About Me

You might have stumbled across this site for the first time or might have been here before but couldn’t find much information about the author…So who am I?

Me? Call me a traveller, a visitor, not a tourist, nor a terrorist (in some ways ocasionally similar, IMHO). Call me interesting (or not?!), slow, lost in the world and found in myself (or the other way around?), sometimes annoying, sometimes amazing, often quiet and thoughtful, yet bubbly around the right people, adventurous, last-minute-man, improviser, improver, critical yet positive; German


…or just Bruno!

Once I lived in an idyllic, green BlackForest[wiki] valley with cows and horses grazing on the slopes and a little crystal-clear stream winding its way to join the Danube River’s[wiki] main source river Breg, which itself originates from another idyllic valley only a few kilometers upstream. The little town of Furtwangen[wiki] is not a bad place to grow up if you don’t mind a lack of entertainment options: natural surroundings, pretty good educational institutions and the lowest unemployment rate of Germany (apparently).

I definitively enjoyed growing up in “the woods”, who knows how I would have ended up if I had stayed in big-city Berlin[wiki], where I spent my earlier childhood years.

Anyway, I always had the urge to go out and explore. According to my parents my first solo trip was at the age of 2 when I managed to sneak out in order to visit my best friend some 12 km away. My mother only noticed my absence one hour later. By the time she found me I had half the distance covered…

During highschool I decided to go abroad as an exchange student. My preferred country was New Zealand[wiki] but unfortunately I couldn’t afford the program fees and chose the cheapest option: the USA[wiki].

Thus I spent 6 months in “The Big Sky Country” Montana[wiki] trying to fit into a family of christian ministers with a ten year old host brother who was a bigger know-it-all than me (which is pretty hard to beat!). All in all they were awesome people! They really tried to integrate me into their little family with dog (something I always wanted) Even though I never really got used to curfews, language + TV + music + etc taboos and no-compromise/no-discussion attitude… none of which ever existed in my (German) family. But hey, it’s all part of the experience. I wouldn’t want to miss my time in an American family/household/church community/high school (with ca 50 students probably the smallest secondary school I have ever seen; being part of it as a senior[wiki] makes it all the better)!

My exchange year opened my eyes and with it my mind. I realised that there is more to the world, more places to see, more cultures to meet, more languages to learn! I caught the travel bug! I mean, it has kind of always been there, with my parents travelling quite a bit (also with my brother and me)…

Coming back from the US, I unfortunately still had 3.5 years of German high school to go through before I would graduate and dropping out wasn’t an option - I want to go to university at some point.

My motivation for school was gone. Did I maybe fall victim of senioritis? ;-)
I tried to distract myself from school with as many hobbies and social commitment as possible; not to forget Computers, a more and more time consuming passion if not addiction, which rapidly replaced precious sleep time.

President of the Student body, member of the search and rescue lifeguards team (DLRG[en][wiki]), volunteer paramedic for the Red Cross[wiki], Youth Leader for the Protestant Church[wiki] were some of those commitments.
Regularly (more or less) practised sports were rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, badminton, and swimming.
Computerwise I found special interest in (web)design, webdevelopment (initially only HTML, later on javascript, CSS, PHP, MySQL, Flash) and video editting.

Somehow I survived those last years of school with frequent fits of sometimes severe unpunctuality (no wonder with an average of 3.5 hrs of sleep a week night) and the resulting problems with teachers and fellow students; all that without spending much energy on learning, homework or the like…
And my GPA/final results were still a good average, not comparable with my grades in earlier years but still pretty good taken the circumstances!

Finally I was free! Free to go!
Well, it took me several more months before I actually managed to let go of my life in Germany. I spent way to much time on building up a community website for my graduation class, which nobody ever really used before it went off the net in June 2006 (noone has even asked me about it since). It had a pretty high google page rank and was at the top of many related web searches…maybe I should revive it some day?!
Another commercial website project went on for ages, as the clients were slow answering and providing content… at least it financed the first bit of my trip.
A trip to Scandinavia and numerous journeys within Germany shortened the time as well. And just before I left Germany for the big trip, I spent 2 months working in Austria in different ski areas. Great experience that!

Finally, on April 9th 2003 I said goodbye to my family and took a night train to Berlin. In Berlin I still had to arrange my visa for Russia, which didn’t work out… Optimistic as I am I still boarded a bus to Riga, Latvia…
and the adventure began…………….