It’s been almost three years since we got married in a Polish fort and said goodbye to our families to embark on our nomadic lives in Asia. We promised ourselves then we’d set up a blog. We even bought this domain name: www.beinganomad.com.
But life kind of got in the way. And ‘way led on to way’ as Robert Frost put it. One thing led to another and we lost track of the time to do what we wanted.
With 2017 looming, we started to ask questions. We were spending our lives living in exotic climes. But could we really call ourselves nomads?
The answer was a resounding no!
Allow us to introduce ourselves. Her name is Ola, his is Chris. Right now, we’re both teaching English in Xiamen, China. We’ve both spent time living in South Korea, Poland, China, and the UK. But our real passion is in the travelling: the vistas that rush past from the train windows, the fresh air that enters our lungs from the highest points. The lapping of waves against silver sands, and the profound truths one can only learn from interacting with a diverse range of people daily.
That is what we live for.
We decided last month that we weren’t doing enough. We lived on the other side of the world. But we didn’t spend as much time exploring as we would like.
This blog is a way to keep us accountable. We don’t just want to see the world and live in new places, we want to truly absorb those places into who we are. Also, we want to share our adventures and what we learn on the road with the world.
Pico Iyer gave a wonderful TED talk about living in so many places. There’s a large country worth out there of people like us. It’s hard in this kind of life to label yourself as having any nationality, and so we often name ourselves ‘internationals’. We also yearn for the taste of the unfamiliar, and why? Because it teaches us so much more about ourselves.
Pico Iyer: Where Is Home
We want to make this blog interesting for travelers, nomads, and anyone who aspires to be either. Whatever your story, feel free to reach out and tell us about yourself.
Now let us introduce ourselves individually and briefly tell our stories.
Hi I’m Chris. I’m British, originally born in Manchester, and I first started my nomadic life in 2010. I’d been programming for five years. But I had started to find the work dreary and I dreamt of living in far off places. Staring at a computer screen all day just didn’t cut it for me anymore.
I’d done some traveling. My job had sent me to the Antibes, off the Cote D’Azur in France where I’d lived for four months. I’d also backpacked partially around Eastern Europe and I’d soaked up the splendours of Borneo, Morocco, and Tanzania.
So, I gained a CELTA qualification to teach English and jetted off to South Korea. Ola (my girlfriend then, now my wife) joined me there.
After a year and some visa problems, we returned to live in England. I found a job as a technical author in a small town in Surrey called Chertsey. But it didn’t have the same appeal as Korea and so we didn’t last for very long there.
I then taught English in Poland for two years before returning to China where we are now.
I’m also a writer, both of fiction and non-fiction. From July, I aim to stop teaching and work online. I’ve already started making money on UpWork.com and I’m convinced I can do it full time.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
My name is Ola and I’m from Poland. I was born in Poznan, but grew up in a small town in Northwest Poland called Szczecinek (any guesses how to pronounce it?).
For a long time I was fascinated by astronomy, so I chose it as my major at university.
But after a few years I had to accept that being a scientist wasn’t for me. I needed a break, so I decided to go to London for the summer. I loved how multicultural the city was and how I could meet people from different sides of the world. So, I stayed there for 5 years.
I always liked teaching, and so I decided to do a CELTA, which is a qualification in teaching English. There, for the first time, I met people who were thinking about teaching in other countries. I also met my future husband there. A year later, I joined him in South Korea.
Since then I’ve discovered how much I love learning languages. On top of Polish and English, I also speak Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and some Korean. I’m planning to take up Vietnamese soon as well.
I also like reading and dancing. And travelling, of course…
You can learn more about me and my passion for languages at: www.coffeeandlanguages.com.
Thank you so much for reading, we look forwards to sharing our nomadic experiences, both past and present, as we hop from place to place. We’ll aim for at least one of us to post each week, every Monday.
Also, if you like any of our posts, including this one, feel free to share them on social media or to leave us a comment and say hi.