The founder of 22STARS and Social Impact Trip host Stella spoke at several events and got interviewed in various magazines and blogs. Check out the online interviews, video's and podcast that she has been in so far.

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    Nomad Cruise

    Stella Romana Airoldi | Making an Impact in the World: Creating a Social Business. Stella is one of those people who seem to have been everywhere already. And it’s probably true! In 2008 she decided to travel around the world by herself for about eight months. Wherever she went, she felt like she was confronted with poverty and injustice. Long story short: she got her Master’s in Public International Law and became a board member of SIFE Leiden, where she learned that the best way to help people out of poverty is by making sure that they can provide for themselves. Soon after she founded 22STARS in Uganda, a business based in Kampala, in which women make jewelry from recycled paper. With the project, she enables children to attend school. In her talk, Stella will tell you just how difficult it can be working in different cultures and especially with war victims without academic education, how to deal with obstacles at the start, how finding the right community will help you forward.

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    The Nomad Capitalist

    "Stella is a Dutch and German born social nomad, constantly on the move, who makes with her business an impact in the world. With a captivating enthusiasm in her manner of speaking she managed to give me an insight of her journey, adventures in Africa and upcoming inspiring projects. With 22STARS she empowers families in Uganda to rise above poverty by helping them to design and sell jewellery. She also has a foundation which sends more then 98 children long term to school and gives them weekly meals, medicine and clothes. In addition, she host workations in Uganda to bring Digital and Social nomads over here to co-work together with locals to make a change."

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    Marcus Meurer LifeHackz Podcast

    " Dieses Mal mit der lieben Stella von 22Stars. 22Stars ist ein Online-Shop, der Schmuck von Frauen aus Uganda verkauft und Stella habe ich in Tarifa kennengelernt, was auch ein Digitaler Nomaden und Kitesurfing Hotspot ist. Wir sind ja jetzt bekanntlich total passioniert dem Kitesurfing verfallen. Stella habe ich dann auch wieder auf der Nomade Cruise getroffen und in Jericocoara hier in Brasilien. Also die Szene wächst irgendwie immer mehr zusammen, was richtig cool ist. Man trifft immer mehr Gleichgesinnte unterwegs, die man dann kennt und kann sich dann mit denen über businessrelevante Sachen austauschen."

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    Freedom Summit

    Sign up and listen to a 30 minutes video interview with Stella. Freedom Summit is An online platform where inspiring change-makers and leaders teach new emerging formulas on how to travel, work and live a fulfilling life around the world. Stella will explain in the video how to start a social business and how she is making 100% impact by empowering women in Uganda. "Bridging cultures through fashion and design. Our jewellery is designed by Stella Romana Airoldi in cooperation with the Ugandan designers. Each piece is hand-crafted by one of twenty-five 22STARS empowered women, and 100% of product sales are reinvested in the social mission to empower women and their families in Uganda."


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    King and Why

    “Everyone has an hour in their day to go and do something for somebody else; I don’t care how busy they are.”- Gisele Bündchen. By all means take a moment to digest the model mogul’s truth bomb. Without striving to make an impact, to make any form of change, a business might as well cease to exist. Chiming for change with her sustainable jewellery brand 22STARS – a fashion enterprise that fosters talent and empowers women in need in Uganda’s Acholi quarter –founder Stella Airoldi is bringing a whole new meaning to paying it forward. MC, editor


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    Nomad City Las Palmas

    Stella talked at Nomad City Las Palmas about how to make a difference as a Digital Nomad. The Nomad City events are a fantastic opportunity to network, learn and experience the beautiful town of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria with other location independent entrepreneurs and digital nomads from around the globe. Join us for amazing talks with speakers who share their best tips and tools about location independent life AND get to explore Gran Canaria and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, while taking part in different activities around the island.


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    "Making a change in poverty and injustice - just with your own work? This seems impossible for most people as they feel they can't change anything in the world with their own power. For them it's a task for governments. But Stella Romana Airoldi, born in Germany and grew up in the Netherlands, wanted to make a change on her own and she did. After her travels to Uganda, where people are still traumatized from war, are HIV positive and have little education, Stella decided to help by empowering people to provide for themselves. So in 2012 she started 22STARS. In the online shop of 22STARS and in stores like YAY in Amsterdam she sells jewellery, which is handmade from recycled paper by women from the Acholi Quarters in Uganda. In this interview Stella shares her story about her world wide travels, her business and digital nomad lifestyle."

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    Never Liked It Anyway

    "Since she was little, Stella’s lucky number has always been 22 and she loves sleeping under the stars, hence her company’s name. Stars symbolize the interconnectedness of the world because we can all see them from wherever we are. For the artisans in Uganda, stars mean hope, guidance, protection, and balance. And Stella’s hope is that this jewelry, and the stories behind it, will inspire people to reach for the stars, too. Stella, this week’s Woman Crush Wednesday, is the founder of 22STARS, a sustainable jewelry brand that sells exclusive handmade jewelry created from recycled paper by women in Uganda. She is a huge advocate for “fashion that gives back,” and empowers people through her company’s mission. “Our mission is to design and sell high quality jewelry made with respect for the environment and the people that make them.”

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    Artikel 2.55

    "Van toga naar teenslipper-lifestyle met een online fashionbedrijf en daarmee iets teruggeven aan de wereld: social entrepreneur Stella Romana Airoldi (31) doet het met haar 22Stars. Business meets goodwill, wat een inspiratie! Met een rechtenstudie leek een advocatenjob een vanzelfsprekendheid. Voor haar scriptie reisde Stella eerst nog even af naar Oeganda, waar ze de vrouwen van Kampala in haar hart sloot. Tegen alle verwachtingen in werd het niet de advocatuur, maar de fashionindustrie, om zo de Oegandese vrouwen een beter bestaan te geven."

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    Simple Keep

    "When Stella Romana Airoldi first set foot in Uganda, she had no idea she was about to embark on an even greater journey to help bring education and jobs to the women she met there. Building off of an existing product she saw being made by the women in northern Uganda, Stella founded 22STARS, a brand that stretches far beyond the jewelry it creates. Each piece is handmade from 100% recycled materials, and the proceeds help women support their families, while making education accessible to their children. In addition, the women who work for the brand receive financial training, social support, health training, and a variety of other classes."

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    Digital Nomad Souls

    "Stella unterstützt mit dem Verkauf von Schmuck auf 22stars.com Frauen in Uganda, ein besseres Leben zu führen. Die schönen Schmuckstücke werden aus recyceltem Papier hergestellt. Außerdem setzt sich Stella dafür ein, dass Kinder in die Schule gehen können anstatt im Steinbruch arbeiten zu müssen."


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    The Smmile

    "About how social media can help your business. I have a socially minded business called 22STARS, that designs and sells handmade jewellery from recycled paper. The jewellery is made by women survivors of the war in Uganda. You’re probably wondering how I came to set up something like this, so let me tell you the story of how it all started. Following in the footsteps of my parents, I lead a very active life and travelled all over the world. During these travels, I was regularly confronted with poverty and injustice. For that reason, I decided to get my Master’s degree in Public International Law and become a board member of SIFE Leiden. That is where I learned that the best way to help people get out of poverty is to make sure that they can provide for themselves. I wrote my thesis about girl child soldiers within the Lord Resistance Army and visited Uganda in 2009 to volunteer at an AIDS Information Centre and do the research for my thesis. This is how my passion and interest for Uganda started."

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    "Recycled Paper Jewelry From Uganda - 22STARS. In this week's artisan portrait, meet Stella Romana Airoldi the founder of 22STARS. This is a socially minded business that designs, crafts and sells handmade jewelry. This unique jewelry is handmade from recycled paper, by women living in the Acholi Quarter of Kampala, Uganda. All the jewelry pieces of 22STARS are fabricated in a socially responsible manner that is friendly to the environment."


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    22STARS jewelry is designed by Stella Romana Airoldi and handmade together with Ugandan artisans to empower them to rise above poverty. Their artisans fled during the war with the LRA from Northern Uganda to Kampala and face many challenges; many of them are illiterate, HIV positive and traumatized. 22STARS enables them to get their self-respect back and earn a living for their families. Besides creating jewelry, they teach them small business skills to make them independent strong women and help them where necessary.

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    Stella Romana Airoldi heeft een Nederlands bedrijf, 22STARS opgericht. 22STARS richt zich op het creëren van duurzame sieraden. Alle producten zijn handgemaakt van 100% gerecycled papier op een sociaal verantwoorde manier. Ze worden gemaakt door vrouwen die in de Acholi Wijk van Kampala, Oeganda, wonen. Hierdoor verdienen zij geld voor o.a. voedsel, kleding, scholing, medicijnen en onderdak.


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    Stil brise

    "Die niederländische Initiative 22STARS wurde von Stella Romana Airoldi gegründet. Als Stella 2009 im Rahmen einer Forschungsreise über Kindersoldaten nach Uganda fährt, entdeckt sie durch einen Zufall die Frauen aus dem Acholi Viertel von Kampala (einem Lager für Kriegsflüchtlinge, die aus Nord-Uganda geflohen sind) und ist sofort beeindruckt von den künstlerischen Fähigkeiten der Damen, schönen Schmuck aus Recycling-Papier zu machen. Nach einigen Überlegungen entschloss sich Stella, den Frauen zu helfen und eine Plattform für ihren Schmuck zu gründen."

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    2009 war ich in Uganda um über Kindersoldatinnen in der Lord Resistance Army zu schreiben. Ich hatte dort Frauen für meine Masterthesis interviewt, die im Acholi Quarter in Kampala, ein Internally Displaced Center für Kriegsopfer aus Nord-Uganda,leben. Die Frauen dort fertigten einfachen Schmuck aus Papier an. Um Sie zu unterstützen habe ich ihnen natürlich Schmuck abgekauft. Den Kontakt habe ich gehalten und jedes Jahr Schmuck bestellt. Irgendwann wurde der Schmuck meinen Freunden zu langweilig. Sie fragten mich, ob die Frauen nicht mal was anderes machen könnten – zum Beispiel, eine lange blau-grüne Kette mit unterschiedlich großen Perlen, eine kurze schwarz-rote Kette und so weiter. Ich habe gesagt: “ Na klar, die können alles machen was du willst.” Als der gewünschte Schmuck ankam, waren meine Freunde unglaublich begeistert davon, dass alles mit der Hand hergestellt wurde. Sie schlugen mir vor, einen Laden zu eröffnen und den Schmuck zu verkaufen.

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    Let's Go Wonder

    Stella has a heart of gold, she is a wanderluster, a founder and a #GirlBoss all round. Here is her story how she started international businesses 22Stars whilst traveling the world.

    In our stories of #Wonderer series, we share with you snippets from the road. These are stories from the women in our community, they are powerful, bold and free-spirited #Wonderers who love to travel. Full of Wanderlust.

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    Jungunternehmer Podcast

    JUP 033 | Stella Airoldi: Was du für dich tust, das stirbt mit dir, was du für andere tust ist unsterblich Stella lebt in den Niederlanden, in Uganda und bereist die Welt. Sie ist digitale Nomadin, Visionärin und kreative Unternehmerin. Durch ihre Arbeit mit Frauen in Uganda, die einzigartigen Schmuck aus Recycling-Papier herstellen, ermöglicht sie ihnen und ihren Familien ein besseres Leben, ganz nach dem Prinzip: Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe. Stella hilft den Frauen sich selbst aus Armut zu befreien, indem sie ihnen Businessskills vermittelt, ihnen Gehör in der digitalen Welt verschafft und sich um das Marketing der handgefertigten Einzelstücke kümmert. In alle Prozesse von der Produktion bis zum Vertrieb ist sie involviert. Außerdem ermöglicht sie Kindern in den Slums von Uganda, durch eine Stiftung, den Schulbesuch.Was diese tolle Frau noch so alles treibt, was sie überhaupt nach Uganda geführt hat und wo du ihre tollen Produkte findest, das erfährst du in Interview 33 des Jungunternehmerpodcast.

  • What our participants say

    We have had more than 50 visitors since 2016!

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    Blogger and Entrepreneur

    at Officeflucht.de

    I got so many overwhelming impressions in Uganda, that it took me a few weeks before I started posting about it. It was my first time in Africa, as I think Northern Africa doesn't really count, as this was completely different. I cannot really describe in words my experiences. Of course everyone back home knows that poverty in Africa is big, but seeing with your own eyes children as young as 2 years working in the stone quarry, and families really having no food to eat is something different. During my stay in Uganda we found new sponsors for the children, and already in the second week we could visit kids in their schools who just before were sitting in the stone quarry crashing stones for survival. This feeling was just incredible. Also the people in Uganda are extremely friendly and during our road trip we passed amazing landscapes and experienced the real wild life of Africa, we saw giraffes, zebra's, elephants and a countless number of beautiful birds.


    Bastian is an expert in the Amazon FBA field. He consults businesses and individuals on how to automate their e-Commerce Business. In addition he has his own German blog Officeflucht full with tips and tricks on how to achieve location independence.

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    Project Manager and

    Coding & Tech Entrepreneurship Ambassador

    During the Workation I met the mother of Arafat, whose school fees I'm funding. Meeting her in person was very touching and left me speechless in many ways. She is working in the stone quarry every day, crashing stones with her bare hands.. yet she and her family is living on less than 1 Euro a day! Her story is just one of many... I met and talked to the women working in the quarries and the ladies who make the handmade jewellery. I've visited several schools and talked to the children who are sponsored, so they can afford to go to school. I've seen the impact and Stella is doing an amazing job by empowering already 40 women and 65 kids (by now 105). Besides getting involved with these projects, we had a wonderful time in Uganda's National Parks. Watching hippos at the Nile from our campsite and spotting giraffes, elephants, buffaloes and crocodiles in the wild was an incredible experience. While being in Kampala, the country's capital, I was also happy to get insights to Uganda's tech startup scene and meeting inspiring local entrepreneurs.


    Theresa is committed to get more people and especially kids & teens interested in technology and entrepreneurship. She is the project manager and regional manager for several Tech initiatives promoting young coders and is organizing coding workshops, hackathons and startup weekends.

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    Entrepreneur and

    full stack developer

    After Morocco this was my second trip to Africa. I had no idea what to expect, but wanted to participate in this Workation as I was sponsoring one of the children of 22STARS and wanted to visit the amazing project of Stella, she has a social jewellery business and a foundation that supports education for kids in Uganda called 22stars, it's a beautiful project that I could finally see with my own eyes. Her project is improving life of more then 100 kids and 40 women, mostly victims of post-war and disease. This is a beautiful country of happy and hopeful people despite of all the sadness that surrounds their environment. The women and kids of 22STARS received a laptop from me and we are started with computer classes. Until now they had to travel in order to get access to a computer, hopefully with this donation they can improve their business as I believe that Internet is a very powerful tool to get out of poverty and achieve equality. In addition I started a GoFundMe Campaign for the 22STARS foundation which was very successful, I raised 500 euro and we spend it on a new printer, toys and medicine.


    Diego has been involved with start-ups since 2007 and has been developing software for the last 12 years. He was born in Chile, but left his fatherland five years ago to go Silicon Valley and shortly after moved to Berlin. A year ago Diego became a digital nomad and started doing his work on the road. He currently works as a consultant and builds SEO SaaS, flipping websites and cryptocurrencies.

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    Office Executive, member LebensAthleten

    I heard about Stella and the work that 22STARS does through "LebensAthleten" and Alexander Schledewits, who supports the children of the 22STARS Foundation with weekly meals since December 2016. I saw a Video where the kids were smiling and saying "Thank you Alex for feeding us". It made me cry like over a few minutes and I also wanted to help. Alex told me that he will be going to Uganda for a week. My heart was jumping right after hearing that and I was trying to hold it back. But, you'll always loose if you try to fight against your heart. So the next day I told him that I want to come with him to Uganda. It was one of the most spontaneous and best decision I've ever made. I never thought it could be so "easy" to get to know the right people. Your network is your strongest currency. I've received so much Love and I've never seen such happy kids before in my entire life. One day felt like one week and I just wished it will never end. Thank you so so much Stella for taking all your time for us. I could write down what we have done on these 7 days, what kind of impressions and experiences it all was, but I won't. Because you really have to be there on your own and see all the things I've seen through your own eyes. It's really priceless. Everyone is able to help and to do something wonderful, it's not all about the money. I will definitely come back as soon as possible because I really miss Susan and all the kids. I don't know why but after the visit I felt like it is my responsibility to support the 22Stars projects. To know the story behind really gave me another perspective of life. I am so grateful that I live in Germany and have the opportunity to help. It would be a waste to not be aware of this lucky chance and not make use of it.


    Lin Pham is a trained office worker. She is passionate about helping others and has a big heart for children. Recently she moved to Berlin and is looking for new opportunities.

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    Digital marketing consultant, lecturer and speaker

    I have been in black Africa quite a few times before and also have seen quite a bit of poverty, but this workation was totally different. Through Stella and 22stars we were so much closer to the lives and stories of the women and kids living in the slums in Kampala and Jinja. I was many times close to tears, seeing how they live, sleeping on the floor without any beds or mattresses, seeing the kids going in rags and without shoes and asking for food or water. But at the same time, it was impressive to see how the women, most of all Susan, the local “country manager” of 22stars, have taken this opportunity, that they have been given by Stella and 22stars and how they are working hard on improving their lives. And also hope – seeing the kids in school and how well they do there, one can only hope that they will have a better future! All in all it was a great adventure, friendly people, amazing landscapes, especially at Murchinson national park and at the Nile river in Jinja, good food, quite a bit of wine and a great group!


    Daniel is a Zurich based expert in digital marketing. He consults businesses on digital marketing and digital transformation. He also lectures at various educational institutions and speaks at congresses. Recently Daniel became a part-time digital nomad and started doing part of his work on the road.

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    pediatric ICU nurse​ at New York Presbyterian Hospital

    This was my first trip to Africa. Throughout high school and college I was always involved with organizations doing work in Africa including Invisible Children, Charity Water, and Global Citizen. It had always been my dream to be able to visit a place with such a rich culture and natural beauty. I found Stella/22Stars via Instagram and reached out with interest to sponsor a child. When Stella mentioned the idea of a “social workation” - I jumped at the idea and immediately purchased my flights, without any expectations. I knew that I wanted to sponsor a child through a trusted source/org and the best way for me was by visiting the projects and seeing the impact of Stella’s work first hand. What started as a spontaneous trip to visit Stella’s projects turned out to be one of my favorite experiences yet! It is one thing to make online donations or raise awareness about poverty, and access to health and clean water in developing countries…it is another to be immersed in the culture, spend time in a slum, and listen to the stories of the people live there. I was incredibly touched and inspired by Susan’s story, someone who has been through so much and has gotten so far with limited access to resources while always finding a reason to smile. I believe in the importance of sustainability and find that Stella’s projects are empowering families and children to rise above poverty through sustainable measures. I loved visiting the children in school (children that would otherwise be working in the stone quarry or had been doing that until Stella found them sponsors), EDUCATION IS KEY. I fell in love with Uganda and can’t wait to go back. I am now sponsoring two little siblings that I met in the Stone Quarry while their mother was working breaking stones and am so excited that they will not be a part of that cycle and will be attending school this coming September! Be the change.


    Lina is currently a pediatric ICU nurse at New York Presbyterian Hospital in NYC. She was born and raised in Colombia; a place of great ethnic diversity, culture, and passionate people. University of Miami graduate, with a major in Nursing (BSN) and a minor in Public Health. A free spirit living in NYC but determined to become a global citizen. Lina has special interest in pediatric health and working with underdeveloped communities in the areas of education and access to health.

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    Content Strategist​ and digital nomad

    There are a couple (really really really good) reasons you should come on this workation. First, the obvious ones: Uganda is beautiful. Kampala feels alive. You’ll catch yourself smiling a lot—and dancing more than you expect. You’ll eat good food. You’ll see amazing Nile sunsets. And you’ll meet incredible people who will make you feel lucky to know them. And then there are reasons that are a bit harder to describe. If you want to travel in a way that digs deep—that authentically introduces you to a different way of life—you’d have a really hard time finding an experience as rewarding as the one you get with 22stars. The second you arrive, you can’t help but feel connected, and welcomed into communities that you’ll come to quickly know and love. Or if you’re like me, and have your own dreams about building something, or contributing something, that can genuinely change people’s lives—you’ll no doubt leave your time in Uganda inspired. Stella has clearly built something very special with 22stars—and seeing how that works up close, is a privilege. And it’s something to learn from. Months after leaving Uganda—I’ve never really stopped thinking about it. It’s a lot of stories all my friends have heard a hundred times. And it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in 2 and a half years on the road. You’ll love it. But more importantly—you’ll be moved by it. Go!


    Mackenzie is a content strategist for convert.com and she is roaming around the world! When she is not in her home town Chicago she is working in co-working spaces all over the world.

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    Stefanie Oeffner

    Entrepreneur and Event Manager


    I met Stella 2017 in Greece at a DNX Digital Nomad Camp and joined her Workshop about the 22 Stars projects. It was heart touching to see the kids & artisans in the videos and how Stella is making an impact to them. I knew straight away, I will join her one day to support the 22 Stars projects in Uganda. To spend 3 weeks in Uganda in March 2018 for the Social Workation was one of the best decisions of my life. It´s hard to describe it in words! I arrived on a Sunday morning and went straight for Sunday lunch at the office with Stella. I felt most welcome from the first second I met Susan, the other women and the kids at the office in Acholi Quarter. The kids are so happy and gave me so much love, even though you know the circumstances about Uganda. The women were smiling so much while they prepared lunch. After lunch we started dancing and playing, they treated me like a family member straight away. It was love at first sight when I met Tracy on my first day. I decided to sponsor her so she can go to baby class now.

    I could write a whole book about my experiences in Uganda. What I want to say, you have to feel it and see Uganda with your own eyes. I loved it so much to spend time with the kids, visit the kids in school, help the women with the Jewelry and the shop. One day I gave a workshop about Dental Care for the kids in Jinja (I used to work as a dental assistant many years ago). Their eyes where sparkling and they were so interested, raising their hands for every question, unbelievable compared to the kids in Germany. I really enjoyed the trip to the national park because it was my first Safari. Uganda is just stunning and so beautiful! We took Susan and other Locals to the City of Kampala to feel the spirit of the restaurants and Nightlife. One of my favorite things in Uganda, just walking through the Slums of Acholi Quarter and meet so many heart touching and wonderful people. Uganda gave me so many moments, moments of living in the now and enjoy the moment. I´m planning to come back to Uganda soon because I miss Tracy and all the others so much.


    Steffi is traveling the world since 2010 and started to be a Digital Nomad & Event Manager in 2016. As an Entrepreneur she created the Travel University together with her boyfriend, to help & support people fulfill their dreams of traveling.

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