top of page
  • Writer's pictureRianne

How do they do it? Living their dream life after a bankruptcy - part 1/3

With everything we do there are people who cheer us on or who are indifferent and there are those who try to pull us down, who don’t believe our story or just maybe are jealous or don’t want to see us change or………well we actually don’t know the reasons of it. I do think these reactions are just part of life and perfectly fine. In fact we mostly ignore the last ones ;) Makes life so much easier and more fun, and we strongly believe in the law of attraction | where attention goes energy flows & what you imagine you become - that is why we very consciously choose to focus on the positive.


But this time I just wanted to speak up, this time my feminist side won the inner battle and I just wanted to say the following to all those who keep doubting our story, who keep thinking that it is impossible what we do and some who even think that there must be something illegal going on - this is for all the disbelievers and a big thank you for all those of you who keep cheering us on!!!

When you set your mind to it, anything is possible and yes within 3,5 years after the bankruptcy of Gerben his company we are traveling around the world with our family.

How can this be? How can you loose everything and have a significant amount of debts and be able to travel around the world with a Land Rover defender and a Sailing Yacht?

Well you disbelievers this family consists out of three people, a male species, a female species and an infant species. And yes the male species had some major setbacks and yes in a lot of families the male species provides food and shelter for the family.

"And the most beautiful part of it is - anybody can do this! We are just an ordinary family who choose to live an extraordinary life."

Well NEWSFLASH for you disbelievers - female species can make a living as well, female species can make good investment decisions and are perfectly capable of making sure that the family is able to pursue their dreams - even when the male species just makes a misstep along the way.

So that is enough for the disbelievers….now the most important part how we do it?


I bought the sailing yacht with a loan, it’s like a house with a mortgage, nothing special and I pay the interest every month (still figuring out if it is a good investment decision or not, financially definitely not, a boat will not increase in value it will only drop but for our mindset, energy and content creation….it is probably the best decision ever). Next to buying the sailing yacht I actually did make a very good investment decision a couple of years ago which enables us now to travel around the world while further expanding and growing our businesses without financial stress for at least the coming 2 to 3 years.

And the most beautiful part of it is - anybody can do this! We are just an ordinary family who choose to live an extraordinary life - to go on that adventure of pursuing their dreams.

But you are probably wondering what was that investment decision? Crypto currency, buying a lottery ticket, robbing a bank or.....

Well I have to disappoint you it is nothing special or exciting, actually a lot of people are doing it every was just buying an apartment in Amsterdam 4 years ago and selling it one week before the Corona pandemic broke out in the Netherlands.

"At that moment everybody was telling me it was a bad idea it will never pay off for at least the coming 10-15 years."

And for those who think I was lucky? Luck has nothing to do with it, hard work, taking risks, determination and trusting my intuition does.

I had a very good job for which I worked my ass off since the day I graduated from university and to be honest even before that. Work weeks of 60-80 hours were the norm. Because of this amazing job and especially my fixed salary I was able to buy a house on my own 4 years ago. I choose to buy a small apartment in Amsterdam and with a budget that wasn’t the maximum of my loan capacity. At first glance nothing really special and it looked a little bit dirty & out dated. At that moment everybody was telling me it was a bad idea, the market is overpriced in Amsterdam and will drop - the apartment and the investments you want to make in it, will never pay off for at least the coming 10-15 years.

My intuition was actually convinced it was just the perfect time and the perfect apartment. It was priced a little bit too high and therefor quite a while on the market - which presses down on the value of a property especially in Amsterdam. Next to this I was able to see pass the clutter and the dirt, and discovered the beautiful character and potential the apartment had. So I started negotiating and was patient, I had the feeling that there would be a small dip in the market just before December that year and actually that was the case. I negotiated for 3 months and got the apartment below asking price. I lived there for 1 year on my own and than after just one month of being together Gerben moved in - he was sleeping in the office of his company because he sold his house to invest even more in his business……a choice with the experience we have now never would make again, but this is a different story which we tell another time.

The next coming years a lot changed, I quit my job, started my own company, did different projects some failed and some where successful and unfortunately after a real roller coaster ride Gerben his company went bankrupt and he experienced a burn-out & depression, or meltdown, whatever you want to call it. And this was just in the first 5 months of our relationship! No time for butterflies, but it was the perfect moment for us to start doing some deep inner works, we made our values and dreams extremely clear (having a family and traveling around the world while setting up businesses and creating (passive) income with if possible sharing our stories & experiences and inspiring people along the way). After figuring this out, we worked (and are still working) everyday on achieving them. Oh and not to forget somewhere along the line I got pregnant and gave birth to our beautiful baby boy Benjamin, a dream of the both of us on which we very consciously choose to let nature take it course.

One of the most important parts of reaching our goals was making sure Gerben would recover. Because we knew and know that when we are both in good shape our energy, talents and therefore our possibilities would be endless. We are convinced that we can achieve greatness together and that we will be able to become very successful (and we even feel successful already) and pay off all of Gerben his debts and keep living our dream life..

"And for those who think I was lucky? Luck has nothing to do with it, hard work, taking risks, determination and trusting my intuition does."

With at that time Gerben having debts and mentally not being able to work for quite a while and me as a newbie entrepreneur, we were struggling with paying the bills so what we did: we draw up my savings, rented out my apartment in Amsterdam on AirBnB and I focused on further developing my coaching skills and businesses. Coaching is one of my gifts, actually something I’m convinced about, and that is something special because of the most things in life I really don’t know what I’m doing and if it suits me or not….I just try and shamelessly fail and just try again. An adventure on its own and one I truly love and believe in.

During the first 1,5 years Gerben was recovering bit by bit from his depression & burn-out and we decided to experience how it is to live on board the sailing yacht full time. We made preparations and a plan that within 6 months we could live on the boat. One of the hardest decisions was stopping one of my businesses - my beautiful fashion brand with own atelier where every piece was custom made. But then again I had to figure out that my dream company does not equal my dream life. Something I had to learn the hard way and is actually a beautiful story to also tell another time. Then we had my other projects and businesses which we prepared for going exclusively online, The only thing we still needed to figure out, was my apartment in Amsterdam. We decided to keep it for 2019, to first figure out if living full time on a sailing yacht would suit us. We gave the apartment a small upgrade before we left and rented it out for a couple of days via AirBnB until we found a long term tenancy.

"But then again I had to figure out that my dream company does not equal my dream life."

During 2019 we took the time to experience if full time traveling and sailing suited us and what the possibilities were for working online, creating passive income, growing my coaching business and building our Feel the Breeze community/brand.

We tried a lot, shamelessly failed a lot and got very clear what we wanted and how we would like to proceed. The only thing that was holding us back every time was our financial worries and in the end me being exhausted for taking on a lot during and after Gerben his burn out & depression. To be clear - financial stress is one of the worst forms of stress we have ever experienced and one we never want to experience again (in part 2 of these blog series we will go more into details about this).

With all these lessons and living 8 months on the sea, we came back to the Netherlands in December 2019. I already was thinking about selling the apartment for a couple of months, Gerben just didn’t want to - he had the feeling that I was sacrificing everything because of his missteps. Something which I can understand. For a man it is something to live from the income of your partner because you just can’t create any and even with an income first have to settle quite some debts.

I saw it completely the other way around, I saw it as an investment in us, in our future, our family and our company. We knew already that I would make quite a profit of the sell of the apartment - our neighbors above just sold their apartment (quite similar to ours, a bit more renovated) a month before for a price that was far above what I paid for mine. The profit would even enable us to travel and live for 2 to 3 years without the necessity of any income. Even knowing this and being very tempted to sell it did take a while before I made my decision. I had to be sure, I didn’t want to sell the apartment based on the fear of not having enough money or on the feeling that I just had to.

"Financial stress is one of the worst forms of stress we have ever experienced and one we never want to experience again."

Eventually I decided to sell because I just knew this was the best thing to do at this moment in time. Although I love Amsterdam and definitely want to comeback sometime, a new chapter in my life started and that wasn’t just Amsterdam - but the world.

It is even quite a story to tell about how in the end everything came together. We even sold the apartment just a few days before the Corona pandemic started in the Netherlands and prices dropped. In the end it came down to trusting my intuition and finding the perfect form of a cooperation with the best real estate agent in Amsterdam (Vanessa from Elan Makelaars). We sold the apartment for, I am convinced, the highest price possible. Even 10% above our neighbors and that in just 3 months time.

Now with the apartment being sold, us on our way to our sailing home with a good filled bank account, we need to figure out how we can increase our income. I already made some investment decisions and now I’m figuring out what to do with a third of the money. I don’t want to just live and spend the money the coming 2 to 3 years, the money has to make money - which we zoom in on in part 3 of this blog series.

To sum it all up, this is possible because I:

  • worked my ass off,

  • am dedicated & dare to take bold decisions,

  • dare to take risks & trust my intuition, and

  • choose to live a life that doesn’t fit the norm.

And if you are wondering what is at that basis of everything - the Feel the Breeze mindset: law of attractions (the art of manifesting) and living in abundance & gratitude.

Have a wonderful day and Feel the Breeze.


If you enjoyed this blog post or it was helpful in any kind of way, it would be great if you shared it with friends, family or on social media and help us in reaching more people.

You can do this easily by clicking on one of the short links below (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & copy link - Feel free to share on Instagram as well).

This was part 1 of our 3 series blog about how we make it possible to live our lives as we do. Curious about how we handled the past 3 years after the bankruptcy? This will be part 2 | How we survived the first 3 years after the bankruptcy, which we will publish probably next month (still have to write it). Part 3 | How we plan to keep on doing what we do, will be launched in about 2 months time and will be about our plans for the future.

bottom of page