About Arnan

All about Arnan

My name is Arnan de Gans. I am from the Netherlands. I'm in my 30s.

I left school when I was 16 and worked as an electrician and security systems technician for a few years. Then went back to school in 2005, got bored and left early again to work Support for an Apple reseller in 2007 before moving on to an Apple Repair shop in 2009. Then I moved on to a data recovery lab in 2011

All the while I had this silly hobby. Web-development. It was fun. And finally in 2012 I started for myself as a freelance developer. I spent a few months on building a more professional website, turning some plugins I made into paid products and I've been a freelance web-developer ever since. Usually I'm working on something WordPress related.

Over the years I'd become increasingly dissatisfied with the European situation and figured I wasn't going to be happy if I stayed for much longer. Worn out by rising costs, poor weather, ignorance, illegal immigrants and many more frustrations I felt that I had to make some drastic changes to my life. After a year of planning I left my plain and unfulfilling life in the Netherlands behind. Since then I've lived in the Philippines and visited Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia – Hoping to find a better place. Currently I'm in Mexico, continuing my search. I haven't quite found it yet.

When leaving the Netherlands I sold pretty much all of my belongings and I've turned into a bit of a minimalist. I don’t have a lot of clutter anymore. Everything I own fits in two bags. I find that this works very well for me. The few possessions I have are much more valuable and are more carefully weighed if I should have them at all. On top of that, my life got more minimalistic as well. I found new things to do and learned to leave behind a lot of things and habits. My life tends to be a bit simpler because of it, but at the same time my traveling lifestyle brought a whole new set of challenges.

Nutshell

I’m a 30-something guy who has ditched mainstream life. A jack-of-all-trades, nomad and entrepreneur of sorts. Creative thinker and often overanalyzing everything. Much to my own chagrin.

Adventurer

I’ve moved away from the Netherlands and am currently searching for my paradise. My goal is to create a more relaxed and carefree lifestyle. I've discovered that one of the biggest adventures is making trips on a motorcycle.

Minimalist

Everything I own fits in 2 bags. It's mostly clothes, my laptop and a camera. I have a basic set of tools for emergency repairs and maintenance. A med-kit and a bunch of accessories for the few gadgets I have. Flip flops, shoes and some other small things.

Nomadic

I travel around and find new nice places on a regular basis. I live a nomadic lifestyle. But I'm not a typical Digital Nomad. I don't socialize much nor do I care to have loads of people around me. Traveling at my own pace by my own rules is great!

Random me

Cold weather depresses me. I like video games. Lego is cool. I prefer flip-flops over shoes. I don't like the modern internet. Chocolate is awesome. ISTJ-T. I'm a shy romantic. A sloppy perfectionist if that’s a thing. Banana shakes are yummy.

AdRotate

AdRotate is my solution to manage any kind of advert on WordPress. I maintain AdRotate and AdRotate Pro, which is a paid version with more features. If you have WordPress you should check out it!


Travel & Work

In early 2019 I moved to Mexico as a temporary resident. Over the next few years I hope to explore the country and maybe even stay here permanently. But if not, I'll probably head south for a while. Or go see the Grand Canyon and the Statue of Liberty.

Everywhere where the wifi is good

I work online as something of a Digital Nomad. But I'm not all that Digital. Just being a Nomad is enough for me. I work from various locations, whatever the mood and availability is, the world is my office. Though, to be able concentrate more I prefer the quiet of my own place.
I maintain a growing library of plugins for WordPress and WooCommerce such as AdRotate and AdRotate Pro. Currently I am available as a freelance developer. I know PHP/MySQL/HTML/CSS and a bit of JavaScript. Among other things.

Adventure on wheels

I love exploring on a motorcycle. All my possessions on the back, and just go. Following the road, or path, to the next interesting looking place. Where I'll then probably stay for a while. While there I'll explore everything I want to see and discover. There is no plan other than a general direction and some cities or areas I want to check out. Most of the time planning doesn't go much further than about 1 to 2 months ahead while traveling.

I'm searching for my paradise. It turns out that paradise is a hard thing to find. I've been all over Europe. More recently I've been to South East Asia. Namely the Philippines and Malaysia. Both are good fun for a while. But both countries are not what I'm looking for.
On my travels I am joined by various people from time to time including some girlfriends and my mother, Jeanette.

If you have questions or want to discuss something related to where I've been or what I do feel free to send a message using the social links in the lower left.

Alkmaar, the Netherlands
New Beginnings

Fall of 2015

In October of 2015 I left my home in Alkmaar, the Netherlands, for the last time and flew to the Philippines that evening. I spent one night in Manila and moved on to Puerto Galera on Mindoro Island the next day.

Sipalay, the Philippines
the Philippines

2015 → 2018

While being in the Philippines I've been to many places. The Philippines is a great country to explore and to see all the sights. The landscape can be challenging and impressive at times. Roads are often a hassle but that's part of the adventure.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysia

Fall of 2018

Having spent a while in the Philippines, immigration law dictates me and JC leave the country. We decided to take a little vacation to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to do some shopping and be allowed to 'reset' our visa. Overall, Kuala Lumpur seems to be a nice place to visit.

Mindoro Island, the Philippines
the Philippines

2018 → 2019

After our trip to Malaysia I continued on in the Philippines. Unfortunately having seen Malaysia also made me realize what a crap country the Philippines really is. I'd come to realize I don't fit in with the people, and eagerly left the country.

Rome, Italy
Europe

Winter of 2019

I've explored Italy for a little while. I've visited Rome, Florence, Pisa, Venice and Milan. From there I took a train through the Alps to the Netherlands to prepare for Mexico. This took about 2-3 weeks. And just before my hotel stay was over I got my Visa for Mexico.

Cancun, Mexico
Mexico

2019 → Future

I've managed to get a Temporary Resident visa for Mexico, and moved there in February for an undetermined period of time. Once I find my way, I hope to explore all of the country and possibly visit Guatemala and Belize among other places using Mexico as my base.

Distance

Via Airplane I've travelled more than 83000km. Riding my motorbike I've driven more than 32000km in 2 years. And I've moved around more than 9500km by train, bus and boat.

Accommodations

Over the last few years I've stayed in more than 60 different hotels, lodges or inns. I've lived in 17 different houses and apartments and slept uncomfortable on more than one occasion.

Countries

So far I've been to 19 countries in my life. With still more on the list. I speak Dutch and English, a few words German, French and Spanish. Currently I'm learning Spanish. And after a year in the Philippines I completely gave up on understanding Bisaya and Tagalog.

Disasters

I’ve been in a hotel fire where the building caught on fire from the next-door slums. An earthquake hit my hotel once and I've been in 3 major tropical storms and one smaller one. Sat without power for 3 weeks after a typhoon and I've driven through floods and and nearly got hit by a landslide.

Misfortunes

On my motorcycle I've been the victim of 3 hit-and-runs. I also ran over a dog at high speed. A bird hit me in the helmet once. I've fallen of several ledges/cliffs with my motorcycle. Parts of my luggage got lost and I've had food poisoning quite a few times.

Adventure

I've hiked up 3 mountains and explored more than 10 waterfalls and tons of scenic views. I've been on heaps of nice beaches and swam in 3 rivers. And I've driven off-road several thousand kilometers for it.


Follow me on Twitter

My main social media thing at the moment is Twitter. I post pictures and small tit-bits there but also product updates. Follow my Twitter for more insight in what I'm up to.