Digital Nomads Working On The Fly

Some people have to travel for work” the Marriott Inn commercial says, depicting a man in the dead of a high arctic winter relaxing over a quinoa salad. “Some people get to travel for work.” And some people, the ad does not say, travel and work.

World-wide digital communication makes a lot things possible that only explorers and adventurers would have dared just a half-century ago.

A Little History:

  • Steve Roberts was the first person now called a digital nomad. Roberts set out on his computerized recumbent bicycle in 1983 to the envy of many.
  • The Motosat satellite system for RVs, boats, and anyone else with a mobile dish came onto the market in 1985, allowing nomads to go anywhere. This lasted until wifi and cell phone service expansion drove it out of business in 2013.
  • In 1997, Tsugio Makimoto and David Manners published their book called, Digital Nomad (Wiley).This book is credited with the origin of the term.
  • Earlier in 2015, the first international conference for digital nomads (DNX Global) took place in Berlin, Germany.

Digital Nomad Personalities:

Matthew Kepnes (AKA Nomadic Matt) is a travel writer who runs a blog on how to travel on a budget. He is based in New York City. At home or on the road, he works in the morning, sightsees in the afternoon, works in the early evening and meets friends at night. He doesn’t travel all the time, but it doesn’t matter. Where he is has nothing to do with how he earns a living. He says he can work from anywhere in the world he wants. He regrets anly that he can’t form lasting ties because he is a wanderer and “before you know it,” he says, “it’s time to go again!”

Jodi Ettenberg (look for her at was a New York corporate lawyer for more than five years. She took a year off (she thought) to travel around the world. Then she started writing a blog about her adventures. As the site grew she started getting offers for freelance writing gigs. In 2010, she moved her blog to a full-fledged website. She began her routine of winters writing and eating in Asia and summers in North America, built around schedules of conference speaking and social media consulting. In 2012 she authored The Food Traveler’s Handbook. She says when she’s Asia, she spends her nights making conference calls to North America and meeting friends for meals and snails and beer on the street. Even when she returns to North America, she is always moving from place to place.

Stuart McDonald (proprietor of with his wife Samantha launched the travel site in 2004. Samantha is a travel journalist and author of travel guidebooks. Over the years they have recruited some 17 writers who contribute to the site. The couple is now based in Bali, Indonesia but they run their website from Bangkok, Phnom Penh and Jakarta as well. He and his wife have a home life with their children in Bali. When the children are at home he is busy with the website, coding, writing, managing ads. He works through the evening and usually falls asleep by 8 pm. When travelling, he is inspecting hotels, tourism sights and so on. He writes up his observations in the middle of the day making heavy use of social media. Stuart works a lot.

Dan Andrews (AKA Tropical MBA) writes and podcasts about business and travel. He doesn’t say where he is. In 2007, Dan began, blogging about his newly founded e-commerce business that makes products like cat furniture and portable bars. The blog has since become a community for digital nomads and other location independent entrepreneurs. About every three weeks, Dan gets an itch to travel somewhere and ends up wandering around for a few completely wacky weeks.

If you’d like to find out some of the best places that these people have traveled while working. Download the full detailed report on The 30 Best Places to Travel and Work While Being an Entrepreneur