About me

Aloha, my name is Marco Morawec and I am exploring this world since 2001. I grew up in Germany, worked in South Africa, studied in Spain and spent the last four years living and falling in love with beautiful Hawai’i. I surf world class waves, hike into the deepest canyon of the world and eat radical food along the way.

Right now I’m traveling around the world on a $25 a day budget while sharing my mind blowing adventures and creative travel advice for the shoestring traveler.

With my blog I teach you how you can travel the world on a $25 a day budget as well!

If you like that idea, why don’t you make the first step and get free updates to my 25 Dollar Travel blog or join my 25 Dollar Travel Facebook Community.


I grew up in a tiny little village in the South of Germany. So tiny in fact that my family never bought milk from the store but instead sent me directly to the farmer buying two liters of milk that came straight out of the cows right in front of me. The milk was so fresh that it was still warm from the cows utter. I remember it was so fresh that is was still warm.

Together with my family we traveled every summer to a different location. I remember when I was five years old how we drove for three days and two nights straight from Germany to Greece to spend six weeks at a remote beach. And what kind of beach it was! It was heaven on earth to me and I think right then and there my passion for traveling was born. I didn’t know it at the time, but when I look back at the long drive in the car and the amazing sensation of arriving in absolute paradise (which at the time meant a lot of sand for sandcastles and great trees to climb) I’m sure it triggered some kind of travel spark that eventually grew into a full-blown travel fire.

First Travels and University

After finishing High School and the obligatory German social service (the alternative to the army where on helps people in need and gives back to the community) I had a 2 month break and a bit of money in my saving account. I took all my money, bought a rusty and old VW Camper Van and spent the summer exploring and surfing the entire coast of France. I cooked all my own meals, didn’t drink and rather sang bad and loud at the campfire at night than going partying in the clubs. It was me, my camper van and not a single worry in my mind.

After I returned to Germany I looked deep into my pockets and realized that I spent less than half my money. It was then that I realized:

You don’t need money to explore the world, you simply need to follow the voice in your heart.

After I realized that seeing the world is completely possible I was hooked and off to another travel adventure before my first winter semester at University was really over. I literary put the last word on my last exam of the semester, waved a goodbye to my beer drinking study friends and found myself two hours later at the Zurich International Airport with a flight ticket in hand and a two month trip to South Africa in mind.

Here I was not yet 21 years, ignoring everyone that told me traveling by yourself is dangerous and doing it in Africa is a surefire way of getting into serious trouble, especially with almost no money in your pockets. I didn’t care about all those naysayers, surfed amazing waves and lived my dream of traveling and surfing in South Africa.

The only serious trouble I got into was when a Great White Shark swam right in front of me and decided to rather swallow one of those big sea birds than me. When I look back at the two months in South Africa today, I have no idea how I pulled it off to survive on a total budget of less than a $1,000 for two entire months, including me buying a surfboard and all kinds of surf gear. My best guess is that eating canned beans and rice for weeks on end really is that cheap.

Tasting Life Abroad

With all this traveling and trips between University semesters I realized quickly that traveling a country is seeing the surface, but living abroad means experiencing a country’s very core. I wanted to touch that core and took a year off in between my Bachelors and Masters Degree to do just that: Live abroad and taste the expat life for myself.

I still remember when I was sitting in the university library checking my emails and hovered over one email in particular from a small business located in South Africa. This email was their “Yes” or “No” answer to me living in Cape Town for a whole year before I turned 23. I clicked the email and got kicked out of the library for screaming on the top of my voice: “Shit! I’m going to live in Cape Town!”

Living and working in Cape Town was all I could ever hope for from living abroad. I was able to go surfing before and after work, find amazing Capetonian friends, spend my first Christmas at the beach eating Salad (I could still punch myself in the face for not buying something really good to eat that day) and travel all over a captivating and adventurous country. On top of that I learned how to operate personally and professionally in a completely new environment, helped many small start-up business projects with getting their feet of the ground and made lasting relationships with wonderful people.

Studying Abroad

Coming back to Germany after living in Africa for a year to start my Masters was difficult. I was in a complete culture shock for the first few weeks. Things that mattered in Africa – like being street smart or trusting your gut feelings immediately– didn’t matter at all in Germany. Everything was organized, clean and safe. It almost felt too perfect to be any interesting. Lucky for me that phase didn’t last long and I was quickly applying for a European Union sponsored student exchange program to go study in Spain for the next two semesters. For some reason my application must have impressed a few people and I received a full scholarship studying in at the University of Cantabria in Santander right at the Atlantic Ocean.

I was absolutely thrilled, scratched my money together one more time, bought another camper van and surfed myself all the way from France to Spain. Life on the road was amazing and mine again. That ecstatic feeling lasted until I sat in my first University lecture and realized that my Spanish sucked big time.

With that realization as a motivator and the fact that I was here to get to know the locals I signed up for an intensive Spanish course. The next two month where filled with grammar and vocabulary homework and a three hours a day intensive Spanish course. After that grueling time I could hold a decent conversation and a little while later my international business class presentation, which I held entirely in Spanish, was voted into the top ten by my fellow 60 Spanish presenters.

Life in Spain was radical. I surfed every single swell for an entire year, studied hard and showed up at almost every single party. Mostly I had no choice, but to show up and party. Which, in Spain, means staying at least until sunrise! If I merely hinted at the fact that I would like to leave a bit earlier – say 5AM! – my local Spanish friends felt insulted and were close to tears. Hell, in their understanding a party would only end after everyone was back at their place, deep frying everything edible in the fridge and eating it until 11am the next day.

Living the Life Abroad

After coming home from Spain I finished my Master Thesis, knowing that I was ready to live and work abroad full-time again.

I still remember the run to the finish line of completing my Master Thesis like it was yesterday. On the final day of writing I worked till six in the morning, showered and raced to the copy shop to print and bind the 100 pages that should bring a glorious end to my current college life. Arriving at the copy shop I was told that I could pick up my bound print-outs for my professor tomorrow around two in the afternoon. Which was a bit too late for me…

Because by that time I was already on a plane to Hawai’i ready to live in paradise full-time once more.

Just so you know, my best friend picked up my printed Master Thesis and handed them in for me.

Traveling Around the World

After living in Hawai’i for close to four years, being married and living the life I could have not imagined in my wildest dreams: Amazing family, wonderful friends, awesome job, great apartment, waves everyday and nothing but sandals to wear on my feet. I was once ready to explore again and leave it all behind. Was it difficult to leave the perfect lifestyle? Absolutely! I still think it was one of the hardest decisions in my life to quit my job in Hawai’i and sell the few things I owned to buy a one-way ticket to Central America. Which eventually turned into a one-year around the world trip getting me to South America, Northern and Southern Africa, the Middle-East, Europe, Asia and Australia.

I’m still on the road, spending not more than my usual $25 a day, and loving every moment of it.

Next Steps

I’m not sure what the Universe has in store for me in the future. All I know is that one of my close friends from Africa put it best by writing the following on the card he gave me for my 30th birthday:

“Marco, your twenties where one mind-blowing adventure that will be hard to beat in your thirties, but by starting your next decade with a trip around the world you might just pull it off!”

And you know what I thought to myself when I read that? My friend is absolutely right! As long as I follow my heart and go for my dreams my life will always be mind-blowing. So here’s to you next decade , let’s have some mind-blowing adventures again, shall we?


And now it’s your turn, what are the biggest dreams in your life and how do you follow them?