“Try to achieve complete freedom from the material; go after experiences, good food, & good company. That’s what really fills you up in the long term.” – Christian
Photo by: Chema Solís
Back in the early days of my nomad life I lived in Bogotá, Colombia. The friends I made there have now introduced me and connected me with this charming and inspiring nomad.
- Nomad: Christian
- Where were you born? Bogotá, Colombia
- Current Location? Panama City
- Where were you last? I was all around Nicaragua for about a month.
- Where are you going next? Back to Colombia, I’ll spend a few months traveling around, starting on the coast.
- What is your Profession? I graduated as an Industrial Engineer, got a job doing that and then I worked in consulting for a few years. During that time, I saved money and I realized I was following the rat race, so I felt the need to take a break. That’s when I bought a ticket around the world. I’ve been able to sustain this lifestyle without earning an income because of my savings and due to the fact that I have a lot of friends that know my situation and have invited me to stay at their places. However, since I started traveling, wonderful people have appeared in my life and I’ve been writing a lot. Few weeks ago the editor of Avianca Airlines Magazine asked me to write an article for them, it will be published in November! That will bring some income in.
- Which cities have you lived in for more than a few months? Other than Bogotá, none really. But I did spend a few months in Perth, Australia with my sister.
- What have been some of the unexpected obstacles of this lifestyle? At the start, I was afraid. It took me a while to adapt to the whole “Where will I sleep tonight?” Now, I just get to a place and book accommodation on the spot. I’ve become very relaxed. The other hurdle has been finding a sustainable income so I continue living this lifestyle.
- What were some of the unexpected benefits? How much I’ve gotten to know myself. Traveling long term takes away a lot of social pressures and fears. I used to have a very corporate mindset, I now have other priorities, and one of them is to always surround myself with positive people and positive topics. I’ve learned to trust more people; I’ve hitchhiked a lot, and travel with a lot these people. I realized that you travel more to meet people rather than to see places. Therefore, I now just approach people, I read a book called The Celestine Prophecy which talks about this, I recommend it to everyone.
- When did you start traveling? I started this trip more than 700 days ago. It was only supposed a year but this is fascinating.
- Do you ever get tired of traveling? Yes, I need vacations from vacations if that makes sense. I like to stay in a quiet place without doing any tourism, just to write about my travels, meet people, and recharge. I usually take 7-10 days off.
- Favorite place in the world? For traveling, Africa. To live, I don’t know, I’m in a dilemma because I don’t see myself back in Bogotá.
- What is your dream project? I don’t want to work again for anyone else, I want to work on my own projects. I want to live off my photography, writing, consulting, and maybe even coaching. There have been around 15 people who have taken off to travel after I’ve spoken to them.
- What is your source of inspiration? To keep meeting new people. Yesterday, I was in the elevator without a shirt on my way to the pool and I met a 65 year old Italian guy who decided to join me. He now invited me to go to this island off the coast of Panama City. You have to be open to all ages, races, and social statuses.
- Looking back at where you were when you started this journey, where did you think it was going to lead you? I thought I was going to travel for a year, everything was very planned and organized. I was more focused on seeing places. I had in mind to eventually put up a travel agency, but then everything changed, my mindset shifted to live more in the present and focus more on people.
- What was it like leaving everything behind? how did it feel? It was actually the least excited I’ve ever been before a trip, I was scared, I was thinking I was throwing my life and career away. So the start was emotionally hard, I first landed in Ethiopia and it’s not the easiest of countries to start a long journey.
- What do you miss most about your pre-nomad days? Very little, mostly my friends and family. In general, it was such a life of routine and now I have no idea what will happen tomorrow. That’s way more exciting.
- What was the last thing you did out of your comfort zone? Big or small? Other than this whole journey, I can say that I have slept on the floor a few times, which I never imagined I would have to do.
- Who was the last person who had a big impact on your life? Other fellow travelers that are sustainably maintaining this lifestyle. I met two Argentinian girls who just find work along the way and have no worries about the future. Their freedom is inspiring.
- What’s your favourite travel app? Couchsurfing & Hostel World, they get me out of trouble; and of course Facebook and Instagram.
- What would be your life advice to a group of high school students? You only live once and you have to live off experiences not off material things.
- What book are you currently reading? A New Earth, It’s written by Eckhart Tolle, who is the same author as The Power of Now.
- Are you currently in a relationship? How’s that going? It’s going well, you find summer loves or actually more like weekend loves. I met this girl from Argentina in Turkey, we have stayed in touch and we even met up to travel together around Iran for 3 weeks. Now, she might join me in South America in January.
- Name a unique fact about yourself? I had one of my photos as part of exhibition in Belgium about people who are in love with their lives. An Instagram friend invited me to be part of it.
- What’s your preferred mode of transportation? Why? I love cycling because I feel the air, I feel alive. Also hitchhiking because I know the person picking me up has to be very special, they are helping you with no expectations of anything in return.
- If you could give any advice to yourself when you were 15 what would you say? Follow your dreams regardless if it’s going to make you money or not. Try to achieve complete freedom from the material; go after experiences, good food, and good company. That’s what really fills you up in the long term.
There’s this great video called ‘What if money was no object?’ by Alan Watts
- They say you learn something new everyday, what was the last thing you learned? Yesterday, I learned that if you cover a can of beer with a napkin and put it in the freezer it gets colder way faster.
- One tip for any one thinking of joining this nomad/travel lifestyle? Leave your fears aside, they’re only mental.
- Anything else you want to share? “We all look at the same moon but we live in completely different worlds”