Nikolas Wallenda was born 40 years ago in Sarasota. With three TV specials involving Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon and Chicago, he’s not a worldwide celebrity.
So what’s it life like for him now?
When you arrive at Nik Wallenda’s sprawling 15-acre property, there’s something going on at every turn. His sister’s son is playing in the driveway, a colleague is working in the garage, and inside the house, Nik is being a father and husband in the kitchen.
At every turn inside his house, there’s something that lets you know the head of the household comes from a circus background. From the centerpiece in the dining room, to the wall hangings, to his office, which leaves no doubt you’re in Nik Wallenda’s home.
High-profile events and TV specials watched by millions have allowed Nik to move into the home of his dreams in a rural neighborhood east of the interstate. But this big backyard has a purpose – a long wire, 750-feet long, hangs there.
“We’re putting up a 20,000-square foot building soon that will allow indoor training because of our weather being so strange here,” Nik added.
In the backyard, we could see Nik’s sister, Lijana, in the distance resting between practice walks on the wire. She’s Nik’s only sibling and a single mom who lives in Las Vegas. But before the walk in Times Square, she was in Sarasota to practice the walk again and again.
Nik says his sister isn’t as outgoing as he is, despite also growing up in the spotlight, and says their relationship is special.
“When we got in trouble, we were sent to the back of an RV. Eleven months in the back of an air-stream most of our childhood,” Nik recalled.
He began a family on the road.
“We lived in an RV until I was 26. We had three kids so, I talk about it in my book that my marriage almost ended because of that.”
But in the past seven years, since doing his death-defying acts on a worldwide stage, his life and his income clearly have changed.
“I pinch myself. I never imagined I’d be this blessed,” Nik said. “To still live here but here and have everything I want.”
But it has come at a price. He admits some family and friends have been jealous and are no longer as much in his life.