About Us

Welcome!

We are Maria Wulff Hauglann and Espen Egeland, two travel nerds from Norway who love to explore the world!

Nerd Nomads Maria & Espen
Maria & Espen exploring Sri Lanka by Tuk Tuk (2017)

WHAT IS NERD NOMADS?

Nerd Nomads is a travel site that we started in 2014 to share our love of travel and help others realize their travel dreams. Here you will find in-depth travel guides, inspirational stories from the road, practical travel tips, and detailed travel itineraries. In short, we strive to give our readers everything they need to plan their trip.

Our focus is on the Asian continent that we love and know very well, having traveled there extensively for over twenty years, as well as our home country of Norway.

Through the years, Nerd Nomads has become known for our in-depth, and some might say “nerdy” travel guides. Our articles have been referred to in magazines and newspapers such as National Geographic, Forbes, The New York Times, CNET, and Al Jazeera.

By 2018 we had grown to become one of the world’s 50 largest travel blogs, and as much as we dislike the term, were considered among the world’s top travel influencers.

WHO ARE WE?

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 shared a mutual passion for traveling. We decided to take the last year of our master’s degrees at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. During that year we explored Australia as much as possible.

After finishing our master’s degrees in 2005, we took off on a long journey through Asia. Our adventure took us through Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, and China. That trip changed our life, and from that moment we were hooked on traveling, adventures, and challenging our comfort zone.

On our first Asia adventure together (2005) – The Great Wall of China

For the next few years, we traveled as much as we could, taking advantage of the five weeks of holiday Norwegians get each year. But once you’ve been bitten by the travel bug, you always want more.

We do not follow maps to buried treasure and X never, ever marks the spot. Indiana Jones

Not all those who wander are lost. J.R.R Tolkien

About Maria Wulff Hauglann:
Maria is a Norwegian traveler who has explored more than thirty countries on four continents. She holds a master’s degree in Computer Science, as well as an MBA. In 2018 she gave up her career in IT for a life of full-time travel.

Maria gets along with almost everybody, from tuk-tuk drivers to pushy sellers. She is positive, and open-minded and has difficulty saying no, leading to many new adventures. Even though she is super scared of new things, she loves to challenge her fears through telemark skiing, diving, surfing, and kiting.

Still, a lazy day on the beach with good friends and family is also great. She loves dogs and animals in general, except spiders, snakes, and sharks! Another passion of hers is shopping and fashion, so watch out shopping malls around the world!

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So 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!

THE BEGINNING OF NERD NOMADS

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 we have written hundreds of in-depth travel guides on Asia (and more is coming), answered thousands of questions and comments, and replied to hundreds of emails.

In 2018 Maria quit her day job and we finally became full-time Nerd Nomads together. It was the dream we always hoped for coming true. But then just a few months later, while traveling through Indonesia, Maria caught Dengue fever. It took almost a full year for her to recover. And then we all know what happened in 2020…

As we write 2021 and the world is finally opening up again, we are ready and eager to set out on the road. In many ways, it feels like we are just getting started.

Borobudur Temple in Indonesia
Enjoying the sunrise at Borobudur Temple, Java, Indonesia (2014)

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 stigmatized by a perceived lack of social skills, but rather one that celebrates the mad, the inspired, and the passionate!

About Espen Egeland:
Espen, got his start as an independent traveler at age 19, when he packed his backpack and bought a one-way ticket to Indonesia in search of adventure. Since then he has explored more than thirty countries across six continents.

Espen holds a master’s degree in computer science and is a film nerd, a fantasy literature buff, and a wannabe filmmaker. In 2014 he quit his day job as a developer to travel the world full time.

He always wanted to be Indiana Jones exploring the ancient treasures of the world. Or James Bond, playing blackjack at the Monte Carlo casino.

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May The
Travel Force
Be With You!

NERD NOMADS’S MISSION

Our goal is to create travel articles, photography, and videos that we would find inspiring and helpful when planning a journey. Guides that are accurate, detailed, up-to-date, and based on experiences from travelers that have been there and experienced both the good and the bad first-hand.

We decided early on not to accept paid or free travel, go on press trips or publish sponsored content. Instead, we prefer to travel independently and pay for our trips. That way, we can go where we want, have authentic local experiences, and maintain complete control over every word written on Nerd Nomads.

You may have noticed that there are no ads on Nerd Nomads. We think ads hurt the reader experience and want to keep the site ad-free and reader-supported for as long as possible.

When we genuinely love a tour or accommodation and decide to write about it, we may use an affiliate link. If you choose to book through them, such links earn us a small percentage at no extra cost to you. We truly appreciate the support!

In short, we are on a mission to create the world’s best travel content!

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 stream our favorite tv shows, and we will tell you if it just sucks.

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) send us an email any time.

Shibuya Crossing is the most popular sight in Shibuya, Tokyo, and is the busiest crossing in the world
Shibuya Crossing Tokyo, Japan (2019) – the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world