After leaving school, Nooteboom had a number of office jobs, including one at the Rotterdamsche bank in Hilversum. In the early 1950s, he went on his first major trips abroad, hitchhiking to Scandinavia and Provence. He wrote about some of his experiences in his first novel, Philip en de anderen (Philip and the Others), which has become a classic of Dutch literature, not least because of its melancholy tone. In 1954, he moved to Amsterdam, where he has lived ever since; since 1970, his home has been an early-eighteenth-century house in the old city centre. In 1956, he wrote his first major newspaper report for Het Parool, about the Russians entering Budapest. In the following years, he wrote reports and stories for Elseviers Weekblad, which were often about the Caribbean. In 1957, he married Fanny Lichtveld in New York, with Leo Vroman as one of the witnesses. The marriage was annulled in 1964.