Corbett Barr

Lifestyle Business Weekly

10 Digital Nomads to Learn From


Do you daydream about quitting your job and traveling around the world? What about taking it a step further and building a location independent career, so you can live and work wherever you want to?

That’s exactly what the people on this list have done. They’re digital nomads, and they’ve all chosen to write about their experiences.

If you have aspirations of unplugging from the 9-to-5, use the stories these pioneers tell to inspire you and help you plan your exit strategy.

Here they are, 10 digital nomads you should know (in alphabetical order):

Chris Brogan


Chris has been blogging since 1998 (when it was called journaling) and his blog is in the Technorati top 100. He travels constantly (when I asked him where he’d traveled to recently, he suggested it would take about 9 hours to tell me) and has his finger on the pulse of what’s up with online community and social media.

Chris’s blog: Chris Brogan
Follow him on Twitter: @chrisbrogan
Place recently lived or traveled: Wellington, New Zealand
A favorite post: Planning for a Digital Nomad

Mike Elgan


If you’re interested in technology, there’s a good chance you’ve read one of Mike’s articles. He’s written for or edited just about every major technology publication, including InformationWeek and Computerworld. He recently decided to use his successful location independent career to become a digital nomad.

Mike’s blog: Mike Elgan
Follow him on Twitter: @mike_elgan
Place recently lived or traveled: Santa Barbara, California
A favorite post: I’m becoming semi-nomadic

Tim Ferriss


If you don’t know Tim, you’ve probably been living under a rock for the past couple of years or have been suffering from workaholism. Tim is the most popular proponent of lifestyle design, and the author of the uber-popular Four Hour Work Week book.

Tim’s blog: The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss
Follow him on Twitter: @tferriss
Place recently lived or traveled: Vietnam
A favorite post: Things I’ve Learned and Loved in 2008

Christine Gilbert


After feeling like she traded in her 20’s for a job she didn’t love, Christine convinced her husband to sell everything and move abroad with their two dogs. She was inspired to blog about her experience to help other young people learn about becoming a vagabond.

Christine’s blog: Almost Fearless
Follow her on Twitter: @almostfearless
Place recently lived or traveled: Nicaragua
A favorite post: Escapism: the Dirty Word that Keeps Us Doing What We Loathe

Chris Guillebeau


Chris is pursuing two inspiring goals at the same time. First, he’s traveling to every country in the world before his 35th birthday. Second, he’s creating his own social movement which he calls “crusade against convention.” How’s that for motivation?

Chris’s blog: The Art of Nonconformity
Follow him on Twitter: @chrisguillebeau
Place recently lived or traveled: Suriname
A favorite post: Why You Should Quit Your Job and Travel Around the World

Matt Kepnes


Matt is a 20-something vagabond who’s been on the road regularly for the past four years. He writes a popular travel blog and has a great list of over 40 travel goals, including climbing Kilimanjaro, visiting the Great Pyramids and going to space.

Matt’s blog: Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site
Follow him on Twitter: @nomadicmatt
Place recently lived or traveled: Bangkok
A favorite post: Why Travel Can Change the World

Cody McKibben


Cody didn’t waste much time in a traditional job after college. Shortly after graduating, he started blogging and quickly attracted attention from web celebrities like Guy Kawasaki and Chris Brogan. He’s been self employed since 2007 and now runs his business from Thailand.

Cody’s blog: Thrilling Heroics
Follow him on Twitter: @codymckibb
Place recently lived or traveled: Bangkok
A favorite post: Choosing the Life Path Less Taken

Rolf Potts


Rolf is truly a man of the world. He has reported from more than fifty countries for the likes of National Geographic Traveler, the New York Times Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler and the Travel Channel. He may be best known for his book about independent travel, Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel

Rolf’s blog: Vagabonding
Follow him on Twitter: @vagablogging
Place recently lived or traveled:
A favorite post: The tourist is always the other guy

Luis Suarez


Luis is a rare breed of digital nomad because for the past 12 years he has been employed by a corporation, IBM. For much of that time, he has been able to perform his job as an evangelist for IBM while traveling and living in the Canary Islands.

Luis’s blog:
Follow him on Twitter: @elsua
Place recently lived or traveled: Canary Islands
A favorite post: I Freed Myself From E-Mail’s Grip

Lea and Jonathan Woodward


Lea and Jonathan Woodward started professional life as a management consultant and corporate graphic designer, respectively. After some life changes and a corporate layoff, they decided start their own company while traveling the world. Now they run a highly respected business dedicated to helping people create location independent lifestyles.

Lea and Jonathans’ blog: Location Independent
Follow them on Twitter: @leawoodward, @jonwoodward
Place recently lived or traveled: Panama
A favorite post: This Is How I’d Design My Ideal Lifestyle; Now How About Yours?

As a bonus, here are 3 more digital nomads who almost made the list that you might want to check out: Carl R. Nelson, Bruce Eric Anderson and Justin Wright.

What other digital nomads are on your list? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. Why not sign up for free updates from Free Pursuits via RSS or email or follow me on Twitter?

photo by Gret@Lorenz

Corbett Barr

A weekly curated email of useful links for people interested in lifestyle businesses and independent entrepreneurship.


6 Lame Excuses for Not Starting Your Own Business


How to Learn a Language in 96 Hours


  1. Very useful list! I’m just about the take off on a world-traveling adventure of my own (, and I’m definitely going to try to connect with these people for advice!


    • @Colin – best of luck on your new adventure. Please let us know about any inspiration you find from the people on this list.

  2. Thanks for the mention, Corbett! I’m honored to be on the list with all of these great nomads.

    Keep up the excellent writing!

    • @Chris – wow, thanks for the compliment about the writing. Coming from you, it means a lot. I was glad to include you on this list. Your story is very inspriring.

  3. Awesome list of great folks! We love finding out about other digital nomads like ourselves (although, we call ourselves ‘Technomads”). We travel full time in a small solar powered travel trailer with a kitten – finding a confluence of life, work, community, wanderlust and adventure. We just marked our 2 Year Nomadiversary yesterday.

    Some other great technology focused nomads to add to your list:

    Steve Roberts / The Original Technomad –
    Ben Willmore –
    SoulTravelers3 –
    Pat –
    Brett –

    Any many more can be found on our website under ‘Other Nomads’.

    • @Technomadia, thanks so much for sharing the additional folks. There were quite a few I wasn’t able to include in the article (you guys included), and I’m glad you brought some others up. Congrats on your “nomadiversary!” Your approach to life on the road is definitely unique.

  4. Hi Corbett! Thanks a bunch for putting such a wonderful and inspiring blog post and for including me in such worthy list (Honoured). I probably don’t deserve it… Just trying to pursue my long time dream to prove you can effectively be equally productive, if not more, using these social software tools for virtual collaboration than the traditional office spaces, specially when more and more of us are distributed all over the place! One step at a time we will eventually get there ;-)

    Oh, by the way, I noticed you mentioned on the post that I may be leaving IBM, my current employer, soon, and wanted to mention that unless there has been a job offer I didn’t know about, that’s not the case. What I did do beginning of the year was change HR departments, moving from IBM Netherlands to IBM Spain, with my office HQ in Madrid, but still living and working where I have been for the last 5 years: Gran Canaria

    So still very much involved as a social computing evangelist on this side of the pond, and beyond ;-) heh

    • @Luis, thanks for the comment and correction. I’m sorry I had incorrectly stated you’d be leaving IBM. I guess I hastily read your post about switching groups and thought you were leaving altogether.

      I was glad to include you on the list. Your writing about collaboration and “thinking outside the inbox” is fantastic, and very useful for other digital nomads. Keep up the interesting work!


      • Hi Corbett, thanks a bunch for the follow up and for correcting the original blog post. Yes, that post you referenced in Twitter caused eventually quite a stir. It happened at a time where a bunch of folks thought it was time for me to move on and everything, so I wanted to play some games with that meme and decided to follow their same game when I changed HR departments. You can imagine the shock from quite a few of them! heh

        Still quite happily though where I am, so thanks for updating the entry and really appreciate the kind comments… And not to worry, planning on keeping things going, specially after the blog post I just shared on an incredibly inspiring TED Talk earlier on with Seth Godin :-)

        Keep inspiring!

  5. Jamie Leech

    Two more that I know of…

    Working Nomad @ (this guy has been traveling and working online for four years now)

    Nerdy Nomad @ (similar deal to the one above)

  6. Great compilation! Thanks for including! If I can help other people build a life they love, then I’m doing my job! :)

  7. Great list and I know all of them, and in fact that is what led me here, as one of them tweeted it!

    Ah, but you did not include any families, which brings a whole new meaning to digital nomads!

    We have been traveling the world as a family of digital nomads since 2006, so have more information than anyone else on that forefront. We’ve been to 29 countries, 4 continents & have had over 2.5 views of our soultravelers3 Youtube videos!

    We are so pleased that Tim Ferriss is including us as a case study in his newest edition of 4HWW, that we just won 2 Lonely Planet awards & National Geographic called us “One of the Best Family Travel Blogs in cyber space”!

    Perhaps you & your readers would enjoy our post ( that was on Dell’s digital nomads site) on How to travel the world as a Digital Nomad Family!

    There are unique concerns to handle as families, like education and consistency, but we have found it to be the best possible education for a global citizen for the 21st century!

    Many people think they can not do this once they have kids or when they are older, but we are proof positive, that not only can one do it, but one can thrive at it!

    • Soultravelers, thank you so much for adding your story here. I’m sorry I missed you for the post. It’s fantastic that you’re living the nomadic life as a family (and writing about it).

      Nomadic families aren’t as uncommon as people might think. We’ve met many on our travels with kids of all ages. A lot of them are even living aboard sailboats and sailing the world.

      Congrats on all the accolades, and thanks for sharing the article. I’m sure our readers will be hearing more about you soon.


      • I hope you will include more about nomadic families! I would LOVE to hear more about how people do this with kids.

        And I don’t think it’s as much about taking the kids, but the feeling of not having a definite paycheck or set amount of money coming in, like from a 9-5 job. This is an obstacle for us. A mental roadblock…the fear of not being able to provide for our children.

        I’m off to check out soultravelers3! Thanks.

  8. Hey Corbett – bit late to the party but thanks so much for including us on this great list of nomads.

    Love the way Free Pursuits is shaping up & looking forward to reading more from you (and the guest post you sent over for the LI blog is fantastic – will be up in the next couple of weeks).

    • Thanks Lea. I’m glad you like the blog. You and everyone on this list have been very inspirational and helpful to me in starting this project. I’m happy to have met so many great people who are interested in lifestyle design and location independence already. People really are very approachable, you just need the courage to say hello!

  9. Thanks for the twitter follow. Enjoyed this post. I’m just rolling out my blog about location independent working. Feel free to check it out there will be more info soon.

  10. Pawelotti

    Great list! I’ve never stumbled upon such a list. What I did find, is lists of “pro bloggers”(great to have as well). I have been trying to find more people that you indeed would call digital nomads. I knew Tim Ferriss of course, and I also found people like Chris Guillebeau and a few others by myself. Very grateful for this post. :)

    • I’m glad you liked the list, Pawelotti. It’s true that many probloggers are location independent (or could be), but that’s definitely not the only way to live like a digital nomad.

  11. Great article! I had already subscribed to many of these sites, but now all.

    Also, I notice that the people you mention here tend to be single. I want to say it’s just as possible to do the same if you have children. I wrote a guest post for Nomadic Matt’s blog abt how to travel with children.

    And there’s more on my site: http://www.thefutureisred. Including links to other digital nomad families.

    Again, thanks for the post and to those commenters who added other great names to the Digital Nomad list.

    • Thanks for sharing about how to travel with kids. I don’t have any and don’t have the perspective, although as I mentioned before, we’ve met a lot of great traveling families. There’s no reason it can’t be done!

  12. Hi Corbett
    Funny how things are connected! I came here via Chris Garrett’s Blog Critique and just about all he mentions about your blog is applicable to mine – and the changes that I am now going to make.
    I come at the whole change in lifestyle genre from the perspective of giving people access to great self education tools so that they can indeed set themselves up to have the lifestyle they want, alongside exploring the many great travel experiences that are out there.
    At the moment my blog is on my website and now after reading about your blog and the connections you have now made I will be moving it offsite(well incorporating it anyway)and will be including Chris’ suggestions.
    I hope to be able to link and participate eventually with your blog.

    • Hi Anne. Thanks for the well-wishes. Best of luck with the changes to your blog. It’s a never-ending process it seems.

  13. And of course, there’s the inimitable Mari Smith the ‘Pied Piper of Facebook’ coaching small biz and solopreneurs from her RV with husband Ty.

    So much to read, so many connections to make! Thanks :o)

  14. Fabulous list – and I already know pretty much everybody on it! What a small world of digital nomads it is.
    I’ve been at it myself for over 2 years:

  15. I just started a blog, Part Time Vagabond (http://www.parttimevagabond – pardon the plug) to get myself more in the mindset of traveling and digital nomading. It’s also going to be a way for me to connect with other digital nomads and give me ideas for doing it myself. I know many of the people on this list, either personally or through their websites, and they’re very inspiring. I think I can do this, I just have to take the right steps!

  16. I found this blog on a search for Digital Nomads. Some of these folks I have followed for some time. Tim Ferris stands out, but they all show much tenacity for being mobile, entrepreneurial, and free.

  17. I hit the laptop at 7 a.m., working out of myVAN wherever I feel like parking it!. Using my laptop and a Skype headset to make over 100 cold calls each morning getting companies to take a meeting with a software firm I’m representing.

    Read more:

  18. OK found this post a year after posting, but it’s still a valuable resource. I’m part of this growing group of adventurers and glad to find so many like-minded souls on this page. Both in the list and the comments.

    High 5 to all of you!

  19. Mermoz k.

    Hi there,
    Iam a translator ( English to French) and a HR consultant currently living in Abidjan, Ivory coast in West Africa.
    Iam very much interested in joinining the digital nomad community.
    Can anyone help me with the planning as Iam currently in a full time job and plan to embark on my journey in a year time.

    Thanks in advance


  20. Hello Corbett! Your site is brilliant! Be honest, I hate newletters, but I have subscribed to your list. :) Thanks for inspiration and motivation.

    Gabriel from Hungary

  21. Interesting page, and an interesting collection of people earmarked as Digital Nomals. In my experience, there is one question to ask a person to discover if you have a possible teacher of living Location Independent, or working anywhere in your midst. Ask the person,
    “Do you rent an Apartment?” or “Do you own a House?” etc. Their answer will help you sort or debunk the romanticized and marketing use of the term “Digital Nomad,” for people who really do want to live and work as perpetual travelers.

  22. Roy

    Awesome. Those are some inspiring bloggers!

  23. Hey there!

    As a blogger who just started out but quit his job to travel and be committed to developing my site content, i think the post was inspirational. I was familiar with about 2 of the blogs out of ten, but looking at all their stories shows me there is no one formula for success. The best policy is being yourself, networking, and having the determination to see your vision through. Otherwise you just end up as a quitter which nobody wants to read about. People want sincerity and that is how we can identify with a story like Chris’s, or Matt’s.

    Great motivating post. I appreciate it!

  24. Fab

    This post is bookmarked in my web browser so i always have the list if i want to check on all those great writers, thanx for introducing me to all those people who share the same goals and spirit as i have !

  25. Very cool list, alot to learn :-)
    I am a digital nomad my self and I love it

    Many regards

  26. Wow, a lot of big names on that list.
    A lot of big names commenting here too. I feel honored to be commenting in the same post hehe.
    Thank you for sharing. I was able to learn about a lot of people and be able to know their blog, too.

  27. Hi Corbett,

    Nice roundup. But how about the women digital nomads like Natalie Sisson from or Michelle Dale from where you’d also learn a lot from them traveling and doing business around the world e.g. VA business and doing social media marketing? :)


    • Corbett

      Great additions Joanna! I didn’t know Natalie back when I wrote this in 2009, but she’s an awesome example. I’m not familiar with Michelle, so thanks for sharing.

  28. So many people to learn from, so little time. I may be late reading this, but I’m certain I can still gain a ton from reading more about these folks.

  29. Kim

    You should take a look at Cora the Explorer:

    She and her husband decided to take a year and travel the world. She’s visiting each of her company’s international offices along the way and is blogging about her experiences and lessons she’s learning while trying to stay productive and find reliable sources for internet. She’s awesome!

  30. Thank you for this amazing list! The inspiration I am receiving reading these blogs is absolutely priceless.

    Recently finished a two month backpacking trip in Japan and made up my mind that I’m not going to stop living the vagabond life. Reading the stories of those already in the field is beginning to shed light on the “how it’s done” part.

    Thank you.

  31. Hi,

    Your selection is based in digital nomads writing in english, that means 3/4 of the worlwide bloggers are not in consideration. In my case, I left a management position in 3Com/Palm in 2.000, just before the Internet bubble exploded, and I`ve travelling for a living since then, with 6 continents and around 100 countries visited, reported in in perfect spanish!!.

    I´m involved in some other project about culture/travel, and the reason I`m not getting tired of this life is that I will never change a desk in a skycrapper for my office right now, a small guesthouse in white beach, Mindoro, Philippines, where I have free wifi, a hammock at arm reach, mangos at other arm reach, and the ocean 10 meters away for 10US$/day.

    Who wants to work in Wall Street N.Y. or The City London?. Not me for sure

    • A Kings Life - Digital nomad family

      We agree! My office ranges from tiny one room guesthouses on the beaches of Belize to the artistic center of Ubud, Bali. Who wants sterile walls with sterile people around them when you can be inspired by Life, in all it’s dirt, glory and beauty?

  32. Sonia

    If only someone can help me assess my skills to see if there is anything that I can ,do remotely. I am tried of the $13.50 an hour and raising a boy on my own the only reason its not worse it cause my boyfriend lives with me but I was never one for depending on others. Great post by the way!

  33. Quite an interesting and expiring article. Becoming location independent although a growing trend is still rather unconventional. Its great when aspiring “vagabonds” (or lifestyle trail blazers as I prefer to call them) can connect with and learn about digital nomads who are living the dream.

Leave a Reply

Happy ! Thanks for reading.

RSS   |    Archives   |    Newsletter