10 Digital Nomads to Learn From

Written by Corbett Barr

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: elsua.net
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: How to Build Solid Foundations for Your Location Independent Business

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

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

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