Follow Nano on his Instagram account @nanothegnome for more amazing pictures! Wherever I go, Nano goes too. Sitting snugly in my pocket or sleeping soundly in my backpack, he patiently waits for me to find the perfect setting for him. After that, it’s all up to him: Nano strikes a pose and adds his dazzling magic to the picture… Nano and I originally met in Switzerland a couple of years back and struck a friendship right from the off. The diminutive fellow quickly jumped into my tote bag and boasted that he would travel the world with me. And so it proved… Our first stop was the teeming city of Tokyo, Japan, where we set down our bags for a couple of years.

Together we set out exploring the bustling streets of the Japanese metropolis as well as other remote parts of the country, from Ogasawara to Okinawa, Kyoto, the mystical Mt Fuji, Matsumoto, and all the way North to Hokkaido. But our wanderlust has taken us further afield too, with quick trips to the Philippines, Spain or Sweden. Because Nano fancies himself as a bit of an adventurer – think a pocket version of a worldly Indiana Jones. Indeed, Nano hikes (or rather gets carried around on hikes) scuba dives, climbs mountains, builds sand forts, rides horses and goes sea kayaking… And he loves his food and drink too! Quite the dandy explorer.

Starting next January, Nano and I will embark on a round-the-world trip for a couple of years. Our plan is to start off in South Africa, before moving to other countries in the region and then going to the Middle East, with a special stop in the beautiful country of Iran. So stay tuned for Nano’s exciting adventures around the world! Expect safaris, national parks, oceans and mountains and many lovely people. Follow us on our Instagram account @nanothegnome! Co-copywriting credits: @alxcrkr

More info: Instagram

From Japan to Sweden, travel the world with Nano

Nano reviewing his battalion of lucky cats

Nano visited the birth place of the famed Maneki-Neko, a traditional fortune cat that can be found all over Japan.

Nano at the Top of Mt Fuji for an emblematic sunrise

Nano rowing on a mirror lake in Sweden

A meeting of minds between Nano and a Japanese monk

Much Zen. Very Buddhist.

Nano getting pie-eyed with his mates at a Spanish wedding

A beautiful wedding in Catalonia, with good friends, good wine and good food. What more could one ask for? Nano shed a tear at the ceremony and partied all night with his friends, ending up on the beach half-buried in the sand!

Nano standing proud in the sand fort he conquered

Nano taking in the blazing sunset colours

In Hahajima (Ogasawara), a remote island in the Pacific that can only be accessed by boat after a 25-hour ride.

Getting ready for the perfect shot

I’m always looking for great spots for Nano – he’s a demanding little guy – but it’s not always easy. Sometimes, you have to be resourceful and try again and again until you get that perfect picture. You could say he’s a bit of a diva I guess…

The picture on the left was taken in Shimoda (Japan), a small village by the ocean, two hours south from Tokyo by train. The one on the left is from Dalarna County (Sweden), somewhere near Mora.

Nano standing proud in front of a wall of sake barrels

At Meiji Jingu Shrine, Tokyo, Japan.

Nano tests his equipment before a bout of snorkelling

Sharks, sea turtles, lionfishes, manta rays, dolphins, as well as WWII shipwrecks are all on show for happy divers in Bonin Islands!

Nano taming a giant Dalarna horse in Sweden

He’s big and pretty but he won’t budge…

Nano feeling the power of Zen

This three-story pagoda is situated next to Gotokuji Temple in a beautiful residential area of Tokyo. Nano and I fell in love with the place.

Nano drooling over a home-made burger

Nano’s a little bit of a cook and made these tasty home-made cheeseburgers at a garden party in Switzerland. A real delight!

Nano unexpectedly meets cosplay fans in the Japanese Alps

Nano sampling some onigiri from the local konbini

At the Konbini (read “Convenience Store”) in Shinjuku’s red-light district.

Nano contemplates the beauty of the sakura

Sakura (cherry blossoms) viewing in Japan is a unique experience and Nano was lucky enough to watch as the flowers bloomed this year. He also did the whole picnic shenanigans with many a merry friend!

Nano searching for siblings in the enchanted forests of Dalarna

The wonderful landscapes of Scandinavia… Who knows what other magical creatures live in these golden woods?

Nano making friends at the Ghibli Museum

Big and charming Totoro

Nano walking Jesus-style on the blue seas of Chichijima

Nano taking a little rest on a sea kayak trip in the Pacific

Truth be told: we capsized. But thankfully Nano survived to tell the tale.

Nano standing proud at the top of one of Japan’s most remote islands

Mt Kofuji, Hahajima Island, Ogasawara (Japan)

Nano backpacking around the Philippines

Nano and I went cavorting around the 7,000+ islands of the Philippines, enjoying some fine sandy beaches.

Nano’s colourful ‘backup’ siblings

Always ready to help out Nano at short notice!

Accidents happen fast and you never know what crazy things Nano is going to do next. The little rascal knows it: an older brother of his fell and shattered to the ground – poor Nano the First… Luckily, he comes from a large (and colourful) family and his dapper siblings are safely lying in wait at home should Nano unfortunately meet his demise…

Nano the First, seconds before his deadly fall

Nano the First is Nano’s older brother.
He was my first travel companion. He never fully recovered from a fall after a mountain hike to La Dôle, in Switzerland. This was taken seconds before the tragic accident. See his precarious stance? Teetering on the edge like this… What were you thinking?! Bless you Nano the First, and rest in peace.

Nano the First on a guided tour in Hiroshima

The famous Torii of Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island, Hiroshima (Japan).

Nano the First contemplates the magnificence of the Golden Temple

The Kinkakuji in Kyoto is a must see in Japan and one of my all time favourites!