Pau – From the Warm South to the Cold North
Pau is a self-made man. He has used traveling as a way to improve himself as a person and learning the social skills he needed in order to live a life on the road. His biggest fear is being stuck in a 9-5 job and repeating the same actions over and over again.
1) Who inspired you to travel?
I would say all the people I’ve been meeting since I began to travel and also myself. Both sides have inspired me. Since I began taking trains and planes alone I realized how meeting people depended only on myself and how I needed to improve my social skills. Talking with strangers and meeting people on the way has been my favorite part of traveling even though it was also my biggest fear. I just love interactions right now and I’m not sure if I would travel to all the places I could see in the world if I was the only inhabitant on earth.
2) What is your biggest fear?
My biggest fear is finding myself stuck in the typical 40 hour a week schedule, working for somebody else and looking around and seeing that I’m doing the same over and over again, with no excitement or daily adventures. Don’t get me wrong, I love my rituals. My coffees before work, my little Spanish “siesta” after lunch… But I believe there must be room for certain unknown and maybe make other people be part of it. That’s why lately I’ve been giving lots of compliments to strangers. “I love your hat”, “cool tattoo”, “I love your hair”. Simple acts like this scared the hell out of me but I’m getting better, and I feel that I overcome a fear every time I do so. Plus you end up in awesome conversations you wouldn’t even think it would be possible just commenting how a cute dog that was.
3) What is the most memorable moment you’ve had while traveling?
On the top of my head I can think of one. I recently moved to Västerås, a city in Sweden without knowing a single soul. After three weeks I was already meeting some friends at a café to work, dating a girl and greeting people on the streets. I’ve seen awesome places like the Rocky Mountains in Canada or hidden towns in Norway, but my most memorable moment so far has been realizing how far I’ve become in terms of a person. After being the most introvert teen to being able to meet that many people and being the person I like to be with them.
4) Who would you want to be stranded with on a deserted island?
I can think of my friend Jan from Germany, who I met in Canada and we traveled together a couple of countries. He’s the most chilled and easygoing person I’ve never met. I’m sure he would agree to not eat each other. Oh, and he looks like Prince Harris.
5) Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without on travels?
My laptop! I have my data on the cloud just in case something happens to it, but even if I travel without internet I still need to write, learn languages or do something productive.
6) What does your family and friends say about you travelling so often?
They got used to it already. Most of my friends nowadays are international and I’ve met them on the way, but my hometown friends know that we won’t be seeing each other for many months a year. Before starting this digital nomad journey I’ve been annoying them with my ideas for almost 10 years… My mother is the most scared person you would ever meet. She just suffers like crazy when we go to next town by car, but if I call her everyday she is more calmed. One of my sisters totally understands me since she travelled a lot herself already, she even visited more countries that me… I think we are making a competition out of it now.
7) If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. Props to the African proverbs 🙂
8) What’s on the top of your bucket list right now?
High-five a penguin in the Antarctica.
9) What is the worst misadventure you’ve had during your travels?
Even though right now I travel alone and I don’t have problems to socialize anymore, a few years back I found myself in the US without knowing anybody and not being able to talk to strangers or do anything for myself. It was one of the scariest feelings. I was spending my money, time and resources to be adventurous for nothing. That’s when I realized traveling wasn’t about places, that was just 50% of it.
10) What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Surströmming. The smell is super bad, but the taste is quite nice. If you check on youtube theres plenty of people throwing up because of that fermented smell…
11) How do you make money and control your expenses to be on the road so often?
I run my own company, as self-empoyee and thankfully I don’t need much money to live or fancy luxuries. I go for the cheapest rents and options. So at the end of the day is just about controlling how much you making – company maintenance – food – housing and the the rest is for changing location and traveling.
12) Have you ever traveled alone, why or why not? If yes, where did you go the first time you did?
I did travel alone and I keep doing it, but that just at the beginning, the whole point of traveling alone is to be completely open to meeting new people and not being alone when you leave to another place, leaving friends behind (one of the hardest things). I’ve always felt that the more people you are travelling with from a start the less you open to the new people, because it feels like the groups of friends are closed and already made.
13) Tell me about the craziest or most unforgettable night out during your travels.
I have two sides. I enjoyed deep conversation with strangers for the whole night but I also ended up all drunk, being the crazies bump in the pub, ending up in somebody else’s bed. I think balance all that is key and not end up in some extreme forever.
14) Where did you go on your most recent road trip?
The last real one was in Canada; I cannot wait to do one on the northern countries.
15) What is one travel advice you’d like to give?
Enjoy every little detour, enjoy them a lot, because that way you will find what is more important than what you were initially looking for