Nicholas Valldejuli was born in Birkenhead , England in 1960 and raised in Briarcliff Manor, New York. He was educated at Hackley School in Tarrytown, New York and studied political science at Kenyon College in Ohio and Lund University in Sweden. He served in the French Foreign Legion from 1986-1988 (honorably discharged). He has traveled extensively and lived in ten countries, mostly teaching English or history in international schools. He currently lives in Shanghai and teaches Western history at a Chinese boarding school.