Digital Nomads
March 25, 2014 by Brennan Gamwell

Today we’re featuring eight empowering blog posts by Digital Nomads who have ditched their desks to live and work on their own terms.

What’s so empowering about these stories? They were all written by people just like you: hardworking dreamers with a drive to live life differently.

Take Greg Rodgers, for example, who escaped the confines of a drab cubicle and now works as a globetrotting, independent writer and photographer. Or Paula Pant, who yearned to see the world on more than two weeks of vacation every year, so decided to set out on a world-wide adventure.

Want to see more Digital Nomads? Check out this short video on Digital Nomads who live life free.

Sound familiar? Then you may identify with these Digital Nomads who have already broken free; here’s their advice on how you can too.

1. Why You Should Quit Your Job and Travel Around the World
posted on

Chris Guillebeau — an author best known for his book, “The $100 Startup” — has visited every single country in the world. Every single one.

Chris writes that, at some point, each of us has probably met an adventurous free spirit and said, “I wish I could do that with my life, too!” But to Chris, any excuse that’s stopping someone from traveling or living life on their own terms is just that: an excuse.

In this post, Chris debunks a chunk of excuses you’re probably thinking up right now — it’s too expensive, it’s dangerous, there’s no time — and explains why you can break free of the limits of the 9-to-5 grind.

2. Escape the Cubicle
posted on Vagabonding Life

Many of us can probably relate to Greg Rodgers, blogger at Vagabonding Life, who writes about wasting his twenties in a cubicle before realizing that he wanted more out of life. That’s when he turned to “vagabonding” — living life as an adventure — inspired by the book (of the same name) by Ralf Potts.

Greg explains his chosen lifestyle: “Vagabonding is the act of choosing experiences and travel adventures over working away your life for material things. It’s not throwing all caution away and going into the Wild to face grizzly bears and poisonous plants alone — of course, that is always an option; however, vagabonding is simply a matter of realigning your priorities in life.”

Some of you are probably already crying out that you can’t afford to quit your job, or that you have too much invested at home to “realign priorities” and travel. In this blog post, Greg points out that most of the world lives on less than $2 a day, and that “for the cost of one average dinner and a movie date in the U.S., you could eat, sleep, and play for days on an island in Thailand!”

3. How We Save Money By Traveling
posted on Global Goose

This piece by Digital Nomad Kelly Dunning is a great follow-on to the previous two posts when it comes to thinking about money while traveling. We’ve established that living independent of a home base isn’t that expensive — but Kelly claims that if you prioritize your expenses, you can actually save quite a bit of money on the road. More proof that Digital Nomads don’t have to be independently wealthy or command wildly inflated salaries to enjoy perpetual adventure!

4. Why I Quit a Job I Loved—and Traveled the World for Two Years
posted on Untemplater

Paula Pant had an awesome career and a bright future ahead of her, but when she started thinking about how constraining her job really was — especially the fact that she could only take two weeks’ vacation a year — she couldn’t shake the feeling of being completely “stuck.”

Paula had always dreamed of seeing the world and, when she found herself studying a map and daydreaming at work, she decided it was time to make a change. So, she ditched her cubicle and set out on an adventure, traveling to 17 countries in just her first 25 months on the road.

At first, Paula worried about being able to re-enter the traditional workforce after returning home, but soon realized that traveling and bringing new experiences back home with her make her a formidable job candidate. Read her full story here.

5. Excuses Not To Travel
posted on Nomadic Samuel

Nomadic Samuel, otherwise known as the “perpetual backpacker,” has never been tied to a cubicle. Since graduating from college, he’s found location-independent work as a teacher, freelance writer, photographer and model.

After reading Chris Guillebeau’s piece on excuses not to travel, you probably sat yourself down and thought of a few why-I-can’t-travel reasons that he didn’t cover. Well, if you did, Sam addresses more common excuses here, debunking each with real-world anecdotes.

6. Inspired by Travel: Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone and Staying There
featured on Vagabondish

Many people who think about traveling experience the same fears and anxieties, like talking to strangers, trying what seem like weird foods for the first time, living without your home comforts (I absolutely need a puffy blanket), and dealing with fear of the unknown.

Blogger Amanda Kendle acknowledges that stepping outside of your comfort zone may bring you face-to-face with these fears, but explains that they’re all easily overcome. So if you’re putting off your next adventure because of a simple fear (fried crickets are NOT that scary), hopefully this post will help you realize what you’re afraid of may not be so scary after all.

7. Backpacking Guide
posted on

The curators of — a website dedicated to world travel and adventure for regular people — recognize that, often, the most stressful part of traveling isn’t traveling itself, but preparing for it. Some would-be adventurers may never leave the tarmac simply because they don’t know how to go about planning an international excursion.

Good thing, then, that this Backpacking Guide is readily available in a user-friendly format, with handy information on topics like getting a passport, applying for visas (if you even need one), and how to fit the essentials into a single piece of luggage.

8. Our Mobile RVing Gear (Tech, Kitchen & Toys)
posted on Technomadia

World travel isn’t the only option for would-be Digital Nomads. Take Cherie and Chris, who have been working from their RV and traveling the country since 2006 while chronicling their adventures on their blog, Technomadia.

As software developers, they rely on a variety of mobile high-tech tools, as they run their business completely from the road. Thinking of going on a prolonged road trip? Cherie and Chris prove that anyone can run a business from anywhere. Here are some of the items they suggest for Digital Nomads who work on the road.

Thinking of going Nomad? What are some other sites that inspire you? Share your favorite sites in the comments below!

feature image by Martin Lopatka on flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Brennan Gamwell

Communications Manager

Brennan Gamwell is a Communications Manager at oDesk, where he focuses on managing the customer reference program to share the inspiring stories of the amazing professionals using the platform. Brennan brings with him extensive experience in non-profit and advocacy communications from his time in Washington, DC, and is just slightly obsessed with grammar and punctuation (especially hyphens). He holds a Bachelor's degree in international communications… read more