We had a pleasure to talk to Cynthia and Niko, a nomad couple whom are travelling around the globe for more than 8 years. Cynthia and Niko thank you so much for this interview, you are an inspiration to us all :).
Cynthia and Niko, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your lifestyle?
Cynthia: I’m 35 years old and originally from Belgium. I left my home country in 2011 with the idea to travel for just one year. But I loved it so much that I continued traveling and I’ve been a full-time nomad for more than 8 years now.
Niko: I’m 30 years old and I’m from Quebec, that small French speaking province in Canada. I’ve been on the road for almost 13 years now, traveling slowly around the world. I’ve worked as a street magician, English teacher, and I’ve worked as a chef in a fancy restaurant. I’ve managed an orphanage in Guatemala and a restaurant in Morocco. For me traveling is all about learning from other cultures and let them transform me in a positive way.
We met each other in France in 2014 and have been traveling together ever since.
We travel very slowly. Instead of ticking off countries from a list, we like to také our time in the countries we visit to really get a feel of the culture and way of living there. We don’t have many belongings, only our backpacks with clothing and camping gear and our laptops and cameras. It’s a very minimalistic lifestyle but we love it. You really don’t need much stuff to be happy! It’s the experiences that are important to us.
What is your current destination and what you are planning next?
We’re currently in Morocco. In a few days, Niko is going to lead a group of travellers to the Sahara desert while I’m returning to my home country for a quick visit.
Our plans for the next months is to return to Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan in spring and in June we’re going back to Kyrgyzstan where we’ll be taking 5 international groups of travelers on an adventure around this beautiful Central Asian country. We made plans until September and then we’ll see which new destinations are calling to us.
What do you like the most about being a Nomad?
Being able to follow our inner compass and do what feels good. The spontaneous way of living, we can go and leave places whenever we feel like it and if a great opportunity comes on our path, we can easily say yes to it. We’re not location dependend.
Exploring new places, collecting so many experiences, meeting a lot of people from different cultural backgrounds and learning from them, the adventurous lifestyle of not knowing what will come next.
Being a nomad is very liberating and educative on many different levels
Is there something that you do not like about this lifestyle?
Cynthia: I think the hardest part for me is that I don’t see my friends and family very often. Sometimes I feel that I miss out on important events in their lifes. While time and distance is relative and true friendships and connections never fade, I sometimes wish I could meet up with my loved ones more often.
Niko: For me, it’s the same. I sometimes feel like I lack a group of friends that I can meet on a regular basis.
What is a place/country you liked the most while travelling and why?
Cynthia: It’s very hard to pinpoint one specific place or country. Every country has something special, whether it’s the people, the atmosphere, the nature,… I’m currently in love with Kyrgyzstan as I love the mountains and stunning landscapes there. I also feel at home in Essaouira, a coastal town in Morocco or in Ireland and New Zealand.
Niko: I’m in love both with Morocco and with Mexico. The laid back and easy-going attitude in both places is something I instantly fell in love with. Those two countries are also extremely sunny and have beautiful beaches and coastline.
I recently picked up surfing in Morocco and I just can’t get enough of it!
Would you like to recommend us a certain coworking space?
A great destination where they’ve recently created a lot of coworking spaces is Tblisi, the capital city of Georgia. We really recommend this country as a destination for digital nomads: it’s cheap to live there, the culture and nature is fantastic and Tbilisi is a very fun and vibrant city.
Let´s talk about community. From all these places you visited, is there a special place that you particularly liked because of community/people you met?
Niko: I would say that I have a particularly fun group of friends that I love to hang out with in Tangier. It’s a group of young Moroccans and Americans expats that all have a very positive and goal-driven attitude. Most of them are entrepreneur so I love to hang out with them and bounce business ideas back and forth.
I also have a few friends in Almaty, Kazakhstan with whom I share a similar mindset. They’re the reason why I love being in that Central Asian city so much.
Cynthia and Niko, can you tell us what is your biggest dream?
Cynthia: I’m currently living my dream. However, I also dream of publishing a book one day and would love to have exhibitions of my photos around the world. My dreams change and evolve with me and I just wish that I’ll always be able to achieve them and to keep living a happy, healthy and fullfilled lifestyle, whatever that may be in the different stages of my life.
Niko: Achieving financial freedom and being able to work from wherever I want in the world has been a dream of mine for a long time and I feel like I’m finally getting there.
Are you planning to settle down one day and if yes, which city/country you would consider?
Cynthia: Yes, I do see myself having a place of my own one day where I can come home to and really call it home. I miss having animals around me, like a cat and a dog. I don’t have a particular country in mind but I know that it will never be in a city. I’m an outdoor person so I could see myself living in a wooden cabin somewhere in nature with plenty of animals around me. I’m curious to see in which country that will be!
Niko: I would also love to settle down in nature but not too far from civilization either. I could see myself settling down on the West Coast of Canada amidst the beautiful mountains, wildlife and landscapes of that region.
Is there something that you would like to add?
Cynthia: A nomadic lifestyle isn’t always as romantic as it seems. You have good days and bad days, no matter where you are and what you do. Living like a nomad requires a lot of adaption to a country and a culture, it involves a lot of changes and insecurities. I love not knowing where the road will také me but I can imagine that not everyone would love this. The most important part is that you do whatever feels right for you – whether it’s having a home, a steady job, kids, living out of your backpack,… Just create life for yourself that makes you happy and makes you feel alive, no one else but you is in charge of your life and your decisions!
Niko: I think it’s important to find a good balance while traveling long-term. It’s great to stay longer in certain destinations, make friends with the locals and soak in the local culture.
Traveling and getting out of your comfort zone is something I think everyone should try at least once. And who knows, you might like it so much that it could become your lifestyle!