Location Independent Entrepreneur Johnny FD Shares His Best Tips for Getting Success on the Road

Nomad Johnny FD

I’m Johnny FD and I’m a corporate cubicle slave turned scuba divemaster, muay thai fighter, and eventually location independent entrepreneur. My blog is JohnnyFD.com. I’m originally from California but have been living on the Canary Islands for the past three months. My hobbies include scuba diving around the world, competing in Muay Thai kickboxing, and being a digital nomad. Those who known me well think I’m like a bull in a china shop that loves listening to podcasts and sharing information.

Nomad and Divemaster Johnny FD

How and why did you become a nomad?

I started my nomad life in 2007 when I quit my job as an office worker and moved to Thailand to take a divemaster course. I traveled around the world and lived on various tropical islands until 2013 when I turned my job digital and started making money online.

Nomadic life is important to me because it gives some freedom of time, travel, and location. I hate the winter, and even in San Francisco it’s too cold for me half the year, which is why I prefer to be Nomadic and chase the summer around the world. I think it’s important for the world because the happier and healthier people are, and the more they travel, live in different countries and learn different languages and cultures, the more we can truly understand each other and connect on a deeper level.

Nomad Johnny FD

How do you finance your nomadic life?

I started my nomadic journey by teaching scuba diving and making between $600-$1,000 a month while living cheaply. But in 2013, I dipped my toes into the digital world and started making money with my first e-book, 12 Weeks in Thailand: The Good Life on the Cheap followed by taking an online course that taught me how to start a dropshipping store and getting into e-commerce. Fast forward 4 years and my podcasts and blog now make me over $100,000 a year and it has become my full time career. I also teach others bloggers how to start and make money through their blogs in my course Income Boss.

Nomad Johnny FD

How do you build a social life as a nomad?

When I first started nomading, it was hard to stay in touch as FaceTime, WhatsApp and other easy to use apps weren’t available. But now keeping in touch is easy. I keep in touch mostly through my Facebook, and with weekly video chats with friends. As for meeting new friends on the road, I give a location shout out in the Travel Bosses group on Facebook and see who’s in town, join local Facebook groups, or even meetup.com and CouchSurfing.

It’s easy to build long lasting friendships if you have the time, location and financial independence to meet up your friends wherever they end up traveling to. It’s harder if your budget is tight.

Nomad Johnny FD

Where do you live and work as a nomad?

I like to rent Airbnbs for a month at a time and travel slowly. That way I can get into a routine, cook healthy food, and join a gym and a coworking space. I’m a big fan of structured days and wrote about my daily routine in this blog post, but in general, I like to wake up relatively early, leave the house imminently and walk to the coworking space, finish work by 4pm and either go to the gym or a swim before meeting up with friends before dinner.

What is your best advice for new nomads?

My advice to follow in the footsteps of someone else who has done it already. Subscribe and listen to the Travel Like a Boss Podcast on your phone’s podcast app or on iTunes and listen to 170+ other Nomads who have done it already.

Nomad Johnny FD

How do you bring your things with you?

I have Northface 30″ Rolling Thunder duffel bag that I love, and a Pacsafe Venturesafe 15L GII anti-theft day pack. It’s the perfect combination to carry everything I need year round as a minimalist as it forces myself not to overpack or have too much stuff. The only downside of the Rolling Thunder is that even though it’s super durable and great to roll, it’s a bit too heavy even when empty.

Something like an Osprey Xenith 75 Backpack would be ideal for most nomads who don’t want a rolling luggage, but the reason why I like the North Face duffel is because it feels like a good halfway point between backpacker and rolling suitcase owner.

Nomad Johnny FD

How do you organize things in your bags?

I use a four set of packing cubes and highly recomend them to anyone who travels. If I could design my own bag, I would have the Northface 30″ Rolling Thunder be a little less durable but half the weight when empty. I love the fact that my duffel is built in water resistant and think it’s important for all luggage, am an surprised how many bags aren’t.

How do your bags and gear hold up?

My rolling ruffle is extremely good quality but at almost 10lbs when empty, it’s too heavy as it cuts into my flight baggage allowance. If I were to buy a different bag today, I would try the North Face Basecamp Duffle in Large as it’s the perfect size, has backpack straps and is good quality.

Nomad Johnny FD

Any gear you wish you had brought with you from the beginning?

I always bring too much with me and end up throwing away a lot of items as I travel and want to lighten the load. I recommend not bringing anything you don’t mind giving away or throwing away.

What has been your best gear purchase below $100?

For sure it would be any type of packing cubes like the 4 pack by eBags.

Nomad Johnny FD

What will the future bring?

I plan on being back in Chiang Mai, Thailand for the next Nomad Summit Conference and to get my student’s of Income Boss to the same income levels as I’ve made it to so we can all travel the world and be location independent together.

Visit Johnny FD on his website and follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter


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