12 years a digital nomad- Reflections and life coming full circle

Denmark meets Germany.

The year is 2012. June.

I had just quit my full time job to become a nomad.

I would have forgotten my nomad anniversary but the onset of the Euros have brought back a flood of memories. Then, the fixtures gods threw up Denmark Vs Germany.


My thoughts turned towards that fateful summer.

I had got rid of all my earthly possessions and packed my life into a backpack to start my 2 month interrail trip across Europe. I remember checking into the Generator Copenhagen on a cloudy muggy day in June, looking out onto a sea of spires, that eclectic range of architecture and feeling a surge of excitement. I remember just going for an aimless wonder, catching sunset at Nyhavn, the harbour area before heading into town to watch the inaugural Euro 2012 game between Denmark and Germany with my friend Alex Berger.

My iPhone 4 photo of that sunset at Nyhavn, the 17th century waterfront of Copenhagen

Euro 2012 Fanzone park. Glorious scenes as Denmark win against Germany.


I can still remember it. The chaos and excitement after Denmark’s unexpected win over Germany. The countless beers that followed after. 4am. Sitting at the bus stop wasted with friends. I sometime wish I could bottle that excitement and anticipation. Looking back at the pictures of Copenhagen from that summer, I can still feel a bit of the old excitement  and energy coming back. Travel gives you that buzz, that glorious anticipation of the unknown, the luxury where pretty much anything could happen. There was a rough itinerary but no big plan, other than to visit a few hostels which would form the basis of my first ever book, The Luxury Hostels of Europe.

Travel is a wonderful drug, the best one. Even after all these years of travel, I love the act of travel. Packing the backpack. Checking in for the flight online or checking the train reservation, planning the trip to train station. Stocking up on travel snacks. Reading up a little about the place and making notes on my phone. With every beloved ritual, comes a set of rituals, each, cherished that all form to become one wonderful act of escape, of self care and love. 

I miss travelling that way. It might come as a surprise to you but I can’t remember the last time I had a proper holiday. Now, you might think, you are the guy who constantly travels the world for a living. True, but there is a difference between travelling for pleasure and travelling for work. I chose to make travel my lifestyle, my work so my confession might sound a bit rich to you. Don’t get me wrong. I wake up everyday, happy. Still, when you build your life , business around travel and have no home base and have to plan your movements 6/12 months in advance, you miss those moment of spontaneity, that thrill of the unknown. We try to build in some time for downtime but the last few years have been a bit of slog, working as much as we can to pay off all the debts, build up our bank balance after the barren years of the pandemic. Now, as the pandemic disappears in the rear view and we can again look forward to a life of rich possibilities, I am dreaming of escape. Of wondering aimlessly till sunset. Wasted at 4am in a new city with friends. Who can relate?

I also seem to have the inability to know how to switch off and relax. If I decide to take the day off. I’ll charge the kindle up to read a book while enjoying a coffee. I will probably have patience to read though a few pages before I either feel tired or I go back to the bad habit of just mindlessly browsing my social media feeds before I take the dreaded decision of checking my emails! What kind of an idiot does that on their ‘day off’? Maybe, it is a habit I have picked up from being self employed. I find long walks to be one thing I can do on my days off.



I do find that being with friends, gives me the permission to switch off. I lied a little earlier.  I actually did have somewhat of a holiday last year in Greece, when our good friend from Berlin, Pascal visited us when we were in Athens. As a first time visitor to the mainland, he was keen to hire a car and explore, so we suggested a roadtrip to the Peloponnese. 

It was a magical few days. The weather was perfect.  The landscape was rugged, wild and overgrown. There was a wonderful sense of isolation about all the places we visited.  I loved Napflio, the old Venetian outpost with its beautiful fortress sitting in the azure blue Argonic Gulf, its narrow cobblestone cafes with a magnificent backdrop of mountain scenery. When the daytrippers left town, I would wallow in the silence of centuries and just look in awe at the fortress, glowering in the dark. There’s this slight sense of decay in parts, which just makes Napflio even more haunting.


Later, we visited the stunning hilltop fortress of Larissa. It was close to sunset and the abandoned fortress, overgrown with wild flowers and weeds had this almost magical, ethereal glow. That broad expansive view of the surrounding towns and the Argolic plains will long remain in memory. We visited a few wineries and drank lots of good wine. The days were infinite, unplanned and had a sense of real adventure that sometimes I feel is missing in my work and travels. In keeping with the unplanned, offbeat theme of the trip, I lugged around with me an analogue Olympus OM 10 camera to document the trip. It had been probably 20 years since I touched an analogue camera. 

When the pictures came out, phew a lot of happy and old emotions came back. Here’s a selection…

I think, many of us are in this nostalgic frame of mind, often longing for a simpler way of life which involved less tech, less being ‘on’ and being in the moment. Or, maybe this is all just a way of us trying to reconnect with an older version of ourselves. 

Life comes full circle. Another summer. Denmark vs Germany. Denmark wins again? Another chance to rewrite the script. Another chance to write a new story. Create some good memories and pause, remember the older version of yourself. Nostalgic but happy, still optimistic and excited for what lies ahead.

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