The television program 3 op Reis takes viewers to a different destination at home or abroad every week. Nienke de la Rive Box hosts the travel program and flies full gas around the world. She takes us along for a peek behind the scenes.
Nienke started her career at Het Klokhuis. For an item she had to go deep into the jungles of Borneo and upon returning to the Netherlands there was suddenly an email from 3 op Reis in her inbox asking her to meet up. “I had expected that we would only go for a cup of coffee. Of course, I quickly watched a few episodes of 3 op Reis beforehand, but I didn’t have any real expectations for the meeting.” During the conversation Nienke received the offer to become hostess of the program. “I almost fell out of my chair, because I was suddenly in a job interview. Fortunately I wasn’t nervous, because I didn’t expect it.” 5 years later, Nienke is still presenting 3 on Trip. “It really is a dream job, but at times it can also be very tough.”
At the beginning of each year there is a brainstorming session with the team. Here everyone pitches different destinations, needs and desires. This is thrown together, after which the agendas are put side by side to see who goes where. Then it’s the editors’ turn to map out the trip. Researching, calling, planning – everything necessary to get the trip off on the right foot. “Whether and how I read up on a country depends on the location. For example, we went to Uzbekistan and it’s a very closed culture. It’s not a well-traveled country, so you can’t read many travel articles about it. But going to France, I look more specifically at what people you’re going to meet rather than the country itself, which I already know a lot about. I think it’s important to know the history and political sensitivities of a country before I go. “
Before traveling, Nienke always makes sure a few important things are absolutely not missing from her suitcase.
1) A sleep mask and earplugs: “You have to be able to sleep anywhere. At someone’s house, in less well-insulated hotels, on farms, you name it.”
2) Games: “A game allows you to put your mind at zero for a while and relax, along with the crew.”
3) Paracetamol and throat lozenges: “I lost my voice once while traveling and as a host, that’s the worst thing that can happen to you.”
4) A music speaker: “That way I always have my own music with me.”
Next, once the suitcases are packed, the hectic journey can begin. When traveling, you always go with 4 people. A camera/sound man, a director, the host and someone from the editorial team. Most of the trip is already known, as there is limited time and money. “It’s important that when you travel, you include everything in the shoot, including the unexpected things that happen. You are in that place once and therefore have to make sure you capture everything you see.” This is very important, so that the viewer feels like they are along for the journey.
The trip to Greenland is what has stayed with Nienke the most. “I had suggested the idea myself, which made it a little more personal. It was a long preparation, but I really wanted to make that trip.” But then something happened to Nienke that is your worst nightmare as a host. She lost her voice… “There you are, in Greenland, middle of nowhere and we could do nothing, because my voice was completely gone. It was terrible.” Fortunately, it didn’t take long for Nienke to get her voice back. After a day and a half, they were able to start filming anyway. “Besides being a very nice trip, this trip will always stay with me because I had lost my voice,” she said.
Apart from the fact that it is important for a host to always keep your voice, it is also important that your story arrives at the people’s homes. “I always find that very difficult to assess. I don’t want to come across as too enthusiastic, but I do want to show how beautiful it can be.” Nienke does this by not using the same words over and over again. “Tip: always keep looking for new ways to tell about something.” For example, use a metaphor or a comparison. Fortunately, there is always an editor who can make sure that if too many of the same words are used, that they are cut out. The director can also help convey the journey to the people at home.
Unfortunately, 3 on Trip is also different than usual this year because of Covid-19. They are now making a series about the Netherlands and it is more fun than expected. Everyone is in the same situation this year, so everyone is looking for new places in the Netherlands that will give you that vacation feeling. 3 op Reis likes to contribute to that by showing people those unique places. “It’s really fascinating how beautiful some places in the Netherlands are.”
“The only thing we found really challenging was to keep it unique. A lot of people travel through Holland now, because we simply have nowhere else to go.” Also because in the Netherlands, unlike Africa, much less happens you have to look for the stories. Despite being surprised by the beauty in the Netherlands, Nienke does miss traveling. “A new environment, new people, new stories, I do look forward to it very much!”
Still, a new trip is already planned for the second half of this year. 3 op Reis wants to make a series where they do the Hippie Trail. That’s a trip from the Netherlands to India and Nepal. “We hope to record as far as Eastern Turkey this year.”
Nienke does have a few more countries she would like to go to for the travel program. The area east of the Black Sea appeals to her the most. “It’s a troubled area though, but that’s what I’m really curious about.” Really scared on a trip, Nienke hasn’t really been yet. “We have a good team and look out for each other.”
Traveling around the world, we all want nothing more. Nienke is lucky to have been able to make this her job. In a theme week she once made a whole series about adrenaline. Then she learned about the feeling that going full throttle gives you. The best activity that gives her a bomb of energy is flying in the air. Paragliding, hang gliding, floating for a long time in the air and looking around at the world is the coolest thing in the world. Bungee jumping, however, is not something Nienke enjoys. Once she had to bungee jump from a very high tree in Switzerland, which was very dangerous and difficult. “I thought it was a bit amateurish and I had to pay close attention to how I was supposed to jump. Of course, that went completely wrong. I thought it was terrible.”
As fun as traveling is, in the end Nienke doesn’t want to be anywhere but in the Netherlands. “I think sometimes we underestimate how nice Holland really is.” When Nienke is traveling she misses her friends the most, where she can blow off steam in the evening. “I’m always glad to get home. The Netherlands has something cosy, down-to-earth and enjoyable. If she could live somewhere else for a while, then preferably a very inhospitable area, like Canada or Romania. Lots of forest, in the middle of nowhere. “Preferably with a horse and donkey.” She would miss life in the Netherlands, though.