#33 Conni Biesalski from Berlin, Germany

Hi, I’m Conni, originally from Germany. I have lived all around the world since I was a teenager and have been a digital nomad since February 2012.

I help people live and work location-independent while embracing a conscious, healthy and spiritual lifestyle.

I created Germany’s most popular travel blog Planet Backpack and run an online school for professional blogging, Blog Camp. I also give workshops and talks at conferences around the world.

I am a wandering yogi and surfer, certified yoga teacher, spiritual freedom seeker and I live on a plant-based diet.

You can follow me on Instagram and YouTube.

1. How and why did you choose to go nomadic?

I always had a pretty nomadic life since I was a teenager, living all over the world. Travelling was also always my priority in life, I just couldn’t get enough.

In 2011, I came back to Germany after travelling and working as a scuba dive instructor for a few years. I got my first real “grown-up” job in a PR agency, but after a month I realised that I just couldn’t do this 9-5 thing. I felt so trapped and as if my life was just passing by while I was sitting in an office every day.

So I started looking for alternatives, stumbled upon Tim Ferriss’ book and got started with my own online business. I quit my job eight months later and began making an income by offering freelance services for social media management, translations, WordPress websites and Online PR. At the same time, I started my travel blog Planet Backpack.

2. What was it like leaving your home country?

Since I had lived in several different countries and had been travelling long-term many times before I became a digital nomad, it wasn’t all that big of a deal anymore.. I had already left home so many times, eventually it was just part of life.

I am not a huge fan of living in Germany, it just doesn’t make me very happy for lots of reasons. There are so many other places around the world that tick lots of boxes for me. However, I do enjoy going back home to visit friends and family once or twice a year for a few weeks.

3. What are your biggest struggles? Fears?

My biggest struggle is to walk the fine line of building deeper connections and community and my desire for freedom and exploring the world. It is difficult to form real meaningful friendships if you don’t stay in places long enough. But I need deep connections like I need the air to breathe – so I started to slow down. I like the concept of a homebase, from which to explore the world. Bali was that place for me for almost two years. I am now looking for a new homebase…

4. How are you funding your lifestyle and what projects are you working on?

Mostly through affiliate marketing through Planet Backpack with Amazon and a travel credit card and the sales of my e-book course  It’s called Digital, unabhängig, frei: Die Kunst überall zu leben und zu arbeiten (“Digital, Independent, Free: The Art of Living and Working Anywhere”) – I am also working on an English version.

My blog has grown to one of Germany’s most popular travel blogs with more than 130.000 readers a month and is my main focus these days – besides making videos and growing my YouTube channel.

I have been involved in several other business ventures with a business partner in the past, such as Blog Camp – an online course for professional blogging- and a tourism media agency called Transit Media.

I have given talks and workshops on business, marketing, blogging, being a digital nomad and healthy living all over the world and continue to do so sometimes.

5. What is the estimated monthly cost of living for one of your favorite locations? What lifestyle does that afford?

So let’s take Canggu, Bali, the place I have spent a lot of time in the last two years. I would say, on average, I spent about 1800 USD per month. This would allow me a VERY comfortable western-style lifestyle, living in a very nice shared villa with pool and maid three times a week, lots of healthy vegan food and green smoothies, as well as lots of other amazing luxuries.

My income allows for a nice lifestyle and I like to live healthy every day. Of course, you can live much cheaper in Bali and spend way less money than I do when I am there.

Here is my rough breakdown:

  • Rent and Electricity = 650 USD
  • Food = 600 USD
  • Yoga = 130 USD
  • Scooter and gas = 70 USD
  • Co-Working Space = 130 USD
  • Massages/Spa treatments = 100 USD
  • Mobile phone 4G = 15 USD
  • Miscellaneous = 100 USD

Right now, I am in Medellin and I spend about 500 USD on rent for a room in a shared house and around 10-15 USD a day on food. Unlimited yoga pass is 35 USD and 2GB mobile data is about 10 USD.

6. What is your top tip for someone who aspires to earn money online and travel?

Learn copywriting and online marketing.

If there are two essential things I advise you to master in the beginning of your journey to become an entrepreneur – two things that are indispensable for starting your own online business – they would be these:

  1. Learn how to write web content and create texts with the ability to get your target audience to do certain actions (e.g. sign up to your newsletter, subscribe to your YouTube channel, buy your product).
  2. Learn how to market the stuff you create.

It couldn’t be simpler. Pay attention to these two areas, and you’ll rock your online business and whatever you decide to do.

I give many more tips in my recently published blogpost Here is What I Have Learned After 5 Years as a Digital Nomad.

Any final thoughts?

Don’t plan too much. Expect ups and downs. Take time offline. Travel slow and spend several months in one place at a time. Take care of your health and your heart.

You can follow and contact me on my English blog here www.connibiesalski.com