 grams, so it is super lightweight. Even if you bring the extra batteries, it still is not heavy to bring along on hikes.

Flight-time: With a fully charged battery the Mavic Mini can fly about 30 minutes, which is sufficient to capture a few cool videos before the battery stops working. The Mavic Mini indicates the battery level very well and will tell you when to stop flying so you can always land safely.

One of the best droning opportunities: in the lavender fields of the Provence!

Short review of the Mavic Mini drone

We have brought the drone on two trips now: to France, to capture the lavender & sunflower fields and to Italy, to fly over the beautiful cypress lined landscapes of Tuscany. We mainly love the drone for making videos, the cinematic mode works really well, so your videos turn out very atmospheric. With the DJI Fly app you are able to edit your videos lightly, to make the light even more glossy. When you are filming under the right lighting conditions, the videos will be super sharp and have a very high quality. Hielke loves flying the drone and capturing footage, so the Mavic Mini added a fun little element to our holidays.

Hiel is now so such an accomplished drone pilot that he can also be in the videos 😉

What I do not love about the drone is taking pictures with it. You are able to somewhat focus on a topic, but the pictures do not come out super sharp. The resolution is much lower than with a DSLR, giving you less possibilities to improve a picture by editing. The low quality of the pictures is mainly visible when you are shooting in harsh direct sunlight, when your pictures usually need editing to make them presentable. When taking pictures during the golden hour, your pictures can also be a little hazy but they do transfer the romantic feel of the moment perfectly.

The drone was the best way to show how enormous this field of sunflowers was!

I knew this downside before we bought it, so I do not mind it very much. We are not professional photographers, so I am perfectly happy with our drone footage. If you want more clear photos or videos, I would recommend buying a more professional drone. The DJI Mavic Pro starts at around € 1349, so that is definitely more of an investment.

Pregnant belly at our swimming pool in Tuscany

Drone regulations

Of course, with drones becoming more affordable, it was necessary to create drone regulations. Every country, and even region or city, has its own regulations, which you should google before you bring your drone. I heard that Cuba is really strict and that they will confiscate your drone upon entering the country. In the Netherlands, the regulations are pretty strict as well and you are not allowed to fly in beautiful nature regions, such as Vlieland or the Veluwe, to protect the animals from the disturbing noise that a drone makes. You are also not allowed to fly near airports, which seem to be everywhere in the Netherlands. We personally don’t feel comfortable flying in areas that are busy with people, which will also limit your droning opportunities. The DJI Mavic Mini officially does not have to comply with drone regulations, as it is less heavy than a drone (under 250 grams), so it causes less danger when flying. However, do you really want to be that person interrupting the peace and quiet with your drone? We personally always take note of the regulations and make sure we feel comfortable when flying our drone, which is why we haven’t used our drone that much. I am confident we will be able to have a lot of fun with our drone in the future, when we visit more remote areas with our van, so you can expect more drone footage coming your way 🙂

Book recommendations

I am currently struggling to get through the new Harry & Meghan biography, don’t exactly know why, it certainly is juicy but something about this book feels off. Luckily, I recently read a few books that I would definitely recommend reading!

Untamed by Glennon Doyle: This book is all the rage in the US and I can understand why. I expected this book to be in the self-help category, but I found it more of a biography. I did not find this book as deep and liberating as others reviewed it to be, but I absolutely loved the writing style and anecdotes. The book is mainly about her struggles as a woman, trying to get everything right, while actually feeling stuck and underwhelmed with life. Doyle has an empowering life story and at times I found the things she went through very recognizable.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary: This book was quite a departure from my usual reads, but I ended up loving this romcom! The love story in this book left me warm and fuzzy for over a week after finishing the book. I personally find this book the perfect autumn read and didn’t mind it being predictable at all. The Flatshare is about a man and a woman sharing a flat, but not in the way you expect it. The male lead works nightshifts and decides to rent his flat for the evenings and nights, while he inhabitants the flat while she is at her 9 to 5 job. They start communicating by leaving each other little notes and the build up to their meeting is just incredible!

Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid: This is a book written in interview style about the famous seventies band The Six. Apparently it is loosely based on the adventures of one of my favorite bands: Fleetwood Mac. If you are interested in the seventies like me and love biographies, I would recommend this book to you. I thought this book captured the zeitgeist very well, which is the main reason why I really liked this book. I can imagine the writing style not to be everyone’s cup of tea, as you really have to scrape through the first chapters trying to learn all the names in the band.

Verity by Colleen Hoover: Colleen Hoover is known for her very romantic writing style and often writes about topics such as relationships, tragedy and abuse. I wasn’t a fan of her famous novel “It Ends with Us”, but decided to give Verity a go anyway after reading the rave reviews. Verity took me by surprise by being a very different book. It is about a writer, that is asked to finish writing a book, because the original author has passed away. I found the book very disturbing and creepy at times, but I just could not put it away. I would say it is somewhere in between a romantic book and a thriller and you will be in for a crazy ride!

Lock every door by Riley Sager: This is a pretty standard thriller and definitely an entertaining one. In the book the main character is an apartment sitter for one of the most famous apartment buildings in New York. Of course, strange things start to happen that make you wonder whether the building is haunted. There are quite some twists and turns and if you don’t want to think too much, this is the perfect weekend read.

De Fontein – Els van Steijn: I am super interested in psychology and why people behave the way they do and this book gave me amazing insights. Els van Steijn has a very matter of fact way of writing how family structures create repeating patterns in your life and how you can break these patterns, without becoming woolly. This book gave me great comfort in my dilemmas regarding who I am and who I would want to be in this world.

I am always happy to give personal recommendations!

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  1. Hallo H en H…..leuk speeltje zo’n drone en ook mooi is dat ik je buikje eens heb gezien Hanneke…….Houd jullie goed en pas op voor corona….xxxxxxxx

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