Jodi Ettenberg: What Former Lawyer Turned Food & Travel Writer Has Learned From 8 Years on the Road


It was wonderful having Jodi Ettenberg on the show.  She’s an articulate, strong and fun woman who for 8 years has been successfully doing what many dream of: traveling the world, leaving a demanding job behind and making a living as a travel and food blog writer. 

It all started with a planned year-long sabbatical to Siberia from her job as a lawyer.  Her intention had been to return to work, but after a year came and went, she realized that she had outgrown that path in life, and would prefer to remain on the road.  

Her travel blog, Legal Nomads, was also starting to gain some traction.   She had initially started the blog so her mom back home could keep up to date with her adventures, but lo and behold, it caught on with people who loved her genuine and sincere personality.   

8 years ago when Jodi started her journey, the travel blog space wasn’t as saturated as it is now; growing a following was easier than it is today.  But she does have some advice for those who wish to live this lifestyle: Build skills. Figure out your goals, and build skillsets that will benefit you and put you on the path to those goals. Ask yourself: 

“How can I get better at what I do so I can use it for my life’s work?”

Her passion and commitment led Jodi to revenue streams that she never even had to pursue or seek out.  Freelance writing, books and public speaking gigs stemmed from people being attracted to her personality and authentic writing.  Equally important, Jodi cares about her brand so much that she never puts anything out there that she isn’t willing to stand behind, as she knows that the internet is forever. 

We talk about the fact that even though Jodi has been all over the world, she prefers the city life most.  She feels at home in places like New York, Bangkok and Saigon.  The energy in these places is just fun and there’s always so much going on.  “You can fall out of your front door and into an interesting situation immediately.” 

One word of caution that Jodi wants to pass on to anyone interested in nomadic living,  is that travel doesn’t fix any of your problems.  People often think that their problems will melt away as they travel and see the world.  Nothing could be further from the truth!  Wherever you go, there you are, so if you don’t work on fixing what’s inside you, you’ll just take your problems around the world.  

“If you travel to escape darkness, it’ll find you.”

Jodi has many exciting projects on the horizon.  She’s currently developing detailed translation cards for many more countries to help people with celiac disease eat healthy as they travel.  She also has some exciting public speaking gigs coming up, including a speech on storytelling at a Denver conference.   And more food maps are on the way! 

We chat about living a bold life and she tells me, being bold is unapologetically believing in something and educating people about how you’ve done it, but not being aggressive in how you do so.  Not shoving it down their throats.  Believe in yourself and do what you care about.  That’s Jodi in a nutshell.


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  • What advice would Jodi give to somebody who is intentionally creating a similar lifestyle? 
  • How did she find and pursue her different revenue earning opportunities? 
  • How does she nurture her incredible social media following? 
  • What types of places does she like to live in? 
  • How have her relationships been affected by a transient lifestyle? 


  • The unlikely way that Jodi was able to turn her travel and food passions into profits 
  • What keeps her inspired to write and continue her traveling lifestyle 
  • How she manages her time and is able to accomplish so much 
  • Which thought leaders and writers have been huge inspirations to her 
  • Some of the big life lessons she’s learned from her travels 
  • Plus much more…