Carlos Peñalba was born in San Sebastian (Spain). Most of his childhood and teenage days were dedicated to playing football (or soccer, as they say in the USA) and being a good student. After obtaining a degree in Business Administration, he spent nine months in the small city of Melilla (North Africa) doing his military service. By then, he had already started playing with a manual Yashica camera as well as having read many of the world’s great writers from Proust to Hemingway.

He moved to London in 1996 with the objective of improving his already good English. In the British capital he worked in a couple coffee shops and a popular pizza restaurant chain for a year while he studied English at Westminster College. Once his business English was good enough, he joined a financial software firm as a researcher on mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and soon he became the Research Manager of a team covering M&A activity in Europe, Middle East and Latin America.

In 2004 the company he was working for asked him for a temporary transfer to their New York office. Eager to expand his horizons, Carlos didn’t hesitate to make the move. Once settled, he decided to stay in the Big Apple where he was appointed Product Director and later on Director of Global Operations. 

In 2009, in the midst of a worldwide financial crisis, Carlos quit his job to travel through Asia and become a writer and a photographer. His initial plan of a full year exploring mostly the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia finally turned into an 18-month adventure.

At the end of his long journey through Asia, he started the huge task of starting his career as a freelance photographer, as well as writing a travel memoir about his adventure (The Year I Became a Nomad). His photographs have been published by, amongst others, National Geographic TravelerMédecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), Financial Times, Macmillan Publishers, Garuda Indonesia, The Ocean Project, The Lovely Planet, El Comercio, TheCityFix (World Resources Institute), and Business Insider. Since he has been back from Asia, he has continued to be a nomad, living in different places like New York, San Sebastian, Madrid and La Coruña.

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