Imagine living a life where no place is really called “home”, traveling the world and seeing new things all the time.
Since the age of 15, Conni Biesalski has done just that. She left her home country, Germany, and took off to travel the world and life a simplistic, care-free life. Her journey has taken her to almost every corner of the world: Australia, Thailand, Europe, the United States, and Africa.
After spurts of living in excess with various host families, Conni chose to move forward with her life with the opposite means. She is happy with a simple, minimalist lifestyle and does not own very many possessions. She lives with what she needs and does not play into a materialistic lifestyle at all.
Conni has dedicated her life to helping others embrace the nomadic life if they so choose. She spends her time as a freelance writer, dive instructor, and life coach. Her goal in life is to “change the world and save the oceans.” She follows the teachings of Buddha, meditates through yoga, and has been a vegetarian all her life.
1. You have lived a nomadic life since you were 15 years old. What is a nomadiclife and what inspired or motivated to live that type of lifestyle?
A nomadic life is a life in which you don’t settle down, you keep moving.
I went to live with a host family in the US for a year when I was 15, and from then on, my thirst for getting to know the world and other cultures and live in them started to grow.
2. According to your website, you returned to Germany for a short time and thentook off again, only to find yourself back home unexpectedly. What shortened the second leg of your adventures as a nomad?
My partner and I separated after more than two years. It turned my whole world and plans upside down, so I needed to sort myself out at home with good friends and family. I’m still in the process of letting go of old plans and make my own new ones.
3. What are three advantages to living a nomadic life?
You don’t get too comfortable.
You don’t accumulate ‘things’.
You have friends all over the world.
4. What are three disadvantages to living a nomadic life?
Having friends and loved ones all over the world who you only get to see sporadically.
The questions people ask you constantly.
Finding a partner who is also happy to live a nomadic life.
5. You have devoted your life to sharing your story and helping others understand what it’s like to live a nomadic life. You also want to help people take their first steps into this alternative lifestyle. What are the important things people need toknow about being a nomad?
You can’t take all your crap around the world, so start by getting rid of your belongings.
What skills do you have? Can you take your job around the world or should you get a nomadic job for which you need to acquire new skills?
Be determined and don’t let anyone tell you that a nomadic life is impossible. It is definitely possible, I am one example and I know of hundreds more.
6. You live a minimalist, uncluttered life. What exactly does that mean?
I hardly own anything, maybe around 100 things, but I haven’t counted in a while. It all fits into a bag, that’s all that matter, so I can move places easily and quickly.
But being a minimalist is also an attitude. I’m not into materialism and rather invest my money in experiences rather than stuff or a new TV.
7. How did you “unbrainwash” yourself…using a term you used on your website…as you headed off to travel the world when you were younger?
I stopped following common beliefs and letting other people set boundaries for me. I realised that conventions are completely artificial and that there is no need to do what everyone else does.
Discovering someone like Chris Guillebeau or Colin Wright definitely helped to see through all the BS in society.
But I have always been a rather critical citizen, I enjoy questioning laws, rules, traditions, politics and all other authority-like areas in society 😉
8. You say that you don’t need much money to survive. How do you manage to make enough money to pay for just your basic needs like food, water, and shelter?
How much money, per day, do you need to live on to stay alive?
For one, I freelance in the realms of online communication. You can check out my professional website here. I am also a scuba dive instructor and can get work quite easily around the world if it needs be or when I feel like it.
I can survive quite ok on 1000 Euros a month (roughly 30 Euros a day). Less in developing countries, a bit more in the Western world. I try to chose cheap places to live and travel, but I also don’t need a lot of luxury.
9. What does a typical day in your life look like? You said you want to live the change that you want to make in the world. Does that enter into the way you plan out your days?
There is no typical day in my life! But there are a few things I try to do every day, such as getting work done for clients, doing some writing for my blogs, meditating, reading, meeting up with friends - the usual really.
In terms of the change I want to see in the world, I have promised myself to never take up conventional employment up again, I try live mindfully, without regrets, and I try to live as green and environmentally friendly as possible (save energy, eat vegetarian, not fly too much, no car…)
10. You have literally travelled and lived all over the world. If you had to pick one place to settle for the rest of your life, what would that place be and why?
Haha I ask myself that question regularly, but I still haven’t found a clear answer yet. But I really love Berlin, where I recently spent a year. Although it’s back in my home country, it’s not Germany at all! The winter is too harsh for me there though. So I would need another place to escape to, which could be Australia or Indonesia.
11. Where are three places you want to visit in the future that you haven’t gotten to yet? What do you look forward to about those three places that draws you there?
New Zealand - thinking about spending a year on the Working Holiday Visa there. Definitely the nature and the Kiwis!! I have met many people from NZ and I enjoy their mentality.
Philippines - definitely for the diving.
Greece - I’d love to learn how to sail there and check out all the islands…
12. You are working on a bucket list. It seems you have already accomplished some of the things on that list? What are you working on now? What are you getting ready to start?
I actually need to update that list, as I have accomplished a lot more than is currently marked.
I am working on my freelance business and would like one or two more clients so I can actually save some money every month 😉
I am also working on my German backpacker blog, Planet Backpack, which I would like to monetize eventually and turn into a the biggest German-speaking travel community. It’s going well and it’s a lot of fun.
And lastly, I am trying to decide where to move next…which is a tough one right now!
13. You call yourself an underwater digitalist. What does that mean?
I was trying to find a job description for my business cards, and just made up my own. It basically means that I am a dive instructor who spends a lot of time underwater and someone who works and lives online in the digital world.
14. Tell us a little bit about your free ebook, “The Art of Being a World Nomad.”
It’s my little nomad’s bible and gives readers a lot of tips and tools to get started. It’s meant to be practical and helpful, not just theory. Everything I say in there is based on my own personal experience.
15. Where do you see yourself living and what do you see yourself doing in two years?
I have no idea, Tal! I couldn’t even tell you where I will be in three months time at the moment! It could literally be anywhere! But in terms of ‘doing’: I hope to be doing more creative work by that stage (writing, photography, graphic design) and have some passive income enabling me to do more things that don’t provide an income.