You come across them everywhere: Dutch entrepreneurs abroad. Why did they ever leave with the northern sun and is the grass really that much greener across the street? This week: Jan van Kuijk (59), who has sold his house in the Netherlands and works regardless of location - currently in Cape Town.
When Van Kuijk and his son were blowing clouds out of the cold in a Mongolian tent, he was surprised to find that the 4G worked great. Google once on digital nomad , his son said. He did that, and after his relationship got stuck, the 59-year-old web designer decided to stop buying a house in the Netherlands. A shame of the fixed costs if you can actually work in any place.
"I work in a coworking space with other digital nomads who could have been my children by age." Jan van Kuijk (59)
Van Kuijk: "In 2004, after my divorce, I made plans to buy a house in Hungary. I love the country, had cycled around for a few months and met the Hungarians. And house prices are low. my divorce got a new relationship, we made wild plans for our Hungarian house, like you do in a new relationship I was divorced and wanted to flee the Netherlands, but that wasn't the solution When I finally bought my house in Hungary, that relationship already out. "
Van Kuijk lived alternately in Hungary and the Netherlands. After his revelation in the Mongolian hut, Van Kuijk went full for the digital life. "I decided not to buy a new house in the Netherlands, but to fly across the world from Hungary."
Jan van Kuijk in the Colombian area Eje Cafetero. (Photo: private collection)
From Hungary to South Africa
Van Kuijk builds websites for customers, arranges their management and technical updates. He only needs a table, laptop and fast internet connection for that work.
"I landed in Cape Town yesterday, but just like you are now in the office on Monday morning at 9 a.m. I just saw Table Mountain, I mean: how wrong can you sit here? I work in a coworking space with other digital nomads who could have been my children by age In Málaga I paid around 200 euros to use such an office with internet and coffee and colleagues from all over the world for a month, and here in Cape Town "I bought a ticket from Budapest to Cape Town, okay, but I no longer have fixed costs in the Netherlands. So I live as cheaply as someone who has a house in Amsterdam or even cheaper."
“Deep in my heart I like traveling together the most. But which potential partner of my age is so crazy to do this? ” Jan van Kuijk
Van Kuijk's work is going well and offers a stable income. "For a change, I also do other work. I wrote a free e-book in which I really tell everything about the digital nomad lifestyle . How you can call worldwide with your Dutch numbers for almost nothing - many people don't know that. again for some extra income thanks to the advertising revenue. I try something new every now and then. But my company is Dutch, I pay the VAT in the Netherlands and my customers also come from the Netherlands. "
Whether it is lonely now and then? "Sometimes so! I love traveling together deep in my heart. But which potential partner of my age is so crazy to do this? If they already exist - then they are here, in the cowork offices!"
Have you also left the Netherlands to start a business?
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