In 2012 Nikolaj Astrup Madsen quit his job in a growing ecommerce company, and created Refuga - creative travel agency that arranges camps and adventures for entrepreneurial minds. Nikolaj shares the story of Refuga and his thoughts on life, future, world travel, and Ambronite.
Nikolaj, how would you describe your new lifestyle after taking the leap into creating Refuga?
That's difficult to describe in one sentence. I see myself as an entrepreneur, traveler and athlete, so my lifestyle consists of balancing those three things. I run my company Refuga - I design trips around the world for entrepreneurial minds. I do that while traveling with my girlfriend and trying to combine it all with being a long-distance runner.
My lifestyle is pretty free, I can pretty much do what I want, when I want to. But focusing on my company (which is my number one priority) and my training schedule take up most of my time, so I have to be structured and really good at prioritizing.
What motivates you the most?
My personal motivation is to get as much as possible out of life. I try to do something each year that is ambitious and where I push my own limits a bit. Last year, for example, I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and did my first ultra running event. I think the individual experience I'm most proud of is my personal record of 9 hours and 34 minutes in the Ironman triathlon , which took around two and a half years to achieve.
Amazing! Can you share the best learning experience in your life?
I learned so much when I did the Ironman triathlon. I was pretty ambitious, structured and worked hard in a field where I had no prior experience. At the same time, I met a bunch of people, who taught me a lot and who were mostly so different from myself. I think those first few years of serious training absolutely shaped my decisions going forward.
How do you use Ambronite – how does it fit your lifestyle?
I love food, but it can take a lot of time and many meals are just about pure survival. This is time that I would prefer to spend on something else. So, I mostly use Ambronite when I'm spending 10+ hours in the mountains for training and hiking - it’s just the perfect choice for that!
I work with no brands - other than my own of course - but I'm a really big fan of Ambronite. For me it's a perfect product and I can only recommend supporting it and help spreading the word. I'm also very excited about the opportunities for products like Ambronite to help solve the globe's hunger problems.