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Global nomad for 30 years now.

Global nomad for 30 years now.

On September 5th, 1988, I packed my backpack. Stuck out my thumb, with 65$ in my pocket. And since then I have had the world as my playground and been a global nomad.

I am what some people call a modern day nomad. I have no fixed address. I live out of a backpack 365 days a year and work as a freelance tour guide and do some other freelance work as well. All because we have a global world, with wifi. So my laptop is my office.

30 years on the road.

30 years on the road.

Since I was a small kid, I always wanted to explore the world. I have had a non stop appetite for travel, since I went on the first trip to Spain with my parents, when I was 4 years old. But I had never imagined that I would end up traveling as much s I do.

I grew up in this little Danish village.

I grew up in this little Danish village.

I’m actually writing this blogpost 40 000ft above the ground on a TAP plane between Copenhagen and Lisbon.

I do not come from a wealthy background. I grew up in a safe and happy working class family in rural Denmark. But I always had to pay for my own  trips. So it’s not a rich daddy who has financed my global lifestyle. As mentioned before, I stated with 65$ in my pocket, when I was 19 years old. I hitch hiked. Worked my way through Europe and the Middle East. Picking fruit, working in backpacker hostels. And so on. This was my life in my early 20’s and I loved it. Sometimes I would return to my native Denmark for 4-5 months to do seasonal work in tourism and then head to Latin America or Asia for the money saved up.

I was a beach bum in Brazil for a few winters.

I was a beach bum in Brazil for a few winters.

But since the internet became something everyone could use, I realised that I now had some completely new possibilities in life, as communication with potential employees around the world, was suddenly easy and simple.

The past 20 years I have not even bothered to sublet an apartment in the places I have stayed. I live out of hotel rooms, as I can move faster then, if work shows up in another country. And it often does. These days I earn most of my money as a freelance tour leader. But I also do consulting for travel companies. Public speaking. And a few other things.

I make money by being a freelance tour leader.

I make money by being a freelance tour leader.

Some young traveler complained to me a couple of years ago that I had become too established, cause I get fairly well paying jobs these days. He claimed that if I was a real traveler, then I would be camping rough and dumpster diving for my whole life. I do not see it that way. These days I actually travel a lot more and see more countries, than in my dumpster diving youth. I am actually using all the knowledge I have gained from 3 decades of traveling and made a business out of it. And I am not ashamed of that. I would not have been without my dumpster diving youth though. These years were so fun filled with other young anarchistic tramps from around the world. We partied the night away in the parks and train stations around the world on cheap wine and whatever we could find to eat for free. These years really taught me a lot. It taught me to respect money for instance. So if I run in to a period with a little less work these days, then I just cut temporarily down on my spending. This is not a problem when you once used to live on free food from homeless shelters.

I'm a happy vagabond :-)

I’m a happy vagabond 🙂

But I am very happy that I am mostly staying in comfy hotels these days. Mostly in 4 star hotels when I am working. And typically in cosy little pensions when I am just traveling the world for fun. I roughly work 150 days a year by the way and holiday the rest.

Being on holiday +200 days a year is better than having kids, if you ask me.

Being on holiday +200 days a year is better than having kids, if you ask me.

When you say yes to something, you always say no to something else.

Living the lifestyle I do makes it hard to have wife and kids. I now of a tiny group of people who manage that. But having kids takes a lot more stability than I have in my life. So I have opted out from that. And I am happy with that choice. My life does not have a dull moment and I do not miss having kids to play with. Or kids to transfer my own failed ambitions on to. It’s nice when a girlfriend comes around. But that can be hard too. Especially if she is not in to the same kinda lifestyle. I have ended a few relationships on this account. But I have no regrets. I am living the dream that I always wanted to and I am not tired of being a nomad one bit.

In fact, I am planning new trips every single day. There is not a day where I am not checking out new potential destinations. Checking out plane tickets. And planning new crazy parties around the world with all the friends I have acquired over the years. 

I'm planning new trips every single day.

I’m planning new trips every single day, cause I am a nomad for life.

And making friends around the world is my biggest motivation to travel. I like to see new cities and wander in beautiful nature. But nothing beats the human encounters I have with people around the world, while living my nomad life.

So if you see me around the world, feel free to say hi’. And let’s have a drink and a chat if time permits it. Meeting random strangers is the main purpose of my life 🙂

Drinking beer in Sri Lanka, with a friend from Northern Ireland.

Drinking beer in Sri Lanka, with a friend from Northern Ireland.

Cheers to another 30 years of globetrotting.

Travel, drink beer and be happy :-)

Travel, drink beer and be happy 🙂

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5 Comments

  1. This is incredible, Claus! I had no idea you’ve been on the road as long as you have. This is wildly inspiring; an incredible story!

  2. Great to read the story of how you started on this lifestyle, and your passion for what you do.

    ‘I am actually using all the knowledge I have gained from 3 decades of traveling and made a business out of it.’ Yes, and you are also, through your guiding work, sharing that knowledge with others and enhancing their travels 🙂

    Oh, and lovely to see Fergy pop up here too!

  3. Very interesting Claus! Keep fit and keep pedaling!

  4. BRAVO Claus! You have inspired us for years and continue to do so. Thanks. Your lifestyle makes us aware of the power of the independent & resourceful mind. Nothing beats freedom & willpower! That is how I want to live my life, and you are a model. It’s not easy — I appreciate reading about your experiences. Difficulties along the way are steps to understanding. We learn from hardships as much as from beautiful moments… Thank you for your presence among us! All the best, Lou

  5. Don’t stop travelling Claus!:D Let’s keep up the passion:) I just hit 30 this year and wrote a post about it, hopefully I can keep the fire alive 30 years later!

    Loads of love from Singapore,
    Your Pre-bex fellow blogger Lydia

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