Digital Nomad

Inspiration Shot September 2023

You can take a Digital Nomad off the plane but you can’t take the travel out of a Digital Nomad… I was planning to be in The Netherlands for the whole month of August, but… I wanted to go see my dad in Miami, and also to Puglia for a few days, to arrange everything there for the 3 Airbnbs. From September I will be ‘on the road’ all winter anyway, so this seemed like a perfect time for another Inspiration Shot with tips about location-independence and entrepreneurship.

CONFESSION: I am not a digital nomad, I am a LIE!

The term ‘digital nomad’ has become very popular in recent years; freedom has become more of a status symbol than money. Journalists often call me the first and/or most famous ‘digital nomad’ of The Netherlands. But I have doubts about whether that is a compliment. There are two completely different groups of people who identify as Digital Nomads:

  1. ‘Backpackers with a laptop’ who want to travel the world, visit the highlights, party and sip cocktails while posing for Instagram pictures on an exotic beach. They do that for as long as they can stretch their budget and then return to a ‘normal life’.
  2. Location-independent entrepreneurs who combine entrepreneurship and travel in a sustainable way, with the intention to maintain this lifestyle long-term.

More experienced entrepreneurs often want to make an impact and give back to society, while many ‘backpackers with a laptop’ type digital nomads have no such aspirations. So we need a different word to distinguish the two groups. Unfortunately, ‘Location Independent Entrepreneur’ doesn’t sound so ‘sexy’ and it is much too long. So why not abbreviate it? L.I.E.? I am a LIE, and I am proud of it!

Where to get started with Remote Work
(or where to find an assistant)?

For anyone who’s been asking me how to become a Virtual Assistant or where to find a remote job, I have made a list of websites where you can start your online career. Whether you’re looking for a remote job, or someone who can work remotely for you or your company, this is your starting point!

I also wrote some general tips for remote work.

How to travel on a budget

Travel does not have to be expensive. First of all; choose your destination wisely. Scandinavia, Northern Europe, countries like Switzerland and cities like London are quite expensive, but southern Europe, parts of Asia and South America are very affordable. Instead of staying in a hotel or Airbnb, try home-swapping (there are many home exchange websites, and I personally love this design one:, housesitting or petsitting (many platforms connect people and houses), co-living or a workationTravel slow; the longer you stay in one place, the cheaper. If you move around a lot (like me), then it is more expensive. The more flexible you are about when you travel or where, the better prices you can find. Join e.g. ‘Jack’s flight club’ for cheap ticket alerts.

Where to go during the European winter?

I sometimes arrogantly say “I don’t ‘do’ winters”. And why would you, if you don’t like winter? There are so many places to go during the cold, grey, wet season in Europe. Normally I go to Thailand, for the Dynamite Circle conference. During Covid, when Asia was ‘closed’, I spent two winters in Cape Town.

Last year I spent my first winter in Europe in 15 years; in my Tiny Trullo in Puglia. Because I had floor heating it was quite comfortable. I (re)discovered how a winter, with shorter days, and less activity, gave me the opportunity to restore, like a winter sleep.

This year I will go to Thailand again in Oct / Nov for my writing retreat on Koh Phangan island and after that, I have not made plans until my writing retreat in Curaçao in March. Maybe I’ll go to Argentina to dance tango, maybe I’ll spend some time in Puglia again, maybe I’ll go skiing in France like I planned last year, but then my eye problem happened. Who knows, I may combine all these things…

What are your favourite winter locations and activities?

How do you use ChatGPT?

The AI developments are going so fast right now, that if you haven’t yet stepped on the’ train’ it is about time to do so. Even if you start now, you will still be ahead of many other entrepreneurs. It could even be a business model to help them get started. And of course, you can use AI in your own business. You need no technical knowledge.

I use ChatGPT to generate emails with instructions for guests in my Airbnbs, captions for social media (which inspired me to write a great post, in my own voice), edit blogs and even book chapters, translate text for my newsletter and website and much more. I also did some fun things: I asked ChatGPT to write poems for friends’ birthdays and to thank my VA, for example. Every day we discover new possibilities.

In my live online Digital delegation workshop I show some examples. Every time participants are blown away and start using it themselves immediately.

PS. Upon registration for the workshop, you will receive a recording of the last one, so you can get started right away.

More Digital Nomad tips?

You are now reading my monthly ‘inspiration shot’ which normally deals with a variety of topics. If you are specifically interested in the location independent lifestyle, you can subscribe to my Digital Nomad newsflash; with business & travel tips. There is also a specific newsflash about book writing and one about Tiny Trullo.

The themed news flashes are sent 2 times a year

Workshop alert

Digital Nomad workshop

Are you considering a location-independent lifestyle? Are you already on the road, or preparing to leave your home country behind?

During this live online workshop, you will receive answers to all your questions about remote work, registration and de-registration, insurance, tax, an international company and much more.

Save a lot of research and money, avoid common mistakes and meet like-minded people…

This Digital Nomad workshop could be the start of your new life!

Inspiration bites

Where the hell is Matt?

Matt dances around the world and has recorded his silly dance in many videos. He turned his hobby into a business. This video is my all-time favourite:

‘Why we travel’

“I travel because not travelling is just not an option. I love the inspiration and the feeling of ‘home’ in different locations. Why do you travel?”

Jacqueline Roberts

Jacqueline had a book idea, but she lost all her notes. After a 2-week private writing retreat in Amsterdam, the first version of her book ‘Sister, you are not alone!’ was ready. We are both so proud!


The subject of ‘Digital Nomad’ is once again in the spotlight.

For example, I was interviewed for ‘geld of je leven’ on Radio NPO1. This led to an in-depth, full-page interview titled “I don’t exist” in the newspaper De Telegraaf.

Did you know...?

…that I have found my ‘tribe’? In 2016 I found out that there is a network of 1500 successful location independent entrepreneurs: the Dynamite Circle (DC). Like-minded people. So I don’t have to explain my lifestyle first. Which I can also learn from, instead of just sharing my knowledge. I was interviewed for the Tropical MBA podcast; ‘You are a resident of where?’, perhaps one of the best interviews ever.

It was really a lifesaver for me to find my own tribe. I plan my itinerary around the events: DCBKK (Bangkok) in October, Mexico in April and London in July. In between there are also smaller events and trips (in November I was with a DC group in Iceland, where I visited Sarah, with whom I organized the successful real estate investor trip in Puglia last June). There is also an active forum and online masterminds. I have met some of the nicest, smartest and most interesting people in my life this way.

Whether it is the DC or something else: find your tribe, and surround yourself with like-minded people.

Where is Esther?

It was the first time that I organised a private writing retreat in Amsterdam. One that lasted no less than 14 days. Jacqueline is British but lives in Mallorca and wanted the inspiration of the city. Luckily one of my apartments was available so I could host her. Every day we cycled or walked a bit, so that, in addition to working on her book, we both really got the ‘Amsterdam feeling’.
The day she left, I flew to Miami to see my father. Not convenient in August, in terms of temperature, crowds and expensive flights, but I just felt I needed to go. Nice to spend some quality time with dad and my sister. By the way, I filmed the precious moment when I walked into his apartment upon arrival. I can recommend everyone to capture moments like this, for someday you will treasure these videos. After 1.5 days in Amsterdam to get over my jetlag, I’m in Puglia for a week to see how the Airbnb rental went. Fingers crossed that everything is still as beautiful as before the summer…

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