I believe life is about experiences, moments and the people you meet along the way. In the “Inspiring Travelers” Interview series we get to know people, who are pursuing real life experiences and inspire others to live life.
Today we get to know Mogli’s story and his van Balu.
Tell us a little about yourself, Mogli!
I’m not an employee, I don’t live according to certain rules formed by our society and generally live life in a different way.
I was born in 1986 in Plauen, Germany and over the years my travel bug grew and grew until I could no longer hide it. Since 2014 I’m a full-time nomad and I live in my 31 year old VW van. I’m building an online business to pursue a life how I want it – location independent and free.
How did you end up driving in a van around the world?
My parents kept telling me, if I ever get the chance to see the world, I should grab it! As a teenager I started to feel the urge to got out and simply pursue what makes me happy! But at that time, I didn’t move abroad and I earned a degrees at university and got another education as well. Despite studying for some years I never gave up on my dreams and enjoyed each and every moment. I had this one dream of buying my own VW Bus. I moved to Switzerland, worked there for 5 1/2 months in a ski resort and bought myself a VW Bus. Balu was born. We have traveled to over 17 different countries ever since.
Is there a certain inspiration, that motivates you on a daily basis? Which one?
Yes, my burning desire to explore everything life has to offer, to enjoy every moment and simply live! It’s an amazing feeling if you aren’t forced to do something, simply because you get told to. Peace of mind and the impulses I set, are what makes life unique and worthwhile.
Meanwhile, I have people around me, who support my ideas and my unique way of life. This way, I can learn and guide this life to the best possible version.
One sentence to describe you best:
Oh, that’s a tough one. Let me try it like this:
“Life-living globetrotter trying to build the version of himself, with a vision to inspire others, to look for something else in life than the 9-5 cubicle.”
How would you describe me?
What are the biggest obstacles in your adVANture lifestyle?
There quite a few. Obstacles put me out of my comfort zone, so I don’t necessarily see them as a setback, but a challenge and as a chance to grow.
Meeting new people, changing places often and being on the road feels natural to me, so I’m used to that. However, the single biggest issue is the financial one. In my early travel days I used to have part time jobs to earn a few coins and keep myself above the water. Nowadays I earn money online as a virtual assistant. Therefore I need a solid internet connection wherever I go.
I keep pushing myself to put in the daily work and I know I’m on the right way to be the best version of myself.
Why is travelling so important?
Travelling is freedom, love, interaction, tasting, smelling, different cultures.
Simply the best way to learn and grow as a person…
If you would try to persuade someone to travel, what tip would you give to that person?
I don’t want to persuade anyone. I want to inspire people. My tip is to be open-minded and be unbiased about the beauty of this world.
Tell us about an inspiring travel experiences or your favorite travel experience.
Wow.. I’ve been on the road for years and picking just one moment ist not easy! But I’ll try it!
During my last Balkan road trip I drove through Montenegro. I stopped on a small camping site in the Tara Canyon, below the Tara Bridge. (It’s the second largest Canyon, after the Gran Canyon) I’ve met a couple from Berlin, who travelled with a van as well. At first, they wanted to drive onward later that day, but we hit it off straight away and talked about travel and life for hours. We decided to buy some wine, build a bonfire and enjoy this moment. Just take a look at this picture and let the moment sink in. This moment reflected Van Life for me in a perfect way!
Where is your journey heading? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What would you say to your 5-year younger self?
I don’t know where I will be in 5 years and I don’t want to know. I want to inspire people to go out and live their life and show them some cool spots around the world. Maybe I have a special someone to share this journey with soon as well. Who knows 😉
I’d tell my 5-year younger self to start learning about personality development. This is the key to yourself, and not all the crazy parties every weekend. I don’t have any regrets, but it’s never too early to start altercate with yourself.
How do you finance your trips and life?
Like I said before, during the last couple years I had various part time jobs. For one year now, I work as a freelancer and earn my money online.
Do you have a daily Routine? How does it look like?
Daily routines are lethal. I don’t travel like a maniac. I don’t stay for 2 days in one place and move on. If I like it somewhere, I stay for some time, until I feel like it’s time to move on. Like a proper nomad! But I try to do sport everyday and I do some work on my laptop – that’s the closest I am to a daily routine though.
Your favourite quote?
Dreams are just another reality!
Which place is high on top your Wanted-List? Why?
There are numerous places, that inspire me. Usually someone around me talks about a place and I pick it up. Like last time, I overheard a story about Bali. The idea of going there was inside me for quite some time and the urge to eventually go there grew bigger. Now I’m on my way there. What I’m trying to say is, that I never really plan to go somewhere, but it literally just happens. For next year – maybe Japan, maybe Africa or maybe North Pole? You never know?
Is there something you actively look for on your travels?
The process of travelling and living on the road is a constant state of development and learning. I try to be the best version of myself and this is the journey I look for on my travels. It feels good and I don’t want to give up on this feeling!
Which message are you trying to spread?
The society we are living in, keeps us on a low level of ourselves. But that’s not how it’s supposed to be.
The most important thing in life is YOU. Therefore, start to break free, start to travel, start to develop and work on yourself to be a better version of yourself.
What does success or being successful means to you?
Success means to follow your heart, to live conscious in every moment, to love and to smile at the end of your life with no regrets.
Success has nothing to do with money. Success is a feeling inside you. As long as you are true to yourself and live conscious, you are successful.
Where do you feel home?
Wherever I am!
Which book or movie is your biggest inspiration?
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
If you’d be a city, which one would you be? Why?
Maybe Barcelona – Cool, sporty, connected to the ocean and a unique style!
Haha, did I just describe myself like this? Crazy!
Who should talk about his life next on the “Inspiring Travelers” interview series?
There are so many inspiring people out there. I don’t want to favour anyone. I’m convinced that the ones, who are appropriate will get a chance to tell their story here. I’m looking forward to it!
Good bye words
Follow your heart and open your eyes! There are so many incredible things, that wait to be experienced and change doesn’t necessarily has to be a bad thing. Give it a try! 😉
I would love to meet you on my blog. I invite you to visit www.lifeofbalu.com and be part of the adVANture.
Peace & Love
Follow Mogli’s journey: