In 2015 I left my career in search of new places, people and experiences.
Ever since I have started travelling I have been in a state of perfect happiness, “on cloud 9” you may say! That´s why my blog is called “on Claudi 9”.
I am a 33-year old German girl. In 2015 I left my career as a bank marketing manager in the hopes that I could improve my English and experience something new. Seeing that I can speak English properly now but no longer German fluently is funny. That is one of the reasons why the blog is in English.;-)
Travelling is a passion of mine and I love exploring different countries as well as experiencing and meeting new people and unfamiliar cultures. I think my love for travel and culture began while I was still a marketing manager. As part of my former job in Germany I also had to sell and promote customer loyalty trips where we took clients to different destinations all over the world. Acting as a tour guide for my client group while in those different countries was an incredible experience and made me think about other possibilities and options in life.
Although I genuinely loved my former job I was also constantly overwhelmed by the stress of my job. In 2014 I broke up with my boyfriend after being in a 5 year relationship. I moved back to my mother’s house for 6 months to find myself and figure things out.
A really good friend of mine, Jona, decided to quit his job to go and volunteer in South Africa and after then travel the world. I hate to admit it but I was so jealous but at the same time I really admired my friend. When it comes to making massive decisions like that, most people are hesitant and afraid. I was too…
Jona´s decision had been growing in me like a little plant and made me think. Why can’t I do the same? I thought to myself. I had never been away from my home town for more than three weeks and I had never traveled on my own. But I was sooo keen to learn something new and enhance my skills. So why not learn another language? I figured and so came about the greatest decision I have ever made.
Initially I tried to convince one of my friends to join me. Fortunately, none of them were keen. Then it hit me one morning- I woke up with the plan: I was going to do what Jona did and I was going to do it on my own! As I wanted to focus on improving my English I knew, if I had gone with one of my friends we would have ended up speaking German instead of English the entire time. Even if we had tried to speak English, there would have been no way of actually improving because we couldn’t learn from each other. I knew then that my mission abroad was to hang out with locals.
In the beginning my parents were not into my plan at all. They always wanted me to get married and have kids as I was already 32 yrs old. Also, they didn’t want me to quit my secure job at the bank. As soon as I explained to them how I could benefit from that experience they got on board.
Most of my friends were also very encouraging and supportive. They were actually surprised about my plans. I was always the kind of person that needed stability and security. My friends knew me as the kind of person who was afraid of stepping out of my comfort zone. Most of them admired my courage but were also telling me they would never be able to make a decision like this.
One thing I now know: It has been the best decision I have ever made and I have never regretted it! Right now, I am living the life I always wanted to live. If you would’ve told me 2 years ago, that I would be doing this right now, I would have not believed it.
After I left my career I started travelling. Firstly, I went to the US where I took English classes for 2 months. If I look back now especially in the beginning it was horrible. As I had studied Business English before I came to the U.S I was able to give speeches about customer relationship management but I wasn’t able to speak simple English. In January 2016, I arrived in South Africa and started volunteering at Once in Cape Town, a hostel in city centre. Since then I have been travelling a lot especially throughout Southern Africa to explore new countries and meet new people. I have done many things which I would have never thought I would do.
Number 1: It´s all about being happy:
I have met many people that are just focusing on money. Yes, you do need money for living but the most important thing I have learned is: it´s all about being happy – money does not buy you happiness.
Number 2: Life is beautiful:
Enjoy every day and be thankful.
Number 3: Everything happens for a reason:
People tend to focus on bad things that happen to them. For me everything happens for a reason. Initially you might not be able to see why something happened but one day it will come to you. So be patient.
Number 4: Don’t let your girlfriends hook up with ugly guys.
Doesn’t need any explanation.
Number 5: As you go along you learn:
While you are travelling and meeting people from all over the world, you learn something from all of them, regardless of age.
Number 6: Spend your money in the right way:
I have learned a lot about how to travel with as little money as possible or also how to travel for free and make the most out of your money.
Well, most travel bloggers and blogs tend to focus on the tourist spots when travelling. Having bloggers doing this is important as not everyone is keen to travel and experience countries like the way I do.
However, I want to give advice as well but I decided to focus more on experiencing unfamiliar cultures, traditions and the people that live in the countries I am travelling to. I want you to experience countries like a local. I want you to stay with locals, move with locals, eat with locals, get to know locals – really, just to get the most out of your travel experience. Also I have listened to lots of stories of people who have never travelled before. What I found were lots of misconceptions about countries and the people that live there. I feel it is my mission to clarify that and to encourage others to broaden their horizons by travelling.
Along my travels, I have been told that I have the ability to bring people together. I really want to make the most of my skills and connect people from all over the world. As ‘connecter’, I decided that I didn’t want to limit the blog to my mother tongue. My posts will be in English as I want as many people as possible to have access to my content. Please do keep in mind that English isn´t my mother tongue. There will be a few mistakes here and there but blogging is a perfect way for me to improve.
So please, come, follow my blog and I am going to lift you up on Claudi 9 as well.