We often get emails with questions about our life as a ‘digital nomad’ on the European waters. Below we listed a couple. Do you have a question for us? Let us know.
Why oh why would you leave everything behind in the Netherlands?
Freedom, adventure, learning new things. Three things that were central in our decision we made. Oh yes, sometimes it’s very scary and sometimes we’re not sure about how to proceed. But we’re always happy we made the choice to do this. Now is the time: we don’t have children and no obligations that keep us in the Netherlands. And we love it!
Tell me about the boat!
Our boat is called Orca, it’s a motor yacht with a length of 13 meters. It’s about our age: the boat dates from 1984. We left hardly anything of the original: boat decoration and facilities were in desperate need of a make-over. Now it’s all ready to be used as a ‘co-working boat’. There is room for six people to stay with us and we have all you need: a shower, internet, kitchen, etceterea. This means we can float around for a week without seeing a harbour. Lovely, working in the middle of nowhere!
How do you talk to the companies you work for
We believe you don’t need to be at the same place at the same time to be productive. Co-operating is essential, but we do this online through tools such as Skype, Slack, Google Hangouts, mail and telephone. We are in the Netherlands quite often, too, so it’s possible to arrange a meeting with us.
Can we reach you at any time?
Yes, one of the advantages of living at your office. We have a satellite on the boat which helps us to stay connected at all times. Besides that we have multiple iPads, phones and computers.
How do you keep the balance between work and private?
Working and living on the boat means we’re together 24/7. Fortunately we’re quite fond of each other and the companies we work for! To make sure we stop working at some point, we schedule our diaries each week. This way we know when there is time for fun and when work needs to be done.
What do you days look like?
That all depends on how busy we are and where we are at. When we’re busy it can be all work, all week. On the other hand, when we we don’t have many deadlines we can be boating on weekdays. We love to explore local towns, do some nice cooking and meet new people. And we read more than ever before! Life is much more simple than at home.
Can you be productive without companies you work for around?
Yes, this was rather similar in the Netherlands. Sometimes we saw the people we work for, but generally we were working from home or from a co-working space. We could, and still can, do this at our own time – for instance at night because we are most productive then. Stanford research also describes remote workers as most effective. What helps us too is the fact we really and voluntarily chose to keep working: we could’ve taken a sabbatical but value the challenges of work too high to stop.
What does your office look like?
The boat has three main areas: the bedroom, the salon and the front. In the salon and front there are a total of eight places where we can work. Depending on the weather and our mood we pick a spot where we put our laptops. A cup of coffee and we’re ready to go!
What is the biggest disadvantage of being a digital nomad?
That would be two things. First of all missing the family and friends back home; especially the children who grow up so quickly. Secondly how to keep balance when your entire life takes place in 40m2. However there are so many advantages we hardly ever think about these disadvantages!
Where are you going?
We actually don’t have a plan. Probably we’ll take a slow route to the South of France to spend the Winter there. Quite possibly we’ll continue to the East of Europe after. Do you have any suggestions or must sees? Let us know.