Skip to main content

This is why I'm becoming a nomad

· 6 min read

I have decided to switch my lifestyle and become a digital nomad. The idea of working from anywhere in the world, experiencing other cultures, and being free to go wherever you want, has a tremendous pull on me. Besides announcing that I will become one, this blog will explain why I chose this path.

The Year of Change

Last year, a lot changed in my life. I broke up with my partner of over five years in the first week of January, and started my new job at AxonIQ in February. With the job being remote-first and the office far away, this means I almost always work from home.

I've been having a blast at AxonIQ. I learned a lot about software architecture, wrote the IntelliJ plugin, launched a new product called Inspector Axon, and I've been working on the Open-Source Axon Framework. It's been quite a busy year!

However, I've been feeling isolated as I work from home 95% of the time. The house I bought with my ex-partner is way too big for me and in a neighborhood full of young families. Friends have little time as they have settled down or are working on their careers. Planning something to do together can be a... less than ideal experience.

Travelling unlocked

I used to be afraid of airplanes. The first time I was on a plane, about 7 years ago, I was coming down from antidepressant medications cold-turkey and had severe panic attacks. Of course, I had quite a few during this flight, and the fear stuck.

I decided not to let it weigh me down, and I can now proudly say that flying no longer scares me. I also haven't had panic attacks for about 2 years now. I'm no longer living from anxiety, which is something you should never wish on your worst enemy.

Visiting India for work last year and Malaysia this year unlocked a latent desire in me. I'd like to see more of the world, of the cultures, and make connections around the globe. I want to go where the weather is good, the pollen count is low, and the people are interesting. There's no better way to do that than by living there!

When I was in Malaysia, I visited Taman Negara, a national park in the middle of the jungle. This picture was taken at about 11PM, in the middle of a river, talking over a campfire with the local tour guide. It's one of the moments in my life that I will never forget.

The Plan

After deciding to become a digital nomad, I had to formulate a plan. I realized there were a few things that I would need to do before I could leave:

  1. Sell my house in the Netherlands.
  2. Reduce 120 m2 of possessions to 1 suitcase.
  3. Research and take care of the legal implications.
  4. Decide where to go first and perhaps even second.

I'm currently executing these steps and will write blogs about each item. I found a buyer for the house and plan to start my travels around October 1st. As I write this, I have a strong hunch that my first destination will be either Las Palmas on Gran Canaria or Malta. But more on that in later blogs!

Why the selling?

I am selling my house and most of my worldly possessions. Often people ask, "Why are you not renting out your house?" There are some very simple reasons.

First, the house prices in the Netherlands are insanely high, and I can sell my house with quite a good profit that I can either save up or invest with. Letting the house involves a lot of hassle and risks, and that doesn't rhyme well with my core value of Freedom. For example, I would need to refinance my home, as my mortgage does not allow letting your house find a tenant, and I cannot kick a tenant out easily later when I want it.

Perhaps most important of all is that I don't want to return to this house! The neighborhood is lovely and very green, but nothing is happening here. If I return to the Netherlands in the future, I will rent a condo in a city like Utrecht.

All my furniture is also going up for sale, after giving whatever my mother needs to her. Renting storage costs a lot of money, and I don't know what the future holds. Will I come back? Will I settle somewhere else? Will all the stored stuff fit in the new place I will rent? There are too many unknowns, and if I travel for over a few months, the storage will be more expensive than buying new furniture!


This great opportunity comes with its own risks as well. If it turns out I'm not that great a nomad, I will no longer have a home to return to. That's the price that I'm paying for the freedom that comes with the premise. I'm willing to take that risk, as I'm confident that I will enjoy this lifestyle.

All I know is that at some point in the future I will settle somewhere. The Digital Nomad lifestyle is great, but probably not sustainable until I'm 85. Whether that will be in the Netherlands or somewhere else, I don't know yet. Whether that will be in 26 years because I like the lifestyle, or only 6 months because I don't, we will see! Either way the effect is the same, just the timeline is different.


It will be exciting to switch my lifestyle to that of a digital nomad. The excitement of going to new places, meeting new people, and experiencing new cultures is a strong pull. Besides, I wanted to move away from this home and neighborhood anyway, so why not go all the way? Over the next few months, I will sell my house, get rid of most of my stuff, and decide where to go. It's a daunting hill, but I am excited to climb it.