Urban Guerrillas

The city is their theatre. This is where they live, and this is where they experiment. Two urban guerrillas talk about the attraction of a rootless existence.

The Mobile Man
Job Romijn

Always ready to move on

“I move house every year. In ten years, I've lived in eleven buildings - anti-squat. Because I'm always in different neighbourhoods, I've come to know the city very well. And it's great to have a new building to explore, time and time again. I used to want to be an explorer, and that's also how I live my life. The stranger the building, the more I like it! I once lived in a theatre. I had my bed on the stage and kept my clothes in the coat-check area. I've also lived in a former psychiatric institution, a bank building, a school and a lawyer's office. All my furniture has been chosen to suit my lifestyle: it has to be light, collapsible and easy to move. I generally keep all my belongings in plastic crates, so that I can move at any time. If I ever got my own place, it would have to be a mobile space. Living like this is very inspiring. You are more mindful when it comes to your belongings, because you only keep the things that suit your lifestyle.”


The Cosmopolitan
Vincent van Dijk

A different Amsterdam hotel every night

“I have an advertising agency in Amsterdam, and I wanted to live there too. But it was really hard to find an affordable place. When I thought about what my ideal living space would be like, I decided it would be a hotel. That's how the idea for my experiment came about. Beginning last January, I've slept in a different Amsterdam hotel every night. I blog about my experiences and I'm also writing a book about them. There's hardly been a hotel that won't offer me a room. I'm living out of a suitcase seven days a week, for a whole year. It's mostly the service in hotels that appeals to me. In a lot of restaurants, the staff practically ignore you. In hotels it's different. The people there are welcoming and helpful. Of course I've had some bad experiences too - I've suffered through a bed bug infestation, and I once had to share a room with six people. They lay there smoking until they fell asleep. I spent the whole night worrying that the hotel was going to go up in flames. But of course I've also had wonderful experiences: five-star hotels that have offered me their best suites. At the end of December, my hotel year will be over. Where will I live then? I don't know yet. I take each day as it comes.”