All about Shania Tolinka

Hi! I'm Shania Tolinka, the newest member of the Life Adventurers. To give you an idea of who I am, how it came about that I decided to wander around the world with Franz and Heiko and what has shaped me, I would like to introduce myself a little bit more precisely.

Die Lebensabenteurer-Herde vereint: Heiko Gärtner, Shania Tolinka und Franz von Bujor

The herd of life adventurers united: Heiko Gärtner, Shania Tolinka and Franz von Bujor


My childhood and youth

I was born 1983 with the civil name Heidi Reindl in Neumarkt in the Upper Palatinate and grew up in a small remote village called Döllwang. To the outside world I spent a harmonious and happy childhood there.

Bei ihren ersten Besuchen bei uns, war Shania Tolinka noch Heidi Reindl

On her first visits with us, Shania Tolinka was still Heidi Reindl


Wrong from the beginning

At least that's what I thought, because at that time I couldn't have said myself that something was wrong here. Yet there was something inside of me that was constantly bubbling. Something that made sure that I was never as happy and content with myself and my life as I should have been when I looked at it purely objectively. It was only many years later that I realized that this came from a permanent, subliminal feeling. A feeling that I was fundamentally wrong. It was not because I did something wrong now and then or because I could not do certain things. It was rather as if it didn't make any difference what I did, because it never seemed right. I felt it, but I could not classify it and therefore I could not put it into words.

Die Verbindung mit Heiko Gärtner gab Shania Tolinka noch einmal eine ganz neue Richtung in ihrem Leben

The connection with Heiko Gärtner gave Shania Tolinka once again a completely new direction in her life.


I should have been a boy

Again it took a long time until I realized that it was all about the basic attitudes of my parents and especially my father. Because he had always wanted a boy. Accordingly, he was disappointed to see that he had had a daughter. He tried to hide his expectations, and he never directly accused me of having disappointed him just by my femininity. But subliminally I felt it clearly, even though I could never express it.

Von der traumatisierten, verängstigten Heidi zur selbstbewussten Heilerin Shania Tolinka war es ein weiter Weg...

It was a long way from the traumatized, frightened Heidi to the self-confident healer Shania Tolinka.

The inner conflict: Am I who I am or who I should be?

Following my childish logic, I therefore tried to make my father proud by becoming a boy as much as possible. As long as I was small this worked to some extent without having to deny myself. But things changed when I entered puberty and should have become a woman. To a good extent I did so, because on the conscious level I wanted to be a woman. However, my subconscious fears of being rejected by my father because I did not correspond to his idea, made me physically, mentally and emotionally deny myself everything that would have made me a woman. This became particularly clear in the form of my barely developed breasts and my very boyish appearance.

At the age of 15 I broke off my school career and trained as a retail saleswoman in a Neumarkt fashion house and a camping outfitter. I started working for the latter.

... der auch heute noch lange nicht abgeschlossen ist.

... which is still far from complete.

Break with parents and slide into negativity

About two years later there was a serious break with my parents' house. A break that took me very badly. Especially because he caught me in a cold sweat at the time.

At the dinner table, my father threw into the room the question of when I would finally move out and not lie on his bag anymore. For me this call came without any warning. Even though it was of course exactly what I had feared subconsciously all these years: "One day my father will reject me because I am simply not right the way I am!

Shania Tolinka und Franz Bujor bei der Ankunft in Donaustauf

Shania Tolinka and Franz Bujor at the arrival in Donaustauf

From the rain into the eaves

Without really knowing where I should go now, I moved into the apartment of my then boyfriend. Unfortunately, the relationship turned out to be fundamentally destructive and only made things worse. Because even the "friend" was deeply involved in psychological issues from which he couldn't free himself. So we were like two stones that had been thrown overboard, clinging to each other in the hope of not going under. And so began a negative spiral that started when I tried out various drugs and even led me into prostitution and the clutches of a rapist.

Weltreisende Shania im Donald Duck Land

A story, like Walt Disney, the life of Shania Tolinka was unfortunately not always

Like in a bad movie

In retrospect, however, all this time does not seem like a real phase of my life. Even while I was still in it, I had never really felt this way. It had always been much more like a kind of movie where I could follow this Heidi Reindl on the screen without being able to intervene myself.

Sometime during this time I also met Heiko for the first time. Already then I felt a certain attraction and something like a deep connection. But I also felt that at that moment I was not ready to get involved with him. And I know that he felt the same way at that time.

shania tolinka futuristik bleach

... and yet it was only the prelude to a really great adventure!

Fair jobs, modelling and work for the father

So Heiko and I lost sight of each other again after only one single day and I returned to my dreamlike film world in which the negative spiral led me further and further down. In order to keep my head above water, I started to earn money with fair jobs and model orders.

At the same time, I completed my training as a retail saleswoman and also worked as an accountant in my father's business. The latter later turned out to be just another attempt to please my father and make him proud. Which of course I never succeeded in doing. Instead, the series of traumatic experiences continued. It finally led to the point where I was afraid to ask my father for financial support, so I accepted an offer of an escort service and sold myself as a prostitute. And as if this alone was not enough, I maneuvered myself into a situation where I ended up with a rapist.

Shania Tolinka und Ente Carlo

Shania Tolinka and Carla Duck

The turnaround: Start into a new life

In 2012, I had another meeting with Heiko, whom I got to know again. Because at that time neither of us could remember the first meeting. But a friendship developed, which has lasted ever since and has deepened and solidified over time. When Heiko and Franz left in 2014, I was even close to saying that I would simply go with them. In fact, I visited the two world travellers a good half year later in Portugal and already another half year later in Italy. There were long and intensive conversations, in which I became more and more aware that I was trapped in an illusory world in which I could not be myself.

shania tolinka tattoo

With a good plan in hand...

Taking fate into your own hands

Therefore, I decided to undertake my own transformation journey at home, independently of the two world travellers. First of all I underwent hypnosis therapy to work through the inner conflicts. In addition, I began to transform myself physically to such an extent that I no longer corresponded to my father's supposed ideal, but to the image that I could see of myself in my deepest inner being.

The following years became a roller coaster of emotions, in which I constantly made new progress and realized more and more who I was from the heart. At the same time, I had to struggle with severe setbacks again and again. Partly I even believed to be completely on the spot. How often I was on the verge of giving up all hope, I can hardly say now.

shania taetowieren mit der hand

...she even became a master in ritual tattoo engraving.

Departure into the adventure of life

I was mentally and emotionally on an adventure journey. A trip to which I had consciously left the protective harbor walls of my parents' illusory world behind me. Now I had to learn to deal with a partly raging and angry sea. Part of this was that I finally broke off contact with my parents completely. When it became clear to me that despite their claims to the contrary they were still doing everything to hold me as the boyish child I had always tried to be, this was the only possible consequence for me. It was a liberating moment when for the first time I began to loosen the thick bonds that had held me down since my first embryonic cells had developed into a female being.

als paar um die welt heiko shania

The world travel couple is reunited after a long break.

The transformation of Heidi Reindl in Shania Tolinka

In order to leave exactly this illusion, which was never really a part of me, behind me once and for all, I finally dropped the name Heidi Reindl and took the name Shania Tolinka. Also, otherwise I had to learn to let go. Starting with family and friends, money, valuables, places to live, beliefs and convictions. But at the same time I was also allowed to learn many new things. I trained as a reflex zone therapist, trained in various martial arts and made my first experiences in "self-sufficient living". Among other things, I lived in a camper van for about two years.

Heiko und Shania: Glücklich verliebt auf Weltreise

Heiko and Shania: Happy in love on a world trip

A new herd member

Now I am about to complete this intermediate journey into my own ME. With this I am ready to join the herd of life's adventures permanently and to become a traveling healer and webnomad myself. I will tell you soon in further articles how it goes on from here.

If you already want to read more of me, you can take a look at the following articles:

Heiko Gärtner und Shania Tolinka

Heiko Gärtner and Shania Tolinka


warmest regards

Yours Shania Tolinka

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