@ArneGockeln

Digital Nomad: Start from 50sqm to 60L backpack

Written by Arne in offtopic , tagged with digital nomad, travel


In January 2022 I was at a Citizen Circle meetup on Tenerife. Nice people, nice weather, nice location. We shared a nice house in Adeje close to the beach. This is where everything begans. I got to know some people who where traveling, living and working fulltime without a home base. That faszinated me that much that I thought about it all the time. Many questions where rising:

  • How can I do that?
  • What do I need to do?
  • Where do I want to start?
  • What will I take with me?
  • How will I make money?
  • Where would I live?
  • What about health insurance?
  • etc.

(Hint: I will answer all these questions in this article)

On the flight back I made the decision to start my own digital nomad journey.


I made a plan to sell or simply give away of all the stuff that I owned and to find a job which supports this new life style. My deadline would be the 1st of September ‘22. I made a list with all the things that I want to take with me and which I thought I really need on the journey.

The job would need to be 100% remote and digital. Ok, as a Senior Software Developer that was the smallest problem ;). I found one at Lensing Media.

Health insurance was a problem. Because most German health insurance companies do not offer permanent health insurance to live abroad. They cover your health insurance if you are on holidays for some time. And even this is complex if you travel to the US or Asia. I found PassportCard. In their basic plan they offer health insurance for almost all countries, Asia included, except the US. For US you have to sign up for a higher plan. I signed up for the basic plan.

What I didn’t know is this: If you have a registered address in Germany and a job in Germany you have to have a statutory health insurance. So in the end I payed twice. PassportCard for my journey and HKK for my statutory health insurance. Welcome to Germany.


I sold, gave and threw away absolutely everything. Everything that I got from 20 years living in different apartments and different realtionships. Furniture, Books, Kitchenstuff, Bed, Bicycle, Computer, Monitor, tons of cables, carpet, klimbim, clothes, couch, jackets, shoes, flowers … Just try to imagine sitting in your apartment have a look around and it’s all gone.

What I didn’t sold was my car. I gave it to my mother for the case that this new life style doesn’t suit me and I want to come back.


I ended up with 73 things and a 60L backpack splitted in two (20L + 40L). It’s such a nice feeling to own only what really matters to you!

july 2022 digital nomad backpack

7 Boxershorts 1 Macbook + Power
2 Pullover 1 iPhone + Power
4 Sweatshirts 5 Cable + Adaper
3 T-Shirts 1 Waterbottle
7 Socks 2 (Sun) glases
1 Long trouser 2 Backpacks
2 Shorts 1 Passport
1 Swimming short 3 Strengh Bands
1 Wool Jacket 1 Rain Coat
1 Jack Wolfskin Jacket 1 Training gloves
1 Thin Blanked 1 Microfiber
1 Bag for Toothbrush 1 Weight scale
1 eShaver 2 Locks
2 Toothbrushes 1 Toothpaste
10 Covid Masks 1 Vaccination Card
1 Wallet 1 ID, 1 Driver + 2 Insurance Card

Ready to go.


For my first destination I booked an airbnb for one month on Tenerife, but this time in the mountains in El Sauzal. I thought it might be a good idea to go somewhere where I already have some experience. Also I booked only a room in that airbnb living together with other digital nomads. So that I don’t start completely alone and getting some new connections and possibly digital nomad friends.

As that said I booked a flight to Tenerife on 27th August. On 26th August I gave the keys of my apartment to the owners, stayed one night at my mothers house and went to the airport on 27th of August.

What a feeling!


El Sauzal View

The view from our mansion over the houses and the ocean. Beautiful!

El Sauzal Mansion View

And as expected the other people in the house where very friendly and we had a very good time together. We cooked together, talked a lot, went for swimming in the ocean, hiking in the mountains, shared the car, had a movie night and a lot of fun!

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