Who We Are
We both grew up in Norway, Espen in Oslo and Maria in Tromsø. We met during our studies in Computer Science at the University of Tromsø, and soon found out that we both had a passion for traveling. We decided to take the last year of our master’s degrees at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. During that semester we traveled to other places in Australia as often as we had time, in between the programming.
After finishing our master’s degrees in 2005, we took off traveling through Asia for five months. Our adventure took us through Singapore, Bali, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and China. That trip changed our life, and from that moment we were hooked on travelling, adventures and pushing our limits from the safe and normal life at home. Since then we have been traveling every year, taking advantage of the five weeks of holiday Norwegians get each year. We have made trips to USA, Vietnam, the Philippines, Guatemala, Europe and several times to Thailand (our second home).
Not all those who wander are lost.
We do not follow maps to buried treasure and X never, ever marks the spot.
Maria gets a long with almost everybody, from tuk-tuk drivers to pushy sellers. She is mostly happy, positive and openminded. She has difficulty saying no, which leads to a lot of new adventures. Even though she is superscared of new dangerous things, she loves to challenge her fears and achieve adrenalinekicks through telemark skiing, diving, surfing and kiting. Still a lazy day on the beach with good friends and family is also great. Another passion of hers is shopping and fashion, so watch out all shopping malls around the world! She loves dogs and animals in general, except spiders, snakes and sharks!
Then in 2013 we took another big step towards satisfying our never-ending craving for traveling, taking off from our IT jobs in Norway and heading out into the world. We left our safe Norwegian harbor in October 2013, with not much planned or booked, only a one-way ticket to Bangkok. Along the way we indulged in our passions for photography, eating great and strange food, scuba diving, surfing, kiting, yoga, mountain trekking and just hanging around on all the beautiful beaches we could find on our way!
A few months later in April of 2014, this blog was born. We wanted to create a place to talk about travel, to share our experiences from the road, and to help anyone wanting to travel, but who perhaps felt a little intimidated by the unknown.
Since then Nerd Nomads has grown to become one of the fifty largest travel blogs in the world. We have written in-depth travel guides on much of South East Asia (and more is coming), answered thousands of questions and comments, and replied to hundreds of emails. Its been quite the ride and hopefully, we are just getting started.
In 2018 Maria quit her day job and we finally become full-time Nerd Nomads. It was the dream we always hoped for coming true. But then just a few months later, while traveling through Indonesia, Maria became very sick with Dengue fever. It took almost a full year for her to recover.
As we now write 2020, we are finally well and ready to set out on the road again. The mission is unchanged, to create the worlds best travel content for you. We hope you come along!
Why Nerd Nomads?
Nerd Nomads is written by nerds for nerds. And by nerd we mean anyone that is truly passionate and curious about the world we live in. Be it its diverse culture, its food, languages, sports, pop culture, music or technology.
“Nerd. One whose unbridled passion for something defines who they are as a person, without fear of other people’s judgment.” —Zachary Levi
To us, a nerd is someone who is so enthusiastic and passionate about their interests, that it is contagious. We have nerdy friends that will use their holiday traveling to all the locations where the 1969 James Bond film “On Her Majestys Secret Service” was shot. We have nerdy friends that will tour Scotland to taste all the local Whiskey. We have nerdy friends who can happily harp on and on about a particular ski brand. And some who will discuss Raw food endlessly.
Our definition of “nerd” is not stigmatised by a perceived lack of social skills, but rather one that celebrates the mad, the inspired, and the passionate!
Espen is a film nerd, a fantasy literature buff and a wannabe filmmaker, who quit his day job is as a freelance developer to travel the world. He always wanted to be Indiana Jones exploring the ancient treasures of the world. Or James Bond, playing blackjack at the Monte Carlo casino.
Be With You!
What to Expect?
Expect us to geek out on any and all things interesting we come across on our journey! The people we meet, the sights we visit, the beaches, the food, and the hotels and shopping.
We will tell you if we find a particularly great bookstore, and any cool travel gear and apps we try out. We will tell you if a hotel has broadband fast enough to download the latest Game of Thrones episode, or if it chokes on “AintItCool.com”. We may also talk a bit about photography and film-making while on the road. And we will give you all our little tips and tricks we use to travel in style (well, mostly).
Follow our travels and adventures, and come along where we go. Hopefully, this blog will inspire you and give you some valuable and practical tips for your next holiday, be it short or long.
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If you are not sick of us yet and want to know even more about us, read our answers to the 11 questions we got when we received the Liebster Award.
If you have any questions, comments or just want to talk about travel (our favorite subject) you can reach us at any time through our contact page.