How to Travel the World Using Your Talent

NIONradio Ep. 104

In this week’s Nion highlight, I want to introduce you to a friend of mine that I met in Antarctica last year, Mark Van Der Heijden. When we met in Antarctica, Mark was doing a really cool project called The Backpacker Intern. For two years, Mark traveled around the world trading his copywriting skills for room & board. He got to see so many incredible places and has some amazing stories.

If you’re a creative and want to travel more, Mark has some great advice. Plus he has just launched a new company called Wanderbrief that allows anyone to do what he did. I love this concept because, as you know, I’m a huge fan of travel and of interning, and combining these two things to adventure around the world while gaining work experience is such an incredible idea.

Listen in to hear how Mark started his journey, how he ended up in Antarctica where we met, and why you have to think less and do more.

“You can always keep fighting and hustling.”

Some things we learn in this podcast:

  • How Mark came up with The Backpacker Intern [4:30]
  • The value of personal projects [3:20]
  • Why you should live in the moment [8:15]
  • The importance of networking [10:15]
  • How Mark ended up in Antarctica [18:30]
  • Why you have to think less and do more [21:45]
  • What is Wanderbrief [22:05]
  • Why he values cross-cultural exchange [26:40]
  • How to stay positive [27:45]

Links mentioned:


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Nick Onken is a photographer, author, and creative entrepreneur. In NIONradio he dives underneath the hood and into the mind of successful creative entrepreneurs, brilliant business minds, and other highly influential personalities. Discover how to make a living with your art, create your own creative lifestyle, and push past the fears that hold you back. Listen in to get inspired and unlock you inner creative.

Connect with Nick: Instagram | Twitter | Website

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