Below is the English translation of an interview for the Dutch magazine ‘Zin’.
“For two years I travelled in a van through the Australian Outback”
In 2015 Marcel Baaijens (1956), left his job as art educator to become a digital nomad.
“ I feel at home in many places. Today I will arrive in Paris, and two days later I will travel to Greece, with no idea of where I will go next.
A digital nomad can work anywhere: like next to the Eiffel Tower.
I traveled all my life, but took the plunge to become a digital nomad on May 5th, 2015 (Dutch Liberation Day). A few years earlier I became seriously ill with mercury poisoning. Healing from mercury poisoning is a slow process that can take at least 5 years. Doing that while working full-time was extremely challenging. Maintaining my job as an art educator was no longer sustainable. I resigned and rekindled a dormant project, Sitdance.
Sitdance offers seated dance programme for elders in aged care facilities, and DVD-based resources for activities staff. This work does not require me to stay in any particular location. I bought a second-hand van to travel through the Outback of Australia, and wrote, composed, produced, filmed, and edited the ‘Sitdance Downunder’ and ‘Dance to Remember’ programmes.
Travelling through the outback gave me a different perspective on life.
Since April 2017 I am producing further programmes for which I need to travel through Europe, without a van. I stay mainly with family, friends, and use guesthouses and AirBnB’s. I have no idea what my future will hold, all I know is that I will continue this lifestyle for a little while longer.”
Footnote: This interview took place in October 2017. At the moment I am spending 5 months in Australia in a different van, promoting Sitdance. I will also visit New Zealand and Nepal before returning to Europe in May for the remainder of 2018.