Menno van der Land

Hi! Welcome to Existential Reflections. My name is Menno van der Land and I am an existentialist philosopher, writer, world traveler and, well, much more. I am based in the beautiful city of Leiden, The Netherlands. On this website, I share my philosophical insights about the big existential questions.

After studying political science at the University of Leiden I started working in the public sector, while getting my PhD at the University of Amsterdam. Growing older though, my interests shifted. Away from politics (although I am still an avid follower of the political debate), towards the realms of philosophy and psychology. Away from what matters in politics towards what matters in life and the wisdom of thinkers from past and present. As Jimmy McGill would say: “Clarity. Not midlife crisis, midlife clarity.” 🙂

Over the years I have read a lot of books and articles, attended workshops and classes, and thought about the big existential questions of life endlessly. Life, death, happiness, meaning, hope, truth, loneliness, values, and so on. And that’s where the foundation for this website was laid. Some of my existential reflections have resulted in essays which you can read here. And there is more to come, so please check again later!

My ideas and insights keep evolving (they probably will untill I die), so the posts you will find here on this website won’t give you definitive answers. They only reflect what I think I know about life so far. Drawing on the wisdom of the philosophers that inspire me and other people from whom I have learned, they provide practical insights that may change the way you look at things and deal with the absurdity and meaninglessness of human existence.

Scroll down to learn some stuff about me that has nothing to do with philosophy. 🙂 And otherwise you can just browse through my essays and musings. Maybe they will inspire you and help you navigate through life.

Do you have a question? Or a comment? Or do you just want to say ‘hi’? Please feel free to contact me.

Existential Reflections is an independent, not-for-profit website. No advertisements, no affiliate links and no cookies.


Never having left my home country as a kid, I have been traveling the world my whole adult life. I feel very fortunate that I have been able to visit many incredibly beautiful places around the world. I have set up a dedicated website about my travels: Traveling Dutchie.


I have published two books about the history of the Dutch political party D66: Tussen ideaal en illusie and Langs de afgrond. You can read more about my books here (Dutch only).


Also on this website is the story of my Frisian ancestors, a story spanning 500 years and 15 generations. Click here if you want to learn more (Dutch only).