My Nomadic Existence: A Brief Timeline

Writing by Conni Biesalski | 
Follow me on Twitter and Google+ & Facebook.

 

{I don’t think you properly know me. I would like to change that a bit.}

This is my story.

I grew up in a small town in Bavaria, Germany.

In 1998, at the age of 15,  I went to live in Bentonville, Arkansas, USA, with a host family and went to high school for one year. The exchange organisation put me in a crazy rich family, where I lived a year of luxury and fun. I had an awesome time with awesome people.

After that I went to an international school in Brighton, England, at which I graduated two years later. My time there was one big party (go and research what Brighton is known for among younger people).

After graduation, I moved to Munich, Germany, where I tried my luck studying Media Design. I realised quickly that sitting in front of a screen all day long was a killer for me. So was Munich.

I quit after six months and instead, spent about 18 months doing internships, living and studying Spanish in Malaga, Spain, for several months and did random other jobs to make some cash (like delivering mail and the like).

In 2003, I enrolled at the University of Salzburg in Austria to study Communication and Media, where I also worked part-time as a research and teaching assistant for most of my time there.

In 2004, I went on my first proper backpacking trip through Thailand for a month. A few months later, in 2005, on another one to Malaysia and to South Africa.

After graduating three years later in 2006, I went and started my Master’s degree in Communication & Media at the University of Bowling Green, Ohio, USA. I won’t even go into the crazy details here. Let’s just say, another crazy year.

One year later, I relocated to Vienna, Austria, to continue my degree. Less crazy, but still lovely (the university not so much).

Another year later, I relocated back to Salzburg to finally finish off my studies and makes some cash working at the university again – I finally graduated one year later in June 2009. One last brilliant year with brilliant friends. 

I wrote my almost 300-page strong thesis on Backpacking and Tourism in Latin America, for which I undertook a pleasure-filled ‘research trip’ of three months backpacking from Mexico all the way to Colombia. On the way, I surveyed other travellers and did ‘qualitative’ research. You can find my thesis here, in case you are interested.

After graduation, I had no time to waste and took off straight away on a one-way ticket to India. After all, you cant’ call yourself a real traveller if you havent’ been to India.

Trekking the Himalayan mountains in Kashmir, India

After six months of travelling all across Asia (after India I lived in Bangkok for a bit, explored more of Malaysia and Borneo, spent time in HongKong and China), I settled down on a tiny island, Gili Trawangan (close to Bali/Lombok), in Indonesia to become a dive instructor. I did and worked as one for a while afterwards.

After about four to five months on Gili, I contracted Dengue Fever and Typhoid. I survived (barely) (just kidding) but decided to take a break from Indo and move to Sydney, Australia to be with a special someone.

After about four months in Sydney, where I worked in a bar, we moved together to Cairns in the far north Queensland, where I worked as a dive instructor on the Great Barrier Reef. Not too shabby. We stayed there for about 5 months.

Working on the Great Barrier Reef

In February of 2011, we got a one-way tickets to Southeast Asia, spent some time on Gili T. And then settled in Phuket, Thailand, for a month or two so my partner could do her CELTA course.

WIth plans to stay in Thailand to work as a dive instructor in Phuket and my partner as an English teacher, we took off on another trip to the North of Thailand and Laos

After several weeks on the road, we hyper-spontaneously decided to move to Berlin, Germany, and settle down for a year. Just because. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I worked for a PR and Social Media company for eight months, started this blog you’re reading, and left my job at the end of January. I have since been freelancing and creating my own own freedom business.

Hanging out in Berlin's parks

That year is now almost over and I am leaving on a one-way ticket to Southeast Asia again on April 23rd – about seven weeks from now. There, you can find me under water with the fish and writing on my laptop sipping on smoothies and on Bintang beers.

My name is Conni, I’m 28 years old and my home is the world.

This is my story. 

I hope that clears things up.

 

All in all, I have

  • Visited 40 countries and lived in7.
  • Been to 6 out of 7 continents.
  • Total time spent outside of my country of birth (Germany): around 11 to 12 years.
  • lived 15 different places I called home.

 

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20 Responses to My Nomadic Existence: A Brief Timeline

  1. Lindsay says:

    Love this! Great story you’ve got there so far–and great blog!
    I recently bought my first one-way ticket (to South America); quite possibly one of the best feelings in the world!?

    P.S. I’m totally going to read your thesis ;)

    • Conni says:

      YES! One-way tickets rock! Love the feeling too! Congrats, you rock :)

      Really great to hear you like the blog and I hope my thesis won’t bore the hell out of you! :)

  2. Thomas Frank says:

    Wow, you’ve been everywhere!

    I’m going to Japan this summer, and after graduating next year will be heading out to do some world-travelling myself. Have any good resources you used?

    • Conni says:

      Cool, love your plans!!

      Check out my new free ebook by signing up to my newsletter. I put a lot of useful information and links to resources in it! I just put it up today, so it’s brand new!

  3. Janet says:

    such a cool timeline! I love how scholarly you seem and that you studied in the US too. In my highschool, there was a german exchange student my senior year and one of my friends started dating him. Well, they’re still together and have a baby (in ‘sin’)!! They both live in Germany. Have a blast in SE Asia! I think that’s such a cool gig. I don’t mind being in front of the computer for hours on end.. That’s why I blog and do all this crazy internet stuff.. :)

    • Conni says:

      Your story is not too bad either, I have a lot of respect for what you’re up to too! :)

      Are you around in the Phillies for a while longer? I plan to make it there too, not sure when exactly though yet… I definitely want to try and meet up with ya!

  4. Carina says:

    Amazing story!
    I just came back from my first big trip and I’m already planing the next one :-D You’re such an inspiration! Thanks for that :-)
    Hope to read a lot more of you!
    Carina

    • Conni says:

      Thanks, Carina! Makes me happy to hear!!
      How’s life back home now?

      Just checked out your blog, love it too, well done ;)

      Keep me updated on your future vagabonding plans!

  5. Carina says:

    Thanks! :-)

    Life is strange back home, but changing every day anyway ;-) I’ll keep you posted!

    Enjoy Bali!! Loved Gili T. soo much! Tell the seaturtles I said hi! :-)

    Safe travels!

  6. I’ve been to Bentonville, Arkansas too!

    I love your style and your story Conni.

    I am slowly working my way to Asia, been to 40 countries so far, like you, but all of them in the Americas, Europe and the Middle East.

    Happy and safe travels!

    Mario Arana

  7. Kate says:

    Ahh! Reading this was invigorating!
    I am a 27 year old gal who is just beginning to realize that I am indeed nomadic-it has been a bit of a process but essentially after having some horrible years of stasis after an exchange program, then quitting my masters programme, I have just ended a three month european journey. And it was freedom. I am now researching living and working anywhere I can, and settling into the idea that normalcy is not my bag.
    Sorry for the inward-looking blab, but I suppose finding people like yourself in the digital devide is so exciting and inspiring. It is like locating a dispursed community of people who float on a different plane. Thank you!
    Also, might you have any advice if I too wished to start a blog? I took media studies too and have a penchant for the written word, but of technology I am relatively naive and fearful. Haha. But I’d love to change that.
    Meantime I will continue to read your blog. Again, Namaste! And keep living life!

  8. wow you are so amazing! I’ll be reading your e-book. Keep on inspiring others to pursue their passion. I am moved by your stories :)

  9. Kristin says:

    Hey!

    I really admire all that you do! I am getting closer to becoming a minimalist and traveling the world! I graduated school with an english literature degree and really didn’t find much to do with it, so I’m now faced with the choice to go back to school and focus on an entirely new discipline. The thought of going back and starting over bores me. I am considering nomading it and really getting out there and experiencing life. Thanks so much for this blog! It truly inspires. Really good stuff:)

  10. Your story is really inspiring! You have definitely got yourself a new follower! Your style of travelling and the freedom is something I seem to be dreaming of more and more all the time. I think this dream is on the process of being fulfilled!

  11. Ciara says:

    Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this,
    like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit,
    but other than that, this is fantastic blog. A great read.

    I will certainly be back.

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  14. Nirupama says:

    Woww… thats the first word that hit my mind when i started reading this article… Just wow! You are exactly living the kind of life that i would imagine to have ..probably just could imagine ..how i wish i had the free spirit and the freedom to do things that you do!! i just have one question.. how do you get the push to move out of your comfort zone so often and explore?

  15. Elias says:

    Nice… I think we have been at the same places (at least some of it) but at different times. [Gilli, Bali, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Hongkong, China,…] I would love to travel (more) again after I read all your great story’s. Keep traveling and never stop! :D

  16. Kay says:

    You’re such an inspiration for a well lived life!

    I always think I’m pushing myself to see new places and do new things but then I see someone like you and I realize how much more I could be pushing myself.