‘I now travel as a digital nomad’

Sheedam is a twenty-year-old who sets off alone on a short world tour for a year. It looks like the beginning of something new Chick pictureBut Leanne van der Horst (29) actually did it.

In 2017, Liane set off from Skeetham for a trip through Southeast Asia. After about a year she ended up in Australia where she lived for three years and met her boyfriend Thom. They have taken beautiful trips together to Hawaii and other places. They have been combining work and travel with their surfboards for six months now. “When we saw that kind of digital nomad, we always said to each other, ‘Oh, you can open your laptop everywhere you are: why can’t we?’

Why did you decide to go on a world tour?

“In 2014, I did a six-month internship at a surf school in Bali. Then it started to itch. In between I visited Portugal a few times and loved it. I never felt completely at home in the Netherlands and I knew I wanted to leave as soon as I finished school. I wanted to prove that I could do it alone.

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Leanne van der Horst with friend Thom in Adelaide. | Personal photo

What would your life be like as a digital nomad?

“Last year Thom and I founded a company in copywriting, social media and marketing. In March 2022, we spent two months in Sri Lanka to get a taste of working online. It went well and we decided to continue in Indonesia. Get away from the crowd and enjoy surfing in Java and now in Bali. On Instagram You’ve got a lot of digital nomads here that you often follow. We usually meet online first and then see them in real life. Many friendships have already formed: we’re in touch with a few couples and we’re going to see a couple in Dubai.

What are the main differences in the Netherlands?

“Everyone here is more down-to-earth, happy and free than in the Netherlands. And it’s contagious. In the Netherlands I experience unplanned social pressure, people are very negative and there’s a lot of nagging. As a result, I quickly get overstimulated and my head is calm here. I have to make a schedule. No, if I want to have a drink with someone, let’s do it the same evening. The weather is nice, you can chat with people from other countries, and you don’t have the metro here. I hate it!”

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Liane van der Horst and friend Thom in Hawaii.
Liane van der Horst and friend Thom in Hawaii. | Personal photo

What do you love most about traveling?

“Feeling free. Walking around gives me a sense of peace. Just do the things you want to do. Soon we’ll be in Bali for seven months and finally move to New Zealand at the end of November! Here’s to taking a bus and traveling for three or four months and working online. Via Instagram We report on our current life.

Do you miss Skeetom, and if so, what do you sometimes think of as love?

“I sometimes call Skeedom home, but with question marks. I come once a year for family. When I first took Thom to my parents’ house, I noticed for the first time that I wasn’t proud of my city. I didn’t like the atmosphere in my old place, Rotterdamsedijk. It’s in Rotterdam. It feels like a long way from. I’ve always supported Sheedham, especially when I lived in Vlaardingen for a while. I think I’m over it now.”

Would you ever come back to Sheedam?

“If I come back to the Netherlands, I shouldn’t come to Schiedam anyway. It will become a multicultural city like Rotterdam or Delft. It’s a feeling thing. Tam and I are talking about buying something when we are in our business for a long time. If we ever start talking about children, but I don’t need it now.

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