Kirsten Veldman is an online-entrepreneur, digital nomad, and early retiree from The Netherlands. She is the co-founder of Retirement Tips and Tricks. And her goal in life is to live life to the fullest and help others achieve the same.
My Work Story
Living life to the fullest is what my aim in life always has been. And this resulted in many different jobs in different fields over the years.
I finished a bachelor’s degree in tourism in 2003 after an internship abroad in Spain. From that moment on is where my thirst for adventure began and where I knew I wanted to live my life differently than others.
The years before that, I’ve had the dream of playing water polo on the highest level (Summer Olympics), and although I never participated in the Olympics, I came far in just a couple of years. I was a player of the Dutch national juniors team and played in my club team on the highest level in the Netherlands while also playing two European Cup tournaments in Spain and Italy. It was a dream coming true for the ambitious and driven teenager in me.
But the thirst for abroad adventures was eventually bigger than my dream to participate in the Olympics. So I started traveling and working around the world. I went from tour leading jobs in Kenya, Europe, and the USA to living in Cape Town, South Africa for almost a year while I did my internship for my second bachelor’s degree (Economics – Media and Entertainment Management).
After finishing my bachelor’s degree in 2008, another dream came along. And that was to be a TV Producer in The Netherlands. So, after many years of doing the craziest and wildest job out there, I hit a wall: mentally and physically. I was burnt-out. Living life to the fullest in the most literal way had its pricetag.
It’s from the many years of the healing process that I learned so many life lessons. Life lessons that most people only learn much later in life, and I’m thankful to have learned these lessons so early on. These years were life-changing and eye-opening and taught me what I want out of my life.
After meeting the love of my life in 2015, it became clear that Léon and I wanted to live our life differently than others. We wanted to create a lifestyle where we can work and live location independently worldwide. So, we retired from the fast-paced rat race in The Netherlands in 2017, to start our online business while traveling the world.
We used the first year of our travel journey to figure out what kind of online entrepreneurs we wanted to be. And eventually, blogging and helping others with our articles is what we enjoy most and fit our lifestyle best. The first website we started was a travel blog Madefortravellers.com. And because we’re early retirees, it was evident that our second blog website was going to be about retirement. So there was the start of Retirement Tips and Tricks.
We wanted to help others enjoy and celebrate retirement in the best way possible. And also, because we see many of our friends and family members making the most out of their retirement is where we thought, let’s share these tips and tricks with others.
My Personal Story
I’m born and raised in The Netherlands. A small but very ambitious and pioneering country in Europe. It’s mostly flat, famous for its windmills, Gouda cheese, and capital Amsterdam. And although I love to spend months abroad exploring other countries and cultures, I call The Netherlands my home.
I met Léon, my boyfriend, at our office jobs in The Hague in 2015. He and I immediately hit it off and shared the same outlook on life and the dream of traveling the world together. We lived a couple of years together in The Hague until it was time for us to sell the house, quit our jobs, and follow our dream to become world travelers and online entrepreneurs. The months we’re not traveling, we live at my parent’s house in Zoetermeer, a small town close to The Hague.
After being burnt-out, my life changed drastically. My energy level is reduced to 50% compared to before, so I’m much more conscious of the activities and people I want to spend my energy on. I’m just as driven, enthusiastic, and ambitious then I was before, but at the same time, I’m more mindful and aware of my thoughts, feelings, and actions. I’m much me than I ever was before.
The reason why we wanted to become online entrepreneurs is the same reason why people want to retire: being in control of your own life. We want to spend as much time with each other as possible. That’s what life for us is all about. Spending it with the people you love and doing the things you love to do most.
When I am not creating content, I love to be outdoors and being active. I love being in and on the water from swimming, boating to water sport activities. I love to get to know (new) people, and I’m always curious about people’s life stories. I always try to challenge myself by getting out of my comfort zone and trying out new things in life.