Working from Dakar

Reports reports reports… in between my monthly online reports and the year reports I’m reading and writing, I have little time for the New Year resolutions – I think I’ll do them in February!
In this post I look back to 2013 in numbers, from 1 to 13.

It was an intense year with very high peaks and very low deeps… it seems that with the age the difference between good and bad moments is getting bigger.

1 father that I lost

The 7th October 2013 my father suddenly passed away. This changed completely the dynamic of my family in Italy and how close I’m with them. I’m still trying to get used to not have a father anymore… Here the last picture I had with him, just two weeks before when we were at the Lago Maggiore having lunch with the uncles.

Together at Lago Maggiore

My father next to me in one of the last pictures together

2 vehicles that I sold

I’m now left with my bicycle, and 300 electric Smart cars from the amazing Car2Go service.

In March I sold my last motorbike (for the time being) to my friend Andy, so that it stays in the “family”. It makes no sense to me having ownership of a motorbike that I don’t use since I embraced frugality.
I still consider myself a motorcyclist, and I do love motorbikes but I just don’t have one, nor I follow the latest news and models like I used to do in my twenties. But give me one and I’ll ride!

In June I had to sell another vehicle I was really passionate about: the Salsa van engine exploded under very suspicious circumstances (I had a full 1.500€ service the month before) and another chapter of life went away with it. I wrote about the end of Salsa (van) here.

3 websites that I bought

In 2013 I dedicated a considerable amount of time looking for web properties to buy. Most of this work was done on marketplaces such as Flippa. I total three acquisitions in twelve months… I was expecting more but there’s so much crap around and I got quite risk-adverse.

So here they are:

  • Empleos.com.co : a job board focused on Colombia, to date the best web investment I made!
  • RouterFreak.com : a blog dedicated to network engineers, heavy techie stuff that I understand thanks to my previous career.
  • ComoHacer.info : the latest one! A Spanish blog dedicated to the DIY (Do It Yourself) with lots of articles explaining how to build stuff. The most read article is about “how to build a wooden house”. I’m still busy getting to know the beast but so far looks solid.

4 months outside The Netherlands

Summing up the time I spent traveling, for good of bad reasons, I was outside the Netherlands for more than four months:

5 bicycles I had in Amsterdam

I recently bought bike #5 in 7 years. I consider myself quite lucky as bike #4 lasted a long while. I’ve been told to have “cheap bike and expensive lock” but I lately switch to “cheap lock and cheaper bike”. What happened to the previous bikes?

  • Bike #1 got stolen, mainly because I left the key in the lock.
  • Bike #2 got squeezed by a truck collecting the garbage while I was in the Dutch class (reason why I didn’t take Dutch lessons anymore).
  • Bike #3 got smashed by a drunken driver that confused the parked bicycles for bowling pins.
  • Bike #4 got stolen in Amstelveen when was parked in front of a friend house.

NO_Bike

6 different beaches I kited in Tarifa

The month I spent in Tarifa was really good, and I managed to do lots of kite surfing while learning just a little.
I’m a champion in fast learning and slow improving… in fact, I pick up things quite quickly but then I get stuck in the same level forever!!

But who cares, I kited in Tarifa, Palmone, Val de Vaqueros,  Arte & Vida, Punta Paloma and Getares.

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7 years living in Amsterdam

And I still think that this is a very good place to be.
Actually the longer I stay, the longer I realize how lucky I’ve been to have the chance to move here and to still be able to live here. Compared with Italy, The Netherlands seems an amusement park and when I had to choose where to open my own company, choosing The Netherlands was a no brainer.

For long time I considered Italy a great place badly managed. But lately I understood that the difference between the two countries lies on the society: there’s a huge cultural difference.

Generalizing, Dutches are more society-oriented while Italians are more family-oriented. Maybe one day I’ll elaborate on this.

As a matter of facts, I prefer what I found here.

8 gigs with Sabroso

In September 2012 I joined the Salsa band Sabroso and I still have fun beating the congas with them: it’s a group of great people and the repertoire of Salsa dura doesn’t leave anyone standing still. In 2013 we had 8 gigs:

  • Tuesday, April 30: Queen’s Day at Café restaurant 1900, Amstedam
  • Saturday, May 25: Popta Cultura inb Delft
  • Sunday, June 23: Camping Zeeburg
  • Friday, June 7: Purmeerend Café Jazz of Zo
  • Saturday, September 21: Zeeburg  Geluk op IJBURG
  • Sunday, October 20: Dansen voor Amigos Colombianos
  • Sunday, November 17: Salsafeest in Puerto Pata Negra
  • Saturday, December 14: Buurtfeest Winterfest in Club Mystique, Amsterdam

9 new countries visited

Some new flags on the map, here they are:

  1. Bahrain
  2. Lithuania
  3. Latvia
  4. Finland
  5. Russia
  6. Bulgaria
  7. Turkey
  8. The Gambia
  9. Senegal

Still far from the 84 85 countries visited by my spiritual guide, but I’m proud of my 38 pins.

10 bootcamps attended

Bootcamp is a type of training inspired by the military bootcamps. It’s done outdoor and involves a mix of aerobic, flexibility, stretching, strength and balance exercises performed at maximum intensity.
I discover bootcamp late in the autumn and I could join only 10 sessions before the end of the season. In the dark and often under the rain, it leaves me feeling miserable, super tired but with an euphoric happiness.

I love that is outdoor, done with a group (I spent way to much time alone in 2013) and free thanks to the organizers of this Meetup group.

11 pictures

I didn’t know what to say about number 11, so here are 11 pictures from 2013:

Working from Dakar

Working from Dakar

Couchsurfing bliss

Celebrating Iftar in Istanbul – Couchsurfer forever!!

Going to work

Going to work…

Senegal Embassy in The Gambia

Having a nap waiting at the Senegal embassy

Sleeping in prison

Sleeping in prison

Salsa in Helsinki

Salsa in Helsinki

Peterhof Palace

Peterhof Palace, the most impressive place I saw in 2013

View from my window

View from my window in Amsterdam

Cycling moment

A moment from my bike trip, one of the best experience of 2013

Turkish toilet

Turkish toilet in Turkey

Banjul Beach

Sunday at the beach in The Gambia

12 thousands blog visitors

This blog, started as a way to share my experience abroad and to keep my Italian friends updated, is actually receiving lots of unexpected visitors and very few from my friends. Are you my friend? Please do leave a comment, even a bad one but at least stop being an anonymous number on Google Analytics! This blog is now part of me and I’m taking more care about it. In 2013 it received 52.86% more visits than the previous year, I published 30 new posts and got 112 comments. The top 5 posts are:

  1. Comprare Casa in Olanda
  2. How to buy an House in The Netherlands
  3. Dove Ballare Salsa ad Amsterdam
  4. Another Taxi Ride, to Swat Valley
  5. Is it possible to enter Saudi Arabia if you have Israeli stamps on the passport?

As you can see, top posts are very personal things about my life 😛

13 invoices made

By the time I’m writing this, there are two more so I total 15 invoices generated for 2013. Each invoice is a bill that a customer has to pay for some service received.

While the number of invoices is much, much less important than the amount on them, I’m proud to complete my first full year as self-employed with more invoices than months 😉

Those invoices are mainly for WordPress related activities. I’ve no idea about how much money I made in 2013, because I don’t know yet how much taxes I’ll have to pay!

My 2013 in 13 numbers
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Written by Daniele

Hi, I’m Daniele! In April 2012 I quit my full-time IT job to pursue entrepreneurship and a location independent lifestyle.