My name is Tess Andrade, a nomad that looks younger than she is. Age is but a number and in my heart I feel like I’m something between 25 – 27. Let’s leave it at that, shall we? Before I die, I want to have travelled to each and every country in this world! Sometimes I am nomadic, sometimes I settle somewhere for a while and travel as much as I can. I dedicated my life to travel.
My passion lies with Travel for Personal Development and anything that brings more serenity and Mindfulness into my life. For that reason I often blog about my travel encounters, because I believe that ultimately whenever you meet someone, you always meet yourself. Everybody has something to teach us – if we are receptive to it. There is nothing more fulfilling than leaving a country a better person than when I first arrived. I love Out-of-the-Ordinary Activities and Experiences. In short, I seek anything that makes my soul come alive, enhances my life on Earth and renders me blissfully happy! In fact, I try to try out new things every single day! My other passion is Food: I collect Recipes from all over the world passed down to me by locals. Because Food is Passion. Passion is Love. At least my tummy thinks so.
I am sometimes a Budget traveller. Sometimes I splurge and treat myself to some luxury. I house-and petsit and travel slowly. Then again I hop from country to country quickly. I couchsurf or stay in hostels or go for weeks living in AirBnb apartments. I also love living in a camper van. Like that one time I travelled through New Zealand and braved sleeping at a campsite near Mount Cook with an inside temperature of -4C…
Above all else, I love serendipitious moments.
I make it my aim in life to let life unfold before me – i look for something and find something else. In the process, I grow. Above all else, I love to immerse myself and talk to locals. In other words, I travel deeper. Sometimes off-the-path, sometimes on-the-path – but always on track to finding out more about myself. I love giving back to the communities I travel to. I travel with Purpose.
I want to Travel Deeper, Grow and let my experiences shape me and Travel with Purpose.
Hopefully I’ll encourage you to do the same…
Tess. The Rootless (& fearful) Nomad.
My life as a nomad had started from an early age. I suppose having a multi-cultural background means you are destined to travel. I was only a few months old when my parents took me on a plane to visit relatives in Portugal – my mother’s origin. Being half Portuguese and half Austrian having grown up in Switzerland made me often feel like I did not belong anywhere. Instead I felt I belonged to the world.
I would write stories as a young kid about the far-aways and was longing to meet people I had never met.
I had always been passionate about other cultures: Portugal was like a second home to me and at some point I was fluent in five languages. Whereas some of my friends would speak about settling down in the same town they were born and grew up in, the thought of doing this made me feel physically sick. I wanted something else.
I wanted the world! I wanted unconventionality! I wanted to fill up my life with adventure!
I don’t have Roots. Even though I was born in Switzerland, my blood is not Swiss. Even though I’m half Portuguese, people in Portugal think I’m a tourist because I’m fair-skinned, blonde and well…look anything else but a Mediterranean girl. I’ve only been to Austria twice and never had a relationship with my Dad’s family – so I can hardly count myself to be an Austrian. Then life took a few sad and unexpected turns: my parents passed away. I had to re-build a new home, a new life for myself – and travelling is what allowed me to do just that. Because, when you travel you are never really alone. In essence, the world indeed is my oyster!
It is peculiar to grow up rootless. But so enriching at the same time.
Over the years, travel has helped me through some pretty difficult times, by ultimately helping me to face my fears and by challenging behaviours that were no longer serving me. I learned to face myself which is what you do when you travel solo. If it wasn’t for it, I would not be who I am today. A confident, brave, adventurous woman who fights for her dreams and makes her reality happen.
I have been and am on a quest to become a better human every day and to create a happy and fulfilling life. I ultimately believe you change the world by changing yourself first….
Travel for me, is the only therapy that has ever worked. It has been the single most effective way to conquer my fears. How? By constantly exposing myself to the things that scare me the most! Boom! How badass am I, right?! And in the process, by allowing myself to come out of my shell, and learning about myself on a daily basis, I hope I can inspire you too. To conquer your fears. To spread your wings. To never never never give up – no matter what life throws at you. And to create a life that you love and that makes you blissfully happy. Anything is possible. Trust me. And you may have heard this once or twice…
Travelling is ALWAYS always a good idea!
The Decision to Travel the World
Long story short, I moved to Namibia when I was 21 and lived there for three years!
One day, a friend of mine and I drove from the capital city, Windhoek, to a coastal town and my boyfriend at the time took us in the back of his pick-up truck – or ‘bakkie’ as they call it. We had a thin foam mattress to lie on and some blankets to cover ourselves and off we drove lying in the back of the car looking up to the sky, giggling away and feeling the warmth of the African sun on our skin. This little adventure was life changing, as I realised I wanted more of this.
Travelling and new adventures made me feel alive!
3 months later I transferred my studies, sold pretty much everything I owned and moved to Namibia for good. At least I thought…It was a challenging time as I went through a tumultuous discovery of myself and essentially, to be honest, I felt very lost. I believed I needed to ‘cure’ myself from this disease of travelling. I needed to settle down somewhere and do what reasonable adultier adults did. I had not yet realised that nomadism was simply part of my existence…
Three years later, I decided to leave Africa and I moved to London. Initially my plan was to stay there for a few years, finish my distance education course and go back to Africa. Then serendipity struck again and I ended up transferring my studies again graduated in London and well…I never returned to Africa and lived a pretty much settled life in London for almost 6 years. I’m sure you can guess what happened next…
I tried to be ‘normal’ for a few years: I earned myself the law degree, worked in the Corporate world – almost lived something like a settled life and even though it was really nice, I dreamed of the countries I could visit… It’s not that I felt lost – I was quite content with the life I had. I mean, London IS still my favourite city in the world! I just felt that there was more to life…
…something simpler but richer and essentially truer to myself!
One day, in March 2014, on my way home, at King’s Cross station in London, I went into the nearby bookshop and went straight to the travel section. As my eyes wandered and I saw all the beautiful shiny Lonely Planet guides…Borneo, Chile, Ecuador, Fiji, India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam…my eyes started filling up with tears and I had this voice in my head saying:
‘You need to do this. You need to travel’.
After years of being stuck in a glass cage, not seeing the sunlight very often and working with people who had a very different idea of what a happy and fulfilling life looks like, this deep sense of unhappiness washed over me. I dreaded going to work in the mornings. I felt I had to pretend all the time. Talk the talk, walk the walk. Only that I’m a rubbish actress and like an open book. I can’t pretend to be something I am not. I didn’t want to. Why did I have to? You only live once!
I guess people noticed this too. I just did not fit in…
In April 2014 I went on a six-day trip to Tuscany. It had always been on my bucket list to spend my Birthday there. I was enjoying myself on this trip, but at the same time my mind constantly wandered back to London to this job I hated. One day when I was driving through the cypress hills near San Gimignano, I stopped the car and whispered: ‘I can’t go back to this job anymore’. I handed in my resignation and felt like I had walked out of prison. There I was, unemployed but immensely happy and relieved!
And absolutely clueless what to do next.
Over the next few weeks, I focused my attention on Law of Attraction books. On the one hand, to keep myself busy until I knew what the next step was. On the other hand, to steer away from a depression. Because if you are used to working like a maniac (in preceding years I had 18+ hour days with a full-time job and studies along-side of it) and you then find yourself having all this free time… it’s kinda scary!
But, it forced me to re-evaluate what I wanted in life and to look closely and follow my heart.
After realising that the law of attraction books were not going to bring me this all-winning lottery ticket, I started pinning my dream destinations on my world map, then I researched on travel routes for a world trip…