This whole idea of leaving the Netherlands started in august 2014. Still running a business in the Netherlands and creaming of white beaches during a cold winter, it felt like something that could be done in the near future. It would take at least up till 2 years to wrap up business in the Netherlands, right?
Well it turned out it didn’t. The original plan of leaving somewhere in 2016 moved forward.
I was offered a chance to change my life and I took it.
Short version: Future in the Netherlands might be as challenging for me as starting a new life. So lets start a new life, and new lives need some sort of road map.
Here is my roadmap to the Philippines:
- August 2014: My son popped me a question: Are you joining me in a new adventure?
- September 2014-October 2014: Discussion on how, when and where
- September 2014: destination set: First stop Puerto Galera, Philippines. Because? Just because. Good hotel, nice hotel owner, nice island, small village, not to many tourists and in the shelter of other islands for hurricane season.
- October 2014: making up my mind: should I stay or should I go?
- October 2014: writing a business plan to see if things can work out for me, but not full hearted yet, still in doubt, finance is a big issue, buying a domain name and launching Leaving Holland, just in case.
- November 2014: I’ve made up my mind: I go! I only live once! (daredevil me) and the Netherlands is a dead end street for me anyway.
- November 2014: working on the Leaving Holland concept, social media accounts etc.
- November 2014: My cats are moving to their new home
- December 2014: starting my travel preparations: selling everything I own
- December 2014: designing plan B in case plan A doesn’t work out and Puerto Galera isn’t as nice as I think it might be, maybe the life of a nomad suits me better?
- January 2015: sharing my new decisions with friends and family (ouch, tough one!)
- January 2015: what about the Dutch company? I need to end that. It was a huge money absorbing venue anyway. My English is a bit rusty, need to work on my English writing abilities.
- February – march 2015: wrapping up the business we owned, lucky for us the landlord agrees with the break option in the lease and has found a new tenant. Selling more stuff. (Hurrah for online Marketplaces and Garage-Sales) and still worrying about money.
- March 2015: lets do something about that new future and decide on a backpack and study some Tagalog
- March 2015: lifestyle change: better food, more fresh veggies and fruit and long walks, 10.000 steps per day minimum
- April 2015: buy plane tickets, book a hotel and sort out taxes and finances. I start my YouTube channel
- May 2015: wrestling through all Dutch laws and regulations, selling more stuff and buying a new wardrobe to fill that huge backpack (first time doubt hit on me massive!)
- Juni 2015: why does it take so long……?? Starting the ‘last-time’-tour and be a tourist in my own country
- June 2015: since I have no income whatsoever once I’ve left, my son is calculating the backup finance and sharing his thoughts on expenses, living costs and my allowance. I buy a booklet to keep track of my spending so I will not ‘leach’ on him more than necessary. I want to be able to earn my own income, but that is a tough one. It bothers me and I talk about it with my best friend. I set up a plan and start working towards it.
- July 2015: plan B is fully worked out: we split up after we leave the plane. I mean: we do travel together to Puerto Galera, but after that it is: me, myself and I.
- July 2015: old skool maps of the Philippines and Puerto Galera arrive, I love the holiday feel they bring
- August 2015: lets buy some Pesos. Wow, that is a huge pile of money! And yet is isn’t that much, only 1 week living expenses in the Netherlands
- August 2015: my bags are packed and we are ready to go, we even notified the bank we will be abroad for a while
- August 2015: last meet up with our accountant and huge moments of doubt, saying goodbye to friends has started.
- August 2015: applying for a Visa at the Philippine Embassy in Den Hague, very impressive!
- September 2015: all things are taken care of, only a few hiccups with the Tax Authorities. The accountant is taking care of that. It has been a year of preps and emotions, now it is time to start the countdown to departure. Saying goodbye to my best friends, checking paperwork and double checking ………..and waiting……
And here we are: two more weeks to go, almost there. As you can see in this quick schedule: it took almost over a year of planning. It is my believe that you should not rush into such big life changes as emigration overnight. Give your plans some serious thought, go through all the waves of doubt, fear and insecurity. Dare to dream, water your eagerness and it will all bear fruit once the great day has finally arrived.
You will be so ready to leave! You will have a well prepared departure and a brand new future ahead of you.
If you have any questions about preparing for a long-term life of a (digital) nomad or even leave your home country for good, and you have questions that are bothering you? Feel free to contact me. I would love to share my knowledge with you.